Originally Drafted by Peace Action & Education Task Form. Passed and adopted by Metro Justice Council Monday, March 19th, 2018
Preamble: As US citizens we stand in opposition to the horrific worldwide military aggression perpetrated in our name and to the pervasive culture of militarism in our society. We petition our government, through our words and nonviolent actions, to pursue peace and justice in accordance with international law and humane morality. The following position statement is not an exhaustive compilation of current US policies of war and peace that are both actionable through collective resistance and of immediate, urgent concern. Metro Justice commits itself to supporting all possible actions in solidarity with others to address these concerns.
We oppose US wars of aggression around the globe, including the proxy wars that have blossomed through the last decade. We take a strong stand against US hegemonic ambitions which our government pursues at the expense of impoverishing our own citizens and undermining our freedoms here in the United States. We are horrified at the devastation caused by a US foreign policy based on the principle of ‘might makes right’ rather than diplomacy and respect for the sovereignty of other nations.
We call for the dismantling of the network of bases the United States supports around the globe, surrounding Russia and China, drawing on the hospitality of our allies and interfering with the sovereignty of third world nations across the Pacific, throughout the Middle East and most recently flooding across Africa. Recent surveys show that the peoples of these nations consider the United States the biggest threat to global peace and to their own security.
We call for an immediate end to drone warfare and targeted killing, and particularly the use of large drones like Reapers that are armed with hellfire missiles and 500 lb bombs. US Drones fly over countries that we are not at war with, targeting putative enemies for execution, resulting in the slaughter of a much larger number of civilians. The physical drones reside on bases across the Middle East, West Asia and Africa, while men and women who fly these drones stay in the US but suffer PTSD as severe as that suffered by soldiers in direct combat. They do not sign up to be executioners. Drones alienate and create new enemies within the populations of countries we target. They are cheap and not scientifically complex, so their use is already proliferating among our enemies. This is not a future we want to see.
We condemn the intensified, reflexive violence and pervasive militarism perpetuated throughout our society, from the police to video games to sports. We demand an end to predatory military recruitment in schools targeting mostly poor youth of color, as well as the pervasive network of jROTC programs and “military academies” throughout the nation’s schools.
We condemn the cowardly abrogation of Congress in its Constitutional responsibilities to declare war and in its uncritical acceptance of unrestricted expansion of the so called “war on terror.”
We condemn uncritical Congressional support for runaway military spending, as in its recent $700 billion defense appropriation, which amounts to 66% of the federal discretionary budget, much of it going to the massive defense industry. This unbridled outlay severely constrains spending on basic domestic needs, including environmental protection, transportation, agriculture, energy, education, scientific research, infrastructure investments, and job training.
We condemn the blatant disregard for the nations’ veterans, despite bloated military expenditures, within a grossly incompetent and corrupted system that covers up interminable waiting lists for medical care and results in up to 22 veterans a day committing suicide. Countless veterans suffer from an epidemic of untreated Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder leading to pervasive domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction, unemployment, homelessness, and self-destructive behavior.
We oppose the current plan to renovate our nuclear arsenal and instead would like to see the United States ratify the United Nations Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and then begin the work of de-nuclearization under the recently adopted United Nations Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty.
We support the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), otherwise known as the ‘Iran Nuclear Deal’. This is an important piece of international diplomacy, and should not be abrogated by the US President or Congress. International inspectors have reported that Iran is in full compliance with the treaty, and for the US to violate it would be destructive to our own peace and security and to that of the Middle East. It would also show a complete disrespect for our partners in the negotiations.
We call for diplomacy with North Korea and a formal end to the war that began there in 1950, and for an immediate end to threatening offshore military exercises and all manner of violent and unproductive rhetoric directed at North Korea.
We call for an end to US support for the Saudi Arabian government so long as it pursues hegemonic ambitions throughout Muslim lands by training and deployment of terrorists to destabilize sovereign states including Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Myanmar and others. We call for an end to US support for the horrific Saudi war against Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East. We support H. Con. Res. 81, calling for the US to end all assistance to the Saudi War on Yemen including the provision of weapons, maintenance of weapons and refueling bombers on the wing, nautical and political participation in the blockade that has resulted in famine and disease for the people of Yemen, and all manner of political cover including support at the United Nations.
In the interest of peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians alike, we call on the U.S. to use its powers to enforce international laws calling for an end to the occupation of Palestinian territories and ensuring that all people have access to food, water, health care, housing, education, freedom to travel, and other fundamental human rights. We call on the US to cease political and economic support for the occupation and any unilateral actions that hinder this process.
We call for the immediate withdrawal of all US forces from Syria and a staged withdrawal from Iraq. We call for an end to US funding and arming of undemocratic proxy forces in Syria. We call for an end to sanctions against the sovereign government of Syria and the facilitation of international aid so that they can better meet the needs of the people, including the many refugees that remain within the Syrian Republic. We call for an end to all direct US military, monetary and political support for the insurgencies in Syria and Iraq, and for the US to end all agreements with proxies such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia to provide such support.
We call for an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan of all US troops and support for ongoing negotiations between the government and the Taliban. Afghanistan must find its own peace. After 16 years of a war, at the cost of untold Afghan lives and numerous American lives, we have accomplished none of our goals there. In early 2002, the Taliban were driven out of power, but since then they are resurgent. No efforts to mold Afghan culture in our own image have succeeded. Instead, the people there continue to suffer under the rule of competing warlords and the poppy crops, eradicated by the Taliban government at the end of the 90s, have become a fixture in funding the war. A flood of cheap Afghan heroin has caused a deadly epidemic of previously unknown proportions in the US and around the globe, taking the lives of more people than the wars themselves.
We call for an immediate end to the censorship of information and discussion on the Internet that is outside the mainstream formulation. This new McCarthyism is a violation of our civil liberties and undermines the US democracy by limiting open discussion of the issues of war and peace as well as critical domestic problems.