Jan 19, 2003 Message from A.N.S.W.E.R.

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Message of Solidarity from the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition Steering Committee to the Japanese and Asia Wide Anti-War Movement

On behalf of the U.S. Anti-War Movement, we want to extend our solidarity>with the Japanese Anti-War Movement and to all of the popular organizations that are taking to the streets today, January 18, to stop the planned war by the Bush Administration against the people of Iraq. The people's anti-war movement that has suddenly emerged on a global scale is the principal restraining force that can prevent the criminal enterprise planned by the White House and the Pentagon against the people of the Middle East.

The ANSWER Coalition initiated the call for massive protests to take place in Washington DC and San Francisco on January 18, two months ago from the stage of the October 26 massive anti-war demonstrations of that day. More than 25 countries around the world will be having demonstrations on January 18 in an expression of global solidarity.

In the United States the Bush Administration quickly and successfully won the support for its planned imperialist war drive from the leadership of the Democratic Party. In October the U.S. Congress illegally abrogated its own constitutional authority by allowing Bush to carry out preemptive war against any "enemy" selected for attack by the administration. The Bush Administration was able to bully and coerce governments of other nations, large and small, into openly or quietly supporting the planned war against Iraq. This gave the U.S. administration the confidence that they could be the masters of the planet and commit any crime in pursuit of their own imperial ambitions.

What the Bush administration and the other governments of the world failed to recognize is that they must contend with an even greater power. It is the power of the people. It is the sons and daughters of the working class who are sent to actually fight the wars. It is the workers in every country whose labor is require to actually prepare the guns, the armaments, the equipment, the transport, to make the war machine work. The people on whom the war makers are dependent are standing up for their own interests and resisting the war. Without the people the war-makers cannot fight the war. All the money and all the weapons of mass destruction cannot eliminate this simple fact -- the war machine has feet of clay. We are not appealing to Bush and the political and economic establishment to carry out a kinder and gentler foreign policy. This political establishment, in fact, is willing to commit any crime and to use limitless violence in order to maintain world domination. The only hope is the mobilization of people everywhere to enter into struggle. All around the world, and throughout the United States, people are participating in the global People's Anti-War Referendum, voting NO to war at www.VoteNoWar.org. People are taking these petitions into their communities and encouraging others to join with them in fighting against the war. Hundreds of thousands have participated in this campaign, including people from many cities in Japan.

It is essential that the world movement understand that the war targeting Iraq is merely step number two in a longer planned project of U.S. imperialism to use military force against countries and governments that have sought to maintain sovereignty, independence and control over the natural resources of their own land. Right now the Bush Administration is threatening the people of Korea. We join with the world movement in demanding that the U.S. government stop threatening the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, that it sign a peace treaty with North Korea ending the Korean war, that it end economic sanctions on the Korean people, and that it remove the 37,000 U.S. troops that occupy the Southern half of Korea. No country can be free as long as its territory is occupied by foreign troops.

The people of the world must stand shoulder to shoulder with the struggling people of the Philippines who are at a critical hour in the century-long fight to be free. U.S. troops and advisors are attempting to escalate the war against the popular movement in the Philippines under the false slogan of the so-called "war on terrorism." Having been driven out of the Subic Bay and Clark Airbase military facilities by the people's movement, the Pentagon is now attempting to reestablish its facilities in the Philippines.

The struggle of the Filipino people has been a source of inspiration for all those who have fought for national liberation, independence and justice. We are all duty bound to make solidarity with their struggle a central platform in the global anti-war movement.

At this moment, the Bush Administration has succeeded in receiving the support of the Koizumi government of Japan in rendering political and military support to the U.S. war drive. It is not in the interest of the people of Japan or people anywhere to have their government function as the junior partner in George Bush's planned war crimes in Iraq. When George Bush talks about Weapons of Mass Destruction, it is the people of Japan who know all too well that the United States government not only possesses over 10,000 nuclear weapons but that it is the U.S. government that has brutally used nuclear weapons incinerating Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Bush administration has stated that it has a new policy that is can use nuclear weapons in a first-strike against even non-nuclear countries. The people of Japan have formed popular and principled resistance to the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and we commend the people of Kobe in particular who have steadfastly refused to allow nuclear ships to enter their port. We also stand in solidarity with the people of Japan who are fighting to have the U.S. troops removed from Okinawa.

You should know that as we struggle against the U.S. government's war drive, the people of the United States are being confronted with new suffering and hardship. The carefully calculated image of the United States as a land of milk and honey conceals the fact that poverty is sharply increasing. George Bush has given billions of dollars to bail out corporations in New York City but the people of the world may not realize that more than 1.5 million people in New York City are now dependent on private charities providing free food handouts to feed their families. The unemployment rate is growing and as the Bush Administration radically shifts funds into the Military-Industrial Complex, the government is carrying out devastating cut-backs in education, housing, and health care that affect working class and poor families the most. 43 million Americans are unable to go to the doctor when they are sick because the lack heath care insurance. Because of the merging of the struggle for peace abroad and social justice at home, the new U.S. anti-war movement is drawing in layers of the population who have the most to lose and the least to gain from imperialist adventures in the Middle East, Asia or elsewhere.

Again, we salute your efforts. The Bush war drive is galvanizing a new level of international solidarity and cooperation by those who seek peace, and we are convinced and optimistic that a revitalized world movement for justice will be born and will prevail.

Stop the War on Iraq!
U.S. Out of the Philippines and Korea!
U.S. Troops and Nuclear Weapons Out of Japan!
Vote No War!
Let us go forward in the spirit of international solidarity.

In solidarity,
The National Steering Committee of the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism)