Green 'Peace Party' positions against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars compared to pro-occupation Clinton, Obama, and McCain
GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
For Immediate Release:
Monday, March 10, 2008
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614, firstname.lastname@example.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, email@example.com
Greens express support for a May 1 protest by longshore workers against the wars
WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party leaders today compared the Green demand for an immediate end to the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan to the pro-occupation positions of the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates.
Greens said that party members supported protests planned by International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) locals on the west coast on May 1, 2008.
"Along with the election of Greens to Congress, actions like those planned by ILWU members are what we need to force the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan," said Rodger Jennings, Green candidate for the US House in Illinois (District 12) <http://www.rodgerjennings.org>. "The longshore workers intend to press Democratic and Republican presidential candidates to change their warhawk positions. Like the Green Party, the ILWU has opposed both of President Bush's wars from the beginning."
The text of the ILWU's February 26, 2008 resolution can be read here <http://www.labournet.net/docks2/0802/ilwu1may1.htm>. The ILWU letter to the AFL-CIO can be read here <http://www.labournet.net/world/0802/ilwu1may2.html>.
The Green Party of the United States has called for immediate troop withdrawal and impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney for numerous crimes and abuses of power, including deception and manipulated intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq. Greens also favor a sharp reduction in the military budget, shifting funds over to health care, conservation programs, efforts to curb global warming, and other urgent needs.
"While Democrats have retreated, our own Green presidential candidates -- Jesse Johnson, Cynthia McKinney, Kent Mesplay, and Kat Swift -- have aggressively promoted the Green Party's position on the wars and on impeachment," said Dr. Julia Willebrand, co-chair of the Green Party's International Committee <http://www.gp.org/committees/intl>.
Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have promised to pull 'combat' troops, but would leave thousands of US military personnel and contractors, including mercenary security firms, in Iraq to prolong the illegal occupation. Republican John McCain would maintain the Bush policy that would extend the occupation for several generations, bankrupting America both morally and fiscally.
On other war-related issues, Ms. Clinton, Mr. Obama, and Mr. McCain agree (while Greens hold contrary positions):
All three have expressed support for the 'benchmarks,' which would place most Iraqi oil resources under the control of US and UK oil companies, requiring sustained US military presence to protect investments.
All three favor an increase in the military budget; Mr. Obama would expand the military with 90,000 added troops.
All three favor expansion of the Afghanistan war.
All three have said that a US attack on Iran is not off the table, even though President Bush's justification for such an assault (alleged nuclear weapons production) has been shown to be false.
All three have voted for funding bills to keep the Iraq War going; the war could have been brought to a quick end if Democrats, in control of Congress since the 2006 election, had simply stalled on the bills.
All three have refused to criticize Israel for its violations of international law, UN directives, and human rights in the treatment of Palestinians (see <http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=35>), which have inflamed regional conflict; none admit the role of Israel's strategic objectives in US policy on Iraq and Iran.
"The occupation of Iraq will continue whether a Democrat or a Republican moves into the White House in January 2009," said Jason Wallace, Green candidate for Congress in Illinois' 11th District <http://www.electwallace.us> and a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War <http://ivaw.org/index.php>. IVAW has announced 'Winter Soldier' (March 13-16), a four-day event bringing together veterans from across the country to testify about their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan <http://ivaw.org/wintersoldier>. "The ILWU action planned for May 1 is evidence that working people are impatient with vague promises to end these wars. Will Ms. Clinton or Mr. Obama endorse the ILWU protest and pledge to call home all US military personnel immediately?"
"Polls have shown that a majority of Americans agree with the Green Party's demand for an end ot the Iraq War," added Mr. Wallace. "The equivocating reaction of Democrats when Republicans accuse them of unpatriotism and betrayal of US troops for any opposition to Bush policy may cost them another election."
Democratic leaders continue to criticize the Iraq War on the basis of poor management, and have recently argued that combat troops should be called home for purposes of 'military preparedness.'
"By calling the Iraq War a matter of military preparedness and botched strategy, Democrats are sidestepping the premise of the war," said Bob Kinsey, Green candidate for the US Senate in Colorado <http://www.kinseyforsenate.org>. "While it's true that the Bush Administration has shown little regard for the lives of Iraqi civilians and US troops, President Bush's order to invade was itself a crime -- an illegal invasion of a country that posed no threat to the US, in disregard of US and international laws, and based on White House deception."
"A full withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq will be a victory for peace, the rule of law, and the value of human life. It'll be a defeat for the doctrine that says the US can invade countries at will, for resources, corporate interests, and imperial political ambitions," said Mr. Kinsey.
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