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Press release from A.N.S.W.E.R. - Act Now to Stop War & End Racism

Saturday 23 March 2002, by stalinopAnk



The A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition, which is organizing the April 20 March on Washington against War and Racism taking place at the White House, condemns in the strongest terms the U.S. government’s raids on over 24 mainstream Muslim organizations and homes in Virginia and Georgia.

"These raids have nothing to do with keeping people safe from ’terrorism.’ Instead they are part of an ongoing campaign of anti-Arab racism and anti-Muslim bigotry Bush has whipped up in the U.S. to complement his non-stop war policies in the Middle East," said Larry Holmes, a co-director of the International Action Center, one of the members of the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition.

"More and more this campaign is beginning to resemble mass hysteria and internment campaigns organized against Japanese Americans during World War II," added Mara Verheyden-Hilliard of the Partnership for Civil Justice LDEF, also with A.N.S.W.E.R. "Already well over 1,200 Middle Eastern people have been the target of mass sweeps and held in isolation and detention centers for over six months. Thousands of others have been interrogated, questioned, and threatened."

At a press conference Thursday held at the offices of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Solidarity USA, a DC-based organization dedicated to defending Muslims, Arabs, South Asians and others from September 11-backlash, put out a statement spelling out the government raid tactics: At the home of Dr. Mohammad Jaghlit, "Agents roamed the place, broke cabinets, threw private belongings everywhere, including personal and family photo pictures and albums, and left the house in a total mess. Among the very private things confiscated are household members’ IDs and passports, and boxes of freshly printed and clearly marked cards and envelopes of invitation for the Jaghlits’ daughter’s wedding party."

"Peace, justice, civil rights, religious organizations and all other justice-loving people have to come out strongly against this repression," Holmes continued. "Only a united movement can turn back this intimidation campaign, which is currently aimed at one segment of the population, but is ultimately designed to silence all forms of opposition to war policies, cutbacks and layoffs. This is yet another example of the Bush administration using the reaction to the events of September 11th to impose a pre-existing, right-wing agenda."


A.N.S.W.E.R. - Act Now to Stop War & End Racism

  • > Press release from A.N.S.W.E.R. - Act Now to Stop
    21 juillet 2002, par stalinopAnk

    A CALL TO THE ANTI-WAR MOVEMENT : Stop the war on Iraq before it starts !

    By Brian Becker (The writer is a co-director of the International Action Center and a member of the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition steering committee.)

    It is imperative that all progressive working class and anti-war organizations organize now to try to stop the pending U.S. war against Iraq.

    These progressive organizations should base their strategy and tactics on the assumption that the Bush administration is determined to attack Iraq and replace the current government with a puppet regime like the one that exists in Afghanistan. Despite this Bush administration goal, however, there exist sufficient potential deterrents — in the U.S. and around the world — that could still prevent a new invasion. A war on Iraq is a war of imperialism against an oppressed, formerly colonized people. It is a war for Big Oil against a country that dared to nationalize its oil fields and tried to use the revenues from that oil to help Iraq emerge as an independent modernizing regional power in the Persian/Arabian Gulf — an area that contains two-thirds of the world’s known oil reserves. The U.S. reserves for itself the right to be the only regional power in this oil-rich area.

    Working people must not be taken in by the war propaganda of the White House. It’s just propaganda aimed at justifying aggression against Iraq.

    Bush and the Pentagon are planning a war not because they fear Saddam Hussein’s potential to develop weapons of mass destruction, or because they are sickened by the undemocratic nature of the Iraqi government. Washington supports dictatorial monarchies like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. It sends $15 million a day to Israel while that government has invaded Lebanon, occupied the Palestinian territories and created a large, illegal arsenal of nuclear weapons.

    The Bush administration for the last two weeks has engaged in a full-scale psychological war against the Iraqi regime and the people there. It is going out of its way to create an aura of inevitability about the coming conflict. This is a coordinated high-profile campaign designed to split the Iraqi government as a prelude to U.S. military action.

