Gray Panthers of San Francisco
January 2006 Newsletter

SF Gray Panthers Anti-War Resolution
As Approved by CARA's 2005 Convention


Draft CARA Resolution on Iraq War and Occupation

WHEREAS, the rationale for war and occupation of Iraq have been found to be based on deception about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, Iraqi connections to the September 11 attacks, the number of troops needed to oc-cupy Iraq, and the role of oil in the decision to invade, and,

WHEREAS, the cost of continuing war and occupation of Iraq has drained funds from essential programs and ser-vices to meet human needs, particularly for seniors and youth, and has created a fiscal crisis for state and local governments that has forced severe cuts in those crucial social programs and services, and,

WHEREAS, continued occupation of Iraq is leading to increasing loss of life to working class Americans and far greater loss of life to working class Iraqis, with no end in sight, and no new ideas for achieving political or even mili-tary stabilization of the country, and,

WHEREAS, continued occupation of Iraq is (1) building up the very forces of terrorism that the war and occupation were supposed to suppress and eliminate, (2) destabilizing the country, (3) making political resolution less likely, and (4) increasing the danger of terror attacks in other countries, and,

WHEREAS, noted labor journalist David Bacon and the US Labor Against the War (USLAW), a well-established national coalition with representatives from over 120 labor unions, Central Labor Councils, and labor organizations, have extensively documented the effects and goals of the Iraq occupation: (1) the supression of labor unions, (2) the privatization and and foreign take-over of much of the economy, (3) the draining away of Iraq's resources for the benefit of US corporations, and (4) the establishment of a permanent military presence in Iraq and the Middle East to control the allocation of oil resources, all of which will create additional poverty and instability in Iraq, and,

WHEREAS, the same government that is asking us to sacrifice our young people for the supposed betterment of Iraqi people's lives is worsening the lives of American people, particularly youth and retirees, by (1) trying to privat-ize Social Security, (2) allowing corporations to unload their health and pension obligations onto their workers, their retirees, or the taxpayers, (3) restructuring Medicare and Mediciad, (4) reducing taxes on corporations and the very wealthy, and (5) supressing of union activity in the name of homeland security, and,

WHEREAS, the government's exhortations for us to "support the troops," (our children and grandchildren) ring in-creasingly hollow in the light of insufficient armor and equipment for soldiers, and increasing cuts to veterans' ser-vices, including health and social services for soldiers injured or killed in the current conflict and their families, and,

WHEREAS, five states and some 350 cities have adapted resolutions opposing the US war in Iraq, largely due to the active participation of labor in these campaigns, and,

AND WHEREAS, labor is becoming increasingly involved in opposing the Iraq war and occupation, as evidenced by a nationwide tour of solidarity by major Iraqi labor leaders that made some 25 appearances across the US, which were sponsored by Central Labor Councils, anti-war labor groups, and labor unions including many in CARA and ARA,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the California Alliance for Retired Americans (CARA) goes on record as op-posing the war and continued occupation of Iraq, and urges immediate withdrawal.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that CARA publicize this Resolution to other state affiliates of the Alliance for Retired Americans, to the California Labor Federation, to the labor groups that have opposed the war and occupation, to state legislators, and to the general public.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that CARA consider participation and co-sponsorship of various anti-war or anti-occupation rallies, marches, or other activities as they arise. Criteria should include their agreement with principles of this Resolution, their support of senior issues, and their broad-based support particularly by labor.

(back to January 2006 Newsletter front page)