2003.02.05: NYCLAW Speech at Times Square

Presented by Michael Letwin, NYCLAW Co-Convener

Bush’s war on Iraq isn’t about “weapons of mass destruction”-the U.S. can’t even prove that Iraq has any. And who has more WMD than the U.S.?

It isn’t for “self-defense”-Iraq hasn’t attacked us.

It isn’t to support the U.N.-the U.S. pays Israel billions of dollars each year to violate U.N. resolutions that guarantee Palestinian rights. And Israel already has nuclear weapons.

It isn’t for “democracy”-for years, the U.S. armed Hussein (and Osama bin Laden). U.S. allies include numerous dictatorships, including Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Colombia.

In reality, Bush’s war is a “weapon of mass distraction”-from oil profit, from U.S. empire, from corporate thievery and from a crumbling economy at home.

As Nelson Mandela puts it, Bush and his cronies “just want the oil.”

This war can’t be made right. Not by Bush. Not by the U.N.

We need to ask ourselves some hard questions:

What have the Iraqi people ever done to us?

Are we ready to pay for war with the blood of our sons and daughters in uniform-most of them working class and people of color?

With destruction of our social services?

With zero-wage increases?

With Bush’s attack on labor, civil and immigrant rights?

With more blowback like 9/11?

In 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. refused to remain silent about the Vietnam war and “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today-my own government.”

We have the same obligation. Regime change begins at home.

We also have the power to stop this war.

When G.I.s refused to fight in Vietnam, the U.S. war machine ground to a halt.

Several weeks ago, British railway workers refused to drive trains loaded with weapons for war against Iraq.

And U.S. labor is beginning to speak out. Unions with more than five million members-one-third of organized labor-have already come out against the war. U.S. Labor Against the War was founded in January. Thirty NYC-area labor bodies have endorsed today’s massive antiwar protest.

If you believe that labor must stand up against the war, contact: nyclaw01@excite.com, or at NYCLAW, Prince Street Station, PO Box 233, New York, NY 10012-3900.

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