Resolutions of the Chicago Conference Against War and Imperialism
March 25, 2004
American People Demand Peace!
The Chicago Conference Against War and Imperialism joins with the tens of millions of people throughout the country who, with their voices and their actions, are asserting that "The American People Demand Peace!'
The U.S. continues to occupy Iraq and wage a war against the people. The war against Iraq is, from start to finish, an aggressive, colonial war.
The propaganda for the war itself was, in fact, an assault on the people. All the propaganda about "weapons of mass destruction" and "fighting terrorism" was not only lies but was used to justify the doctrine of preventive war. It was used by the U.S. to undermine the system of international law, to deny the sovereign right of countries, and to declare itself the judge, jury and executioner of the people.
The U.S. war against Iraq has resulted in massive civilian deaths and the destruction of Iraqi society. The number of civilians killed since the war began is estimated at more than 50,000 with many more wounded. The bombing has destroyed homes, markets, farms, roads, railroads, schools, hospitals, as well as electrical generation facilities, water and sanitation works, industrial plants, etc. The country's food supply has been disrupted and the health care infrastructure crippled. Illegal weapons, including depleted uranium (DU), napalm and cluster weapons, have been used by U.S. forces. U.S military occupation authorities have established large-scale detention camps holding thousands of prisoners across Iraq and U.S. forces carry out daily mass sweeps and arrests.
The real motives behind this aggressive, imperialist war can be seen in the occupation. U.S. companies are grabbing Iraq's oil and putting the entire economy up for sale. The Pentagon has established permanent military bases to menace the whole region.
The Bush administration has made it clear that the goals of this war are to establish a "free market system" in Iraq and a U. S.-dictated political system. Iraq will be a base to spread U.S. influence and a "free trade zone" throughout the Middle East.
The Chicago Conference Against War and Imperialism demands the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. and foreign troops from Iraq, and the restoration of the sovereign right of the Iraqi people to determine their own affairs.
Today, over 12,000 U.S.-led troops remain in Afghanistan.
The Pentagon is continuing to carry out offensive military operations throughout the country. Villages and airports in numerous cities have been turned into U.S. military bases, U.S. army and special forces operate extensively throughout the country, and the U.S. is setting up a colonial administration.
As a result of the U.S. invasion and occupation, over 8,000 Afghan civilians have been killed and more than 20,000 people may have lost their lives as an indirect result of the war. In addition, a long list of war crimes committed by the U.S. government during its war and occupation of Afghanistan has been documented, including the mass murder of POWs captured by U.S. forces.
According to many reports by human rights groups, a climate of fear exists throughout much of the country today due to the terrorizing activities of soldiers, police, and warlords backed by the United States. These abuses - arbitrary arrests, torture, kidnapping, rape and extortion carried out by army troops, police, and intelligence agents - are frequent and common.
The U.S. occupation aims not only at subjugating Afghanistan but at using that country as another strategic base in its struggle for world domination.
But the opposition to the U.S. military occupation of Afghanistan is continuing and gaining strength.
The U.S. occupation, in addition to denying the inalienable right of self-determination to the people of Afghanistan, will only tie the knot for more wars.
The Chicago Conference Against War and Imperialism demands the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. and foreign troops from Afghanistan, and the restoration of the sovereign right of the Afghan people to determine their own affairs.
On February 29, U.S. marines invaded Haiti, overthrowing the democratically-elected President of the country and imposing U.S. military rule. Bush and other White House officials have stated that the U. S. plans to occupy and colonize the country.
Throughout the 20th century, U.S. imperialism has repeatedly invaded and occupied Haiti while robbing the resources and exploiting the labor of the people. From 1915 to 1934, U.S. marines occupied and directly ruled Haiti. Before leaving the marines installed a puppet government, financed and armed by U.S. imperialism. In 1957, U.S. imperialism and the Haitian elite brought the Duvalier family to power in order to crush the rising democratic and social movements of the masses. In 1986, the Haitian people toppled the Duvalier regime, and unleashed a tremendous democratic and social movement.
In 1990, Jean Bertrand Aristide was elected President based on a program of democratic reforms. But today, U.S. imperialism and its henchmen in Haiti are waging war against the people and preparing to reestablish a U.S. colonial regime.
The Chicago Conference Against War and Imperialism demands the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Haiti, an end to all U.S. interference and the restoration of the constitutional government of the country.
Since 1947 and the end of British colonial rule in Palestine, the Palestinian people have been deprived of their sacred national right to an independent state. With the creation of the state of Israel, the Palestinians became a subject people within their own country and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from their homeland, their houses and villages razed to the ground.
The state of Israel was not only carved out of Palestinian territory but over the last 56 years has continually expanded by waging aggressive wars against the Palestinian people.
In 1967, Israel launched a full-scale war and occupied the rest of Palestine (the West Bank and Gaza), again expropriating Palestinian land and forcing tens of thousands into exile.
