End the Afghanistan War and Support Domestic Programs

by 

Passed by the Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO convention

on June 6th, 2010

by Green Mountain Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Whereas, a majority of Vermonters, as well as Americans as a whole, oppose continuation of the war in Afghanistan; and

Whereas, the U.S. death toll in Afghanistan is escalating with 1071 (as of May 16th) U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan so far, as well as thousands of innocent Afghan civilians; and - some 1500 Vermont national guard are selflessly serving in Afghanistan who deserve to be safely returned to their families and communities without delay; and

Whereas, since 2001, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $272 billion with Vermont taxpayers alone spending $434.7 million - on the war in Afghanistan; and

Whereas, the $billions to be spent in Afghanistan this year, and the hundreds of billions of dollars projected in coming years for counterinsurgency there, are desperately needed for urgent domestic social purposes, including healthcare for all, housing relief in the foreclosure crisis, full veterans benefits, and the creation of millions of jobs; and

Whereas, military spending creates many fewer jobs than the same amount spent on infrastructure and other domestic needs; 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 continued killing of Afghan civilians is known to be a great recruiting tool for the Taliban; and

Whereas, continued support for the corrupt, illegitimate and misogynous regime of Hamid Karzai would result in no foreseeable exit from a country well known as the "graveyard of empires;"

Therefore, be it resolved, that the Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO call for the U.S. government to end its war in Afghanistan, and begin a safe and orderly withdrawal of all troops, mercenaries, contractors, and weapons immediately; and

Be it further resolved, that the Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO calls for the reallocation of the funds that would otherwise be directed to the war in Afghanistan for job creation and education, health care, and other urgently needed social programs for working people in this country, and to expenditures for infrastructure and social development for the Afghan people to facilitate not only peace but peace with justice; and

Be it further resolved, that the Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO continue to call for full support for returning troops, including but not limited to adequate health care (both mental and physical), job training, placement in jobs paying a union wage, and access to education and student financial aid; and

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

Be it further resolved, that the Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO send a representative to the United National Antiwar Conference in Albany, New York July 23-25, initiated by U.S. Labor Against the War and other organizations.

Be it further resolved, that the Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO communicate this resolution to President Obama, our members of Congress, and our affiliates with a request that they act accordingly, and support legislation that is consistent with this resolution.