    From July 11-13, a CIA-supported gathering of hundreds of Iraqi military and political foes of Saddam Hussein in London announced a virtual government in exile. Notably present at the meeting was Jordan ?s number two leader Crown Prince Hassan. Although Jordan has publicly opposed a new war against its larger neighbor, the western media on July 12 widely reported that the pro-U.S. monarchy has "agreed secretly to allow U.S. special forces to operate from two of its air bases" when the invasion takes place. (The Herald of Scotland, July 12)
    Other lead articles have appeared in the major press of U.S. allies with screaming headlines like that in the July 16 National Post of Canada : "Iraq is bound to lose, quickly, completely." On the same day British Prime Minister Tony Blair went out of his way to tell the members of Parliament that his government will not be compelled to discuss with them any British participation in the coming war.

    On July 14, Paul Wolfowitz, the Pentagon’s second ranking official and a leading cheerleader for the war, held a press conference in Turkey — one site from which the U.S. attack is likely to be launched — announcing that Turkey would reap ?economic" benefits from the overthrow of the Iraqi government. Turkey is experiencing a severe economic crisis and its government was on the verge of collapsing as Wolfowitz executed his widely covered saber-rattling media performance.


    The administration’s psychological war, or Psyops as it is known in military parlance, began with special intensity when a top secret, five-inch thick, dossier detailing plans for an invasion of Iraq with 250,000 troops was "leaked" to the New York Times. The Times on July 5 featured the story prominently on the front page. It’s follow-up editorial two days later did not dispute the legality or rightness of the planned aggression — as it did so famously with the publication of the secret Pentagon Papers in June 1971 that increased public opposition to U.S. policy in Vietnam. The Times follow-up editorial to the July 5 Iraq invasion story only called for the tactics of the war plan to be debated in Congress and elsewhere. Since the Times story on July 5, the print media and television have been dominated by a discussion of the tactics of the coming war. Should it be a large-scale invasion of hundreds of thousands of troops or a lightning-fast Special Operations accompanied by strategic bombing ? The debate, limited exclusively to the "best tactics" of war, is designed to leave everyone — in Iraq and among the public at home — with the distinct impression that the military conflict is unavoidable, inevitable and thus impossible to resist.

    Which raises the question of who leaked the classified document to the New York Times in the first place ? "The Observer of London [newspaper] has been told that the leak ... came from within the Pentagon, from the office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top professional soldiers who drew it up in the first place." (The Observer, July 14)


    Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz grouping are creating an aura of inevitability around the war with two audiences in mind. They are hoping to split the Iraqi military — hoping that sections of the Iraqi High Command will defect rather than face certain annihilation. But Bush and company are also trying to demoralize any, at home or abroad, who desire to challenge the war before it starts. Bush and the Pentagon know the history of the Vietnam war and they actually fear the potential of massive anti-war resistance from Washington, D.C., to the streets of Cairo and Amman. While the centers of pro-establishment liberalism are playing their usual frightened and collaborationist role in the face of the ultra-militarists, the genuine progressives and anti-imperialist fighters need to do everything in their power to mobilize grassroots opposition on every campus, high school, workplace and community.

    While Bush slashes funds for education, housing, jobs and health care he is calling on the sons and daughters of the working class to kill and be killed in the desert of the Arabian peninsula for the sake of Exxon/Mobil, Texaco, Chase, Citibank and his corporate constituents. This war doesn’t have to happen. Now is the time for the anti-war movement to intensify its mobilization among working and poor people, and especially young people — including those in uniform.

    All anti-war forces should unite right now to launch an energetic and determined mobilization of the people — in the United States and around the world. It is time to remind the war-makers of the inevitability of resistance to their plans for slaughter and destruction.


    Go to for information about upcoming activities against a new U.S. war in Iraq, including the October 26 Internationally Coordinated Day of Mass Actions and the January 18, 2003, National March on the White House in Washington DC.

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