End the U.S. Wars and Occupations In Iraq and Afghanistan and Rebuild America Adopted by Pennsylvania AFL-CIO

by 

Adopted April 15, 2010

Whereas our country is now engaged in a great national debate about the war in Afghanistan, whether we should be there at all, and, if so, what our mission is and what resources are needed to carry out that mission, and

Whereas the fateful decision President Obama has made will affect our own country in profound ways for years to come, including whether or not President Obama will be able, economically and politically, to carry out his commitment to re-build our own country, and

Whereas the labor movement has a responsibility to assure the success of the electoral mandate from the labor movement and the American people given to the Obama administration to rebuild America, and

Whereas the mission, strategy, and tasks of counterinsurgency are not those of counterterrorism, and Whereas the military pursuit of counterinsurgency can create many more terrorists than it kills, and getting rid of occupiers is a prime motivation of those opposed to the U.S.  presence, and

Whereas the use of unmanned drones against alleged terrorists in Pakistan has killed many more innocent civilians and frequently no alleged terrorists at all, which has inflamed anti-American sentiments, destabilized Pakistan, and provided new potential recruits to terrorist causes, and

Whereas counterinsurgency strategy involves nation-building, which would draw the U.S.  into a long term engagement with the corrupt and illegitimate government of Hamid Karzai, with no foreseeable exit from a country well known as the "graveyard of empires," and

Whereas U.S.  standing in the world will benefit from the exercise of more wisdom rather than more raw power, and

Whereas military spending creates far fewer jobs than the same amount of money spent on infrastructure and other domestic needs (Robert Pollin and Heidi Garrett-Peltier, “The Wages of Peace,” The Nation , March 31, 2008), and

Whereas we have already spent over $235 billion in Afghanistan and; even without the decision to send an additional 30,000 troops which will cost at least an additional $30 billion, our nation is spending $65 billion a year on the war there.  These funds are desperately needed for urgent domestic social purposes, including health care and quality education for all, housing relief in the foreclosure crisis, rebuilding the nation's infrastructure, full veterans’ benefits, and the creation of millions of good jobs, including manufacturing jobs, and

Whereas the voice of the labor movement needs to be heard in our national debate, including through mobilization in the street at both the local and national levels that harness the legitimate anger of the American people and ensure positive momentum for the agenda of working people , therefore be it

Resolved, that Pennsylvania AFL-CIO calls for an immediate and responsible end to the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan and military attacks in Pakistan, and be it further

Resolved, that Pennsylvania AFL-CIO calls for the immediate and complete withdrawal of all U.S.  military forces and contractors from Iraq and Afghanistan and the closing of all U.S.  military bases in both countries, and be it further

Resolved, that Pennsylvania AFL-CIO calls for the use of diplomatic measures to resolve these and other international conflicts, and be it further

Resolved, that Pennsylvania AFL-CIO calls for rebuilding America and redirecting the military budget to urgently needed social programs and job creation in this country, and be it further

Resolved, that Pennsylvania AFL-CIO calls for the U.S.  to fulfill its obligation to rebuild the countries our military has destroyed by providing assistance to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, and be it further

Resolved, that Pennsylvania AFL-CIO calls for the use of appropriate lawful police, intelligence, diplomatic and financial means to prevent, isolate, arrest, and bring to justice to those who engage in terrorist actions against the people of the U.S.  and other countries, and be it further

Resolved, that Pennsylvania AFL-CIO calls for the full support for returning troops, including but not limited to adequate healthcare, including mental health and job training, and placement in jobs paying a living wage, and be it further

Resolved, that Pennsylvania AFL-CIO will undertake an educational campaign on these issues within its affiliates and more broadly in the labor movement and will seek to involve the labor movement in the political tasks necessary to carry out this resolution so it has an effect on public policy, and be it further

Resolved, that Pennsylvania AFL-CIO commits to developing plans expeditiously for public demonstrations of support for the above agenda in coalition with our allies, and be it finally

Resolved, that Pennsylvania AFL-CIO will communicate this resolution to President Obama, members of Congress and the American public, and support any legislation that is consistent with this resolution.