Convention Resolution

Resolution 52: Bring All the Troops and Contractors Home!

Submitted by Alameda Labor Council (Calif.)
Amended by the International Labor Committee

WHEREAS, the 2005 AFL-CIO convention resolved that “Our soldiers...deserve a commitment from our country’s leaders to bring them home rapidly. An unending military presence will waste lives and resources, undermine our nation’s security and weaken our military;” and

WHEREAS, at the time of that convention, 1,700 U.S. troops had already lost their lives in Iraq, and today there are more than 4,300 u.S. dead and more than 30,000 seriously wounded; and

WHEREAS, the nation confronts the most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression and as a consequence millions of workers have lost their jobs or suffered cuts in working hours and wages, social programs and government services are being cut or eliminated across the country for lack of resources while our country has spent $650 billion in Iraq already and nearly $900 billion since 2001, including Afghanistan; and

WHEREAS, under terms of the Status of Forces Agreement signed by the Bush administration, u.S. forces will remain in Iraq until the end of 2011, and will continue to engage in combat and suffer casualties as long as they remain in that country; and

WHEREAS, in March 2008, Barack Obama said, “It is past time to end this war that should never have been waged by bringing our troops home, and finally pushing Iraq’s leaders to take responsibility for their future. As we do, we must serve the memory of all who have died as well as they who served our country, by providing support for their families, caring for our troops and veterans and upholding the American values which our fallen heroes exemplified through their service”; and

WHEREAS, at its 2005 convention, the AFL-CIO  called for “rapid” withdrawal from Iraq—and four years later, 130,000 troops and 190,000 contractors are still in Iraq;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Alameda County Labor Council reaffirms its opposition to the continuing military occupation of Iraq and calls for the speedy withdrawal of all military forces and armed contractors from Iraq; and

BE IT FuRTHER RESOLVED, that the Alameda County Labor Council calls upon the Congress and president to redirect the resources now squandered in Iraq to meeting the urgent needs of the American people, restoring and fully funding vital social programs and public services, developing sustainable technologies to address global warming, creating quality long-term jobs that provide a decent living, rebuilding the Gulf Coast and our nation’s infrastructure and a host of other needs that will provide our country with real security; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the Alameda County Labor Council will submit this resolution with a request for concurrence by the California Labor Federation and by the AFL-CIO at its 2009 convention.