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Anti-war protests this weekend throughout the U.S.


ANSWER Los Angeles anti-war demonstration

October will mark the 11th anniversary of the U.S./NATO war in Afghanistan. Contrary to countless state­ments from Democratic and Republican administrations alike claiming “great progress,” etc., the occupy­ing forces are no closer to achieving their aims than when they launched the war. In order to avoid the appearance of defeat, Washington continues to prosecute what is now the longest war in U.S. history—at a very heavy cost.

The Afghan people have suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties. Millions more have been dis­placed. More than 2,700 U.S./NATO troops have been killed and tens of thousands wounded. This year, so-called “green-on-blue” killings—U.S.-trained Afghan military personnel and police shooting U.S./NATO troops—have soared, as have suicides among U.S. soldiers.

It is estimated that the cost of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars will end up totaling more than $4.4 trillion, $4,400,000,000,000! Military spending is devouring the resources so badly needed to provide healthcare, housing, education and jobs. This is a major cause of the shocking fact that today 48 percent of the U.S popula­tion is officially classified as “low-income” or in poverty, and the real number is even higher.

On the weekend of Oct. 6-7, 2012, the ANSWER Coalition will join with many other organizations in cities across the country and around the world to call for an end to war and occupation in Afghanistan, Palestine and Haiti, no new wars against Syria, Iran or any country, fund human needs not militarism, and stop the attacks on civil rights and liberties.

Even as the Afghanistan war drags on, the danger of new wars and interventions is on the rise. The severe sanctions imposed on Iran are already taking a deadly toll due to a lack of life-saving medical sup­plies. The sanctions have also brought a sharp increase in inflation particularly affecting food prices.

The aim of the sanctions on Iran, like the 13-year-long blockade of Iraq from 1990-2003, is to weaken the country by imposing extreme hardship on the people. The sanctions/blockade against Iraq was a con­scious, deliberate crime against humanity that took more than a million lives, half of them children under the age of five.

We must act now to prevent a repeat of this scenario in Iran! Attacking Iran could mean an even larger scale and deadlier war. This is not a settled issue: There is a struggle within U.S. ruling circles over whether or not to launch a new bombing war against Iran. This conflict is not based on one side having a more humanitarian view than the other. The opposition to a new war at the top is based on fears that such a war could lead ultimately to the diminishing of U.S. imperial power in the Middle East and beyond.

The United States, Britain, France and other NATO countries have also imposed sanctions on Syria. There are calls for establishing a “no-fly zone” over the country from elements in Congress and the administration. This could only be accomplished by launching a massive air war against Syria.

It is impossible to wage wars around the world and to maintain a military budget bigger that all other countries combined, without simultaneously carrying out a war against working people here. Speaking about this in 1967,Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “The bombs in Vietnam explode at home. They destroy the hopes and possibilities for a decent America.

War is good business for the big banks, oil companies and military-industrial corporations, who have also benefited from huge bailouts, subsidies and tax breaks at our expense. But while a tiny fraction of the popu­lation, the one-tenth of the top 1%, has grown obscenely rich in recent years, the vast majority of people are going backwards.

Real hope lies in building a new and powerful people’s movement. The ANSWER Coalition has been dedicated since its founding in September 2001 to building, strengthen­ing and uniting the struggles against war, racism and all forms of bigotry and oppression.

October 6-7 will be an important opportunity to show opposition to the war against working people here and around the world.

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