Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Votes to Join USLAW

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WHEREAS the PA AFL-CIO strongly supports our troops and wishes to get them out of harm’s way and to bring them home safely; and

The war in Iraq has already taken the lives of nearly 4,000 US military men and women, and wounded an additional 25,000 US soldiers; and

The number of US troops killed in Iraq has more than doubled since the national AFL-CIO resolution in August, 2005 that called for a “commitment by our nation’s leaders to bring our troops home rapidly”; and

The war in Iraq has also claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens,

The war in Iraq was launched based on lies by the Bush administration; and

It is clear now that Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction that were a threat to the security of the United States; and

There is no link established between Iraq and the attacks of September 11, 2001; and

The cost of the war in Iraq to an American family of four will be more than $36,000 based on projected costs from 2002 to 2017; and

The war in Iraq bears a total price tag for Pennsylvanians of $50 billion from 2002-2008, which would have been far better spent on education, housing, mass transportation, and health care for Pennsylvanians; and

The total price tag of the war in Iraq for Pennsylvanians will swell to $106 billion if the US does not withdraw rapidly from Iraq; and

The bulk of the burden of the war in Iraq has fallen on the families of working people; and

US Labor Against the War, founded in 2002 with the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO and other Pennsylvania unions as among the founding members, has become the chief center for organizing efforts within the labor movement to end the war in Iraq and bring our troops home safely; and

US Labor Against the war now has more than 170 affiliated labor organizations, including the Connecticut AFL-CIO, the Maryland and Washington, DC AFL-CIO, and several other state federations; and

The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO is in agreement with the mission statement of US Labor Against the War, including

-A just foreign policy that will bring genuine security and prosperity to working people. A policy that supports global economic and social justice rather than the race-to-the- bottom, job-destroying discriminatory practices favored by multinational corporations.

-Supporting our troops and their families by bringing the troops home now, by not recklessly putting them in harm’s way and by providing decent compensation, veterans’ benefits.

-Protecting workers’ rights, civil rights, civil liberties, and the rights of immigrants by promoting democracy, not subverting it.

-Solidarity with workers and their organizations around the world who are struggling for their own labor and human rights and with those in the US who want US foreign and domestic policies to reflect our nation’s highest ideals.

THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO reiterates the call of President John Sweeney and the national AFL-CIO for the United States to “clearly articulate the path for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq rapidly”; and

Be if further resolved that the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO affiliate with US Labor Against the War and agrees to work together with US Labor Against the War to further our mutual goals.

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[The following is the July 27, 2021 presentation by Michael Steven Smith at a book party in New York City’s Lower East Side sponsored by