Today, the state of Israel has not only usurped the entire historic homeland and nation of Palestine but it has also officially annexed Jerusalem and Syria's Golan Heights. Israel has imposed military rule in the West Bank and Gaza, killing the people, expropriating more land, and establishing new colonial settlements.
Over 350,000 Israelis live in hundreds of settlements established throughout the occupied territories of the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights. Although these settlements are illegal under international law, the Israeli government continues to expand and strengthen them. Settlements are part of a deliberate strategy by the Israeli government to colonize and annex the occupied territories, to undermine the sovereignty of Palestine and keep it under the military thumb of Israel.
Israel's recent construction of a wall consisting of electronic fences, razor wire, trenches and concrete barriers in the West Bank will result in the cantonization of Palestinian land throughout the occupied territories.
U. S. imperialism has always sponsored and relied on the state of Israel as its military outpost in the oil-rich and strategic Middle East. Over these years, the U.S. has sent more than $100 billion in economic and military aid to Israel (an estimated $15 million per day) and continues to support Israeli aggression and annexation of Palestine.
The Chicago Conference Against War and Imperialism supports the Palestinian liberation struggle which aims at establishing an independent Palestinian state. To this end, we call for the immediate end of all U. S. aid to Israel, the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories, the dismantling of Israeli settlements, and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their area of origin.
The Chicago Conference Against War and Imperialism opposes the increasing U.S. pressure and threats against Syria.
The "Syrian Accountability Act" imposes economic and diplomatic sanctions against Syria with the aim of pressuring it to accept U.S. dictate.
Today an extremely dangerous situation exists on the Korean Peninsula.
The Bush administration has attacked the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) as part of an "axis of evil" and officials have publicly announced plans for a nuclear first-strike against the country. The Pentagon is deploying more air, naval and ground troops in and around the Korean peninsula, while carrying out continuous war exercises and daily spy-flights against the north.
The U.S. is exerting all-around diplomatic, political, economic, and ideological pressure aimed at forcing other countries to join it in isolating and attacking the DPRK. Recently, the Bush administration has held a series of meetings with its allies to prepare a blockade against the DPRK. The so-called "Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI)" by the U.S. is nothing short of sea and air piracy and another sign that the U.S. is dangerously stepping up its aggression against North Korea, and preparing for a possible blockade against the country.
While the Bush administration accuses the DPRK of secretly pursuing a nuclear weapons program and breaking agreements, the facts show that it is the U.S. government which continues to militarize the Korean peninsula and threaten the Korean people with nuclear weapons.
The real source of tension on the Korean peninsula is not the DPRK but U.S. imperialism, which continues to occupy the south with over 37,000 troops, and which has committed untold atrocities and crimes against the Korean people.
In 1950, U.S. imperialism launched the Korean War in order to deprive the Korean people of independence, permanently partition the country and occupy South Korea. Napalm and other chemical warfare agents were used extensively in Korea during 1950-53, and the saturation bombing of population centers throughout North Korea, the wholesale murder of civilians in the south, etc., have been repeatedly documented. It was the U.S., not North Korea, which actually used "weapons of mass destruction" against the people of the region.
The Chicago Conference Against War and Imperialism demands the immediate end to all U.S. pressure and interference against the Korean people, including the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops stationed in Korea.
We support the struggle of the Korean people for the peaceful reunification of their country according to the free and sovereign will of the people themselves.
U. S. imperialism is actively organizing counter-revolutionary and illegal forces inside Venezuela.
In April, 2002, the Bush administration tried to instigate a coup d'etat to overthrow the Chavez government and replace it with a coterie of businessmen and military leaders loyal to the U.S. Today, U. S. imperialism and the Venezuelan elite are plotting new attacks on the reform processes and the democratically-elected government.
The government of Hugo Chavez was first elected in 1998 by nearly 60% of the vote and with the support of a broad range of popular organizations and political parties. Chavez has taken a stand against neo-liberal economics and IMF-dictated austerity programs and has encouraged an on-going popular movement which is bringing about important changes in the country's economic and political system.
The Chicago Conference Against War and Imperialism demands an end to U.S. interference in Venezuela, where the Pentagon and U.S. State Department are actively organizing against the elected, constitutional government.
We express solidarity with the Bolivarian process in Venezuela which is fighting for an independent and sovereign country free from outside intervention and interference.
U. S. imperialism is escalating its counter-insurgency war in Colombia.
Over the last 4 years, under "Plan Colombia," the U.S. government has sent more than $2 billion in military aid to the Colombian government which has imposed martial law on most of the country; hundreds of U.S. military advisers, as well as several thousand U.S. mercenaries - including "former" CIA and army operatives - are fighting alongside the Colombian military.
The U.S.-organized counter-insurgency war is directed against the struggles of the Colombian people for national independence and social progress. In addition, the U.S. is waging all-out war against the popular insurgent forces in the countryside. The Colombian army and paramilitary squads, spawned by the U.S., regularly assassinate trade union leaders, peace activists and oppositional political figures, trying to suppress any and every manifestation of the popular struggle.
