GREEN PARTY OF CONNECTICUT
For immediate release: Friday, October 11, 2002
Tom Sevigny 860-693-8344
Justine McCabe 860-354-9773
Green Candidates Urge Change in US Priorities
Hartford, CT-The Green Party of Connecticut released a statement today opposing the Bush Administration's intention to invade Iraq. Citing the illegality, unconstitutionality and prohibitively high costs of such a war to human life, the environment and to US foreign relations and security, the Greens urge multilateral, non-violent conflict resolution through the United Nations to any dangers that Iraq may pose. The text of the statement follows.
According to Attorney Charlie Pillsbury, Green Party candidate for the 3rd Congressional District, "Bush's proposed war against Iraq is morally and legally wrong. It would bring Americans less security-not more. The massive bombing of another Muslim nation and the inevitable civilian casualties will only increase anti-American sentiment world-wide and inspire more terrorism, while further eroding relations with our European and Arab allies. So why is the Bush Administration doing this? In my opinion, Bush and Cheney want access to Iraqi oil.
For the last several years, 80% of Iraqi oil had end users in the US. Bush and his political cronies are concerned about dwindling domestic oil reserves and growing US dependence on imported oil. Instead of proposing conservation measures to decrease our dependence on foreign oil, they want to start a war to take control of Iraqi oil reserves. This is how the politics of greed surface and 'fuel' the politics of violence."
Other Green Party candidates note that Bush's focus on Iraq diverts attention from serious domestic concerns, including a poor economy. State Senate Candidate for the 18th District, Dr. Penny Teal said, "There's no evidence that Iraq is a direct threat to the US. Yet, war in Iraq will serve to justify more military spending while people in Connecticut go without basic needs. Consider just the increase in military spending for the coming year alone-46 billion dollars. Connecticut contributes $837 million of that increase, enough to provide 121,000 poor Connecticut children with Head Start and over 300,000 children with health insurance-the number of uninsured of all ages in our state. It's shameful that Hartford, the capital city of the state with the highest US per capita income, has a child poverty rate of over 41%. We must reorder our priorities. Instead of investing in more military spending, Connecticut must invest in living wage jobs, adequate housing, and greater access to health care and education."
"As we move into the election season, the Bush Administration's push for war is distracting Connecticut voters from issues of corporate welfare and fraud by companies like Enron whose financial ties to Democratic and Republican office holders include Governor Rowland," said Peter Magistri, Green Party candidate for State Rep. from the 60th District, "The truth is that war in Iraq would mainly serve the interests of big oil and the defense industries, lobbies that are well represented by Bush and his cabinet of former CEOs. War will also increase the suffering and death of Iraqis and decrease the security of us all."
GREEN PARTY OF CONNECTICUT STATEMENT OPPOSING US PLAN TO INVADE IRAQ
The Green Party of Connecticut firmly opposes the US plan to invade Iraq. We urge our fellow Americans to consider the enormous material and moral costs to our country and to world peace of the war that the Bush Administration is advocating in our names.
In opposing all efforts by President Bush to wage war against Iraq, Connecticut Greens particularly condemn any attempts to do so outside the scrutiny of Congress and the American public for whom they speak. The Constitution addresses war powers explicitly and does not, under any interpretation, allow a president a "blank check" to wage war.
Guided by Green Party values and a desire for genuine security, we oppose the US plan to invade Iraq for the following reasons:
There is no evidence that US safety and security are directly threatened by Iraq. In the absence of such evidence or a direct attack by Iraq, an American invasion would constitute an act of aggression against a sovereign nation under international law and the UN Charter. The UN Security Council has not authorized attacks on Iraq for failure to cooperate with UN weapons inspections. In fact, no UN SC resolutions concerning Iraq, including Resolutions 687 and 688 of 1991, have authorized "no-fly zones" over Iraq. Despite this fact, the US and Britain have bombed Iraq in these zones almost daily since then. In calling for UN inspection of weapons of mass destruction, SC Resolution 687 did specify that Iraqi disarmament of these biological, chemical and nuclear weapons take place within the context of disarmament of weapons of mass destruction in the entire region.
- We advocate nonviolent alternatives to conflict resolution, including strict adherence to international law in settling disputes between nations. We insist that the US abide by international law if it expects other nations to do so.
- We support multilateral approaches to such conflicts through the UN and the International Criminal Court. We believe that such multilateral cooperation reflects both the unavoidable interdependence of Americans with people everywhere and the commonwealth of the earth's limited natural resources.
IT'S TOO COSTLY:
Costs of an American invasion of Iraq are too high for: civilians, soldiers, the American people, American foreign relations, the peoples of the Middle East, the environment; and for world peace and security.
- A US invasion of Iraq would result in more Iraqi civilian deaths/casualties. Iraq is already devastated by 11 years of UN economic sanctions. Over 1 million Iraqis have died and Iraq's infrastructure and civil society have been ravaged. Formerly a relatively affluent society with high literacy for both sexes and universal health care, Iraq has become a massively poor nation.
- The risks to all soldiers are legion. In addition to death, there are risks of injury and exposure to toxic chemicals. Estimates indicate a need for up to 250,000 American soldiers. Even now, 11 years after the Gulf War, over 100,000 American veterans suffer chronic illness, including Gulf War Syndrome, from exposure to several toxic agents, particularly depleted uranium (DU) used to coat US anti-tank shells.
- American taxpayers would bear the costs of this $80 to $100 billion war alone since virtually all our MiddleEastern and European allies are opposed to invading Iraq.
- Cooperative relations with our allies would be jeopardized by a unilateral move by the US. American security would decrease; anti-American sentiment would grow, especially among Arabs and Muslims.
- The US intention to topple the Saddam Hussein regime would create chaos, not a democratic government, given the lack of an organized opposition.
- A US invasion of Iraq would destabilize an already volatile region. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is likely to intensify with further risk to the already vulnerable civilians in the area, especially refugees. A US attack on Iraq might lead to an Iraqi retaliatory strike against Israel as the sole US ally in the region supportive of such a US invasion. In turn, Israel-the only nuclear power in the Middle East-might feel pressured to launch a nuclear attack. Ultimately, world peace and security would be severely threatened.
- As in all wars, a war in Iraq would ravage the environment, while condoning the control/acquisition of oil and other non-renewable energy sources by violent means. It would perpetuate American dependency on oil and other non-renewable energy sources, as well as the neglect of renewable energy source development and conservation.
- A full-scale war by the US in Iraq would serve to justify increases in an already bloated US military budget, which now represents over 50% of US discretionary spending. It would leave less for domestic and international aid programs that address poverty, environmental degradation, and lack of personal security and freedom that are the root causes of violence.
We believe that our actions and policies must be motivated by future sustainability. This includes protecting natural resources and redirecting their use and our energies away from producing more weapons, and toward eradicating the poverty, disease and ignorance that foster despair and insecurity for many Americans and most of the world's people.
The Green Party of Connecticut Calls For:
- No Invasion of Iraq
- An End to Economic Sanctions in Iraq
- Cooperation through the UN to address any security risks to the US and others posed by the Saddam Hussein regime
- Disarmament of weapons of mass destruction for the entire Persian Gulf region in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 687
- Taking substantial steps to free US foreign policy from dependency on oil and other non-renewable energy sources; and to encourage investment in renewable energy sources and energy conservation *Shifting our major investment from military spending to meeting the basic needs of Americans and people everywhere