A.N.S.W.E.R. Response to Bush press conference: SPRING & SUMMER OF PROTEST & RESISTANCE TO THE OCCUPATION OF IRAQ
April 14, 2004--Although he rejected the analogy between Iraq and Vietnam, George W. Bush is closely following the script of Johnson and Nixon during the Vietnam War. While predicting that the U.S. would be ultimately victorious, the administration is in fact desperately preparing for an escalation, including the sending of more troops to suppress the rebellion in Iraq. In fact, Bush announced tonight (April 13) that he is ready to send thousands more U.S. troops to Iraq. He denied that the rebellion in Iraq was based on a popular insurgency. He also admitted that the original rationale provided for the war - the elimination of Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction - was no longer the stated reason for the U.S. invasion. A.N.S.W.E.R. has always argued that the elimination of Iraq's so-called weapons arsenal was simply a pretext for an imperial foreign policy objective.
This is altogether reminiscent of the conduct of the Johnson and Nixon administrations during Vietnam. They lied to the people about the purpose of the war, the conduct of the war, endlessly tried to assuage public opinion by promising that there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and as the adventure encountered the stiff resistance of the Vietnamese people, they were compelled to regularly increase the number of troops sent to the conflict.
Bush's speech tonight espoused the worst kind of national chauvinism and racism. He asserted that the ongoing assault against the Iraqi people is part of the struggle by the "civilized world" against the Iraqi insurgents.
Bush is trying to convince the people of the United States that U.S. military operations in Iraq are directed against a small number of "fanatics" and "terrorists." He said that the war, which has taken tens of thousands of lives, was justified even though he admitted that no weapons of mass destruction had been found. The new rationale for this war of aggression, according to Bush, was that "we're changing the world."
The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition is initiating intensified actions at the local, regional and national level in the coming weeks and months to widen the popular movement that demands "Bring the troops home now, End the occupation of Iraq." A list of these activities can be found below. The popular mass movement that is sweeping Iraq in opposition to occupation, along with the worldwide anti-war movement, will grow in the weeks and months ahead. It is noteworthy that the Bush administration has, in tonight's speech, adopted at least in part the political program proposed by John Kerry. Kerry and now Bush are calling for an expanded role for NATO military forces in order to subdue the resistance inside Iraq.
Only the people's movement can create an effective challenge to the plans to impose U.S. empire in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Haiti, the Philippines, Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Colombia and among all those in the world who desire to be independent and sovereign.
The people of the United States are disgusted that the government spends hundreds of billions of dollars to kill people in the Third World, occupy their land, and use U.S. soldiers as cannon fodder in the enterprise. At the same time, the administration slashes funds for education, healthcare, housing, jobs and other vitally-needed social programs.
The Spring and Summer of Protest and Resistance began last weekend with a nationwide outpouring in more than 60 U.S. cities (between April 9 and 12) in response to an emergency call to action initiated by the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition. The A.N.S.W.E.R.-initiated call to action drew tens of thousands of people into the streets on short notice and received widespread media coverage. See www.internationalanswer.org/news/update/041104a10press.html for a report and press coverage. These demonstrations illustrate the commitment of thousands of activists across the country and around the world to continue to build the movement against the occupation of Iraq, as well as the rising tide of public opinion to bring the troops home now. In response to the emergency call for protests, many groups will be continuing to carry out emergency anti-war actions in the coming days and weeks.
JOIN THE SPRING & SUMMER OF PROTEST & RESISTANCE! See below for a calendar detailing actions against the occupation of Iraq taking place over the next five months:
APRIL 25: The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition supports the April 25 mass mobilization in Washington DC to defend women's rights and reproductive freedom. The Bush administration and the ultra-right are working to overturn the gains the women's movement has made over the last thirty-five years. Women have the right to control their own bodies and their lives. A.N.S.W.E.R. is organizing an anti-war contingent in the March for Women's Lives. The main assembly for the demonstration will be on the National Mall (between 3rd and 14th Sts.) at 10 am, with a march beginning at 12 noon. The anti-war contingent will have two meeting locations before assembling on the Mall: (1) 7th St. between Madison Dr. and Constitution Ave. NW and (2) 7th St. between Jefferson Dr. and Independence Ave. SW. You can also meet up with the contingent at our banner in the main assembly area on the Mall on the southeast corner of 7th St. and Madison Dr. NW.
MAY 1: Nationally-coordinated demonstrations, rallies, teach-ins, and forums on the anniversary of George W. Bush's declaration of the end of major combat operations in Iraq. May 1 was the date that George Bush dressed up like a soldier, flew onto the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, and posed for that disgusting photo op where he could claim credit for the conquering of Iraq. Far from having ended major military combat, the war in Iraq only intensified. More U.S. soldiers have been killed or wounded since May 1 than during the invasion phase of the war. Nearly 10,000 soldiers have been evacuated from Iraq for wounds and other injuries. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, and in the last week the Bush administration executed a bloodbath as a form of collective punishment for the people of Fallujah and elsewhere throughout Iraq. The May 1 anniversary will be marked by nationally-coordinated activities - demonstrations, rallies, teach-ins, and forums exposing the lies of the Bush administration. To list your May 1 event on the A.N.S.W.E.R. website, fill out the form at http://www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/m1/event.html . See below for information about another calendar on which you can post your event.
JUNE 30: Nationally-coordinated demonstrations on the day of the so-called "turnover of sovereignty" in Iraq. Demonstrate to say NO to fake "Sovereignty" for Iraq and to End the Occupation and Bring the Troops Home Now! To list your June 30 event on the A.N.S.W.E.R. website, fill out the form at http://www.internationalanswer.org/campaigns/j30/event.html . See below for information about another calendar on which you can post your event.
JULY 25: Protest the Democratic National Convention in Boston. The July 25 Mass March will kick off a week of protests against the DNC.
AUGUST 29: Protest the Republican National Convention in New York City. The August 29 Mass March will kick off a week of protests against the RNC.
For more information on these and other upcoming events - including how you can get involved - go to http://www.internationalanswer.org . Please make sure you're on our alert list - you can join by filling out the form at http://internationalanswer.org/subscribelist.html
April 14, 2004--We are announcing the new VoteNoWar National and Local Event Calendar to help build and strengthen the growing anti-war and social justice movement. This new calendar - at www.VoteNoWar.org/events.htm - has been designed to support the efforts of grassroots and national event organizers.
Event organizers can reach the hundreds of thousands of people who visit the VoteNoWar web site every month, and activists can find out about progressive events of interest to them. It's easy to use, just select your state from the graphic map of the U.S., and you'll be taken to this month's calendar. Organizers of events of national or regional interest can post their event to a single calendar, and it will automatically appear on every affected state/local calendar.
Special features include the ability for users to sign up to be automatically notified if the location, date, time or specifics of an event that is of interest to them changes. Because e-mail privacy is so important, e-mails are not disseminated even to event organizers. The system automatically dispatches an update when a change to that event is posted. You can be assured that you'll know of important changes to an event that interests you without having to be added to a new e-mail list.
For organizers, this provides a mechanism to update people who are interested in your event, should changes occur, even reaching people who may not be on your email list.
The calendar has just been added to the VoteNoWar web site, so events are now just about to be posted. For event organizers, now is the time to visit the VoteNoWar National and Local Event Calendar. For event attendees, come back regularly to see the new events that may be of interest to you.
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