Class struggle continues: “The bonds of solidarity USLAW forged with the Iraqi labor movement through nine years of struggle will continue.”Sunday, January 1st, 2012
On December 23, 2011, U.S. Labor Against the War sent this solidarity statement to the unions in Iraq.
Dear Comrades in the Iraqi Labor Movement:
U.S. Labor Against the War recognizes that the end to formal U.S. military occupation of Iraq does not end continuing U.S. interference in the internal affairs of Iraq. The Maliki regime has given
permission to the U.S. to continue to operate unarmed Predator drones from Iraqi
bases, purportedly to provide the Turkish government with intelligence on the
activities of PKK fighters operating in the mountains of Iraq. These can be
armed and redeployed elsewhere in Iraq whenever the U.S. desires.
Many thousands of private mercenary security forces will remain and the U.S.
government has constructed the largest embassy in the world to manage and direct
its continuing interference in Iraqi affairs. It may redeploy many of the
departing troops to bases in Kuwait and other areas in the region, positioned to
reenter Iraq on short notice if U.S. interests appear to be threatened.
The Maliki regime is a political creation of the U.S. occupation, not a
legitimate expression of the democratic will of the Iraqi people. Already
parties that had been cobbled together to provide Maliki with a majority in
Parliament have abandoned him as he aggravates sectarian tensions for partisan
advantage. As a predictable outcome of the U.S. divide and conquer policies that
pitted religious, sectarian, ethnic and regional interests against one another,
Iraq will now likely see escalating sectarian conflict. The responsibility for
this belongs first and foremost to the U.S. government.
Predatory multinational corporations have not abandoned their plans to gain control over
Iraq’s abundant oil and gas reserves. Therefore, the struggle by the Iraqi
people to regain full sovereignty over the nation’s natural resources will
continue because the neo-liberal scheme to privatize the Iraqi economy has not
The struggle to establish human and labor rights will continue because under U.S. occupation, those rights were a fiction, and were and continue to be regularly violated. The Iraqi government has ignored the country’s own constitution, which calls for the adoption of a basic labor rights
law that conforms to international standards, and continues to enforce the 1987
antiunion decree of the dictatorship, adding even more repressive edicts in an
effort to cripple the Iraqi labor movement and suppress the movement for true
democratic rights. In this the U.S. and Maliki regime will fail because the
Iraqi labor movement will not forfeit its rights. The will of the Iraqi people
for a true democracy and Iraqi sovereignty will prove stronger than the schemes
of a corrupt regime that serves as a willing pawn for U.S. interests.
The U.S. debt to Iraqis will not be paid by the withdrawal of U.S. military forces.
We consider it our honor and duty to stand in solidarity with you, to hold our
government to account, to demand that our government abandon its interference in
the internal affairs of Iraq, to struggle in support of your national
sovereignty and human and labor rights, and to demand that reparations without
strings be paid for the horrific damage inflicted on Iraq and its people.
The U.S. military was driven from Iraq by the iron resolve of the Iraqi
people to be free of all foreign domination, supported by the solidarity of U.S.
and other antiwar forces around the world which finally made it politically
untenable for the occupation to continue. The work of U.S. Labor Against the
War, founded nine years ago in January in response to the threat of the illegal
U.S. invasion, does not end with the departure of U.S. troops. The bonds of
solidarity USLAW forged with the Iraqi labor movement through nine years of
struggle will continue.
We extend to you and the courageous labor movement and working people of Iraq our heartfelt wishes for peace, democracy, justice, security and sovereignty in the new year.
Yours in solidarity and struggle,
USLAW Co-convenors: Kathy Black, Gene Bruskin, Bob Muehlenkamp, Brooks Sunkett, Nancy Wohlforth, Michael Zweig
Staff: National Coordinator Michael Eisenscher, National Organizer Tom Gogan, Administrative Coordinator Adrienne Nicosia
On behalf of the Steering Committee and 195 labor organizations affiliated with U.S. Labor Against the War