For decades the Colombian workers, peasants and broad masses of people have been struggling against the fascist government, for the democratization of the political system, against U.S. dictate and domination, and for broad social and economic reforms.
All this century, U.S. imperialism has supported and organized the Colombian military, which is notorious as one of the most violent and repressive regimes in the world. U.S. agri-business interests have long bolstered the power of the Colombian landed oligarchy and, U.S. multi-national corporations have established themselves as the biggest foreign investor in the country.
The counterinsurgency war which the U.S. is waging in Colombia aims not only at maintaining U.S. economic and political domination of Colombia but also at militarizing the entire region - establishing military bases and dispatching U.S. advisers to Peru, to Ecuador and other countries.
The Chicago Conference Against War and Imperialism demands an end to all U.S. military intervention and pressure against Colombia and supports the just struggles of the Colombian people for progress and social emancipation.
The U.S. has been increasing its military presence and direct intervention in the Philippines as part of its official "second front" of its war on terrorism.
U. S. and Philippine forces engage in regular "training exercises" and U. S. military advisers take an active role in counter-insurgency operations. More U.S. troops and military supplies have been deployed in the country and hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid has been given recently to the Philippine army.
The U.S. military buildup and direct, armed intervention aims both at suppressing the independence movement and popular struggles of the people as well as strengthening the Philippines as a major U.S. military base in Asia.
All this century, U.S. imperialism has maintained a colonial and neocolonial regime in the Philippines and used it as a military base for projecting its interests throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Even after the winning of formal independence, the Philippines has remained a neo-colony in which economic and political life continue to be dominated by U.S. multinational corporations.
Behind the phony facade of the "war against terrorism," U.S. imperialism is once again interfering in the affairs of a sovereign country and waging war against the liberation struggle of the people.
The Chicago Conference Against War and Imperialism demands an end to U.S. interference and intervention in the Philippines.
For more than 40 years, the U.S. government has imposed a blockade against Cuba with the goal of overthrowing the government, and restoring Cuba to the status of a U.S. colony or neo-colony.
The U.S. economic embargo against Cuba, first enacted in 1962, imposes a total ban on all food, medicine, equipment and raw materials from the U.S. and prohibits free travel between the two countries. In recent years, legislation has further tightened the embargo. In 1992, Congress passed the Torricelli Bill which, in blatant violation of the sovereignty of other states, imposed sanctions against all countries that trade with Cuba. The Helms-Burton legislation, signed into law 1996, extends such third-party sanctions by denying entry visas to the U.S. for foreign individuals linked to any corporations doing business in Cuba. It also seeks to cut off all international loans to Cuba.
U. S. sanctions have resulted in untold hardship on the Cuban people, denying them medical and humanitarian supplies as well as raw materials, energy and spare parts.
Today, the policy of the U.S. government remains in complete defiance of international law and the accepted principles of sovereign equality amongst nations, non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries as well as the freedom of international trade and navigation. The United Nations General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly every year, for the past 12 years, to condemn the U.S. economic blockade of Cuba.
Since the Cuban revolution of 1959, the U.S. government has continually organized terror against the Cuban people, including numerous acts of sabotage and assassination plots against Cuban diplomats. In 1961, the U.S. launched the unsuccessful Bay of Pigs invasion, and during the "Cuban Missile Crisis," the U.S. even threatened the country with nuclear strikes. It is well-documented that for years anti-Cuban groups, organized by the CIA and operating from the U.S., have carried out terrorist operations and sabotage inside Cuba. Today, it is well-known that Republican and Democratic politicians in the U.S. have continually supported anti-Cuban terrorist groups operating from Florida.
The U.S. government's illegal and inhuman policy of subversion and aggression - its on-going attempt to starve a nation into submission - must be brought to an end.
The Chicago Conference Against War and Imperialism demands an end to the U.S. embargo and blockade and insist that the U. S. government recognize the sovereign and inviolable right of Cuba to determine its own affairs, free of U.S. intervention and pressure.
For more than 100 years, Puerto Rico has been a colony of the United States.
In 1898, the U.S. invaded Puerto Rico. Ten thousand troops occupied the country and the U.S. imposed a colonial administration on the people. Under the Foraker Act (1900) and the Jones Act (1917), Puerto Rico was made an official "possession of the U.S."
The current Commonwealth status of Puerto Rico created in 1952, is merely a continuation of colonial status. The U.S. has established a number of military bases across Puerto Rico.
The Chicago Conference Against War and Imperialism supports the struggle of the people of Puerto Rico to assert their sovereignty, to demand an end to U.S. colonialism, and we recognize Puerto Rico's right to self-determination and independence, up to and including the right to secession.
Hawaiian and Native Peoples
We recognize the right to self-determination, up to and including the right to secession, for the Hawaiin and Native peoples.