Monthly Archives: June 2007

The Antiwar Movement Today

The Antiwar Movement Today
Presentation by Michael Letwin, New York City Labor Against the War
ISO Summer School
June 16, 2007 (31st Anniversary of Mass Uprising in Soweto 566 died)

This is a very strange political moment.

On the one hand, the U.S. can’t win in Iraq, and that’s why, in November, people elected Democrats to end that war.

On the other hand, in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the ground and air war has sharply escalated; the U.S. has openly promoted civil war in Palestine; continued to arm the Lebanese state against the Palestinians and Hezbollah; sponsored an invasion of Somalia; and ratcheted-up threats of war on Iran.

Rather than end the war in Iraq, the Democrats have given Bush every penny he’s asked for — without even the pretense of phoney timetables — and signed on to the demand for oil privatization in Iraq. Overall, the leading Democratic presidential contenders are at least as belligerent militarists as the Republicans.

Even Murtha-esque proposals for “speedy withdrawal,” “timetables,” and “redeployment” are designed to more effectively maintain U.S. control over
Iraq. They effectively call for continued U.S. support for the puppet Iraqi regime, including ground offensives, the air war, death squads, or mass detention; they do not even pretend to oppose other fronts of U.S. war in the Middle East, such as Afghanistan and Palestine.

None of this is surprising, since both parties support U.S. domination around the world, particularly over Middle Eastern oil and strategic location.

Despite all this, the U.S. antiwar movement is in crisis. To varying degrees, the
“mainstream” Peaceocracy has compromised opposition to war funding. A few months ago, MoveOn openly supported the Democrats vote for war funding with timetables. UFPJ — whose leadership is dominated primarily by the Communist Party and Committee for Correspondence — disagreed with MoveOn, but watered down its already-weak support for immediate withdrawal.

In fact, UFPJ co-chair Judith LeBlanc recently declared that “the Democrats are using the politics of reality,” and CPUSA publications call not for immediate withdrawal, but for Congress to “Set the Date.” We should expect that UPFJ and Co. will support whoever wins the Democratic nomination in 2008, just as it did behind prowar John Kerry in 2004.

Meanwhile, UFPJ and US Labor Against the War are currently sponsoring an “Iraq Labor Tour” that includes a representative from the General Federation of Iraqi Workers, which openly supports the Iraq puppet regime, supports Bush’s “surge,” and opposes immediate withdrawal.

Under pressure from the Arab-Muslim community and parts of the left, UFPJ has felt compelled to say something about Palestine, an example of which was its June 10 event in D.C.  But it has absolutely no credibility among Arab Muslims because it keeps Palestine completely segregated from Iraq — which is why there was virtually no reference to the issue at its January 27 mass rally in D.C.

It refused to support ANSWER’s August 2006 protest in D.C. against the Israeli-US invasion of Lebanon. And it defines the “Israeli occupation” as something that dates only to 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan, rather than the all of historic Palestine, which has been occupied since the Israeli apartheid state was created in 1948.

Of course, the antiwar movement is far larger than MoveOn, UFPJ or USLAW.
Thousands of people are involved in grassroots antiwar action, such as that against military recruiters. ANSWER, CAN, Troops Out Now Coalition, New York City Labor Against the War, Al-Awda and other formations are important alternatives. Still, at critical moments the Peaceocracy has enough influence to lead much of the movement rightwards.

In part, this is because UFPJ et al have funding and organization. But it is also because those of us in the antiwar left have not had a clear enough alternative for how to actually end the war.

Discussion of those alternative strategies usually focus on more frequent mass
demonstrations, counter-recruitment, and/or direct action. While these are all valid tactics, the Vietnam antiwar movement suggests that this war will end only when workers — particularly those in uniform – take action.

In fact, recognition of the need for a bottom-up, working class, multi-issue antiwar movement, independent of the Democratic Party, for immediate and unconditional withdrawal, is what defined the position of the International Socialists, the ISO’s predecessor, during the Vietnam war.

And it was largely that position which recruited groups like the Red Tide (a revolutionary high school group in California, which became the IS youth organization) and the Socialist Collective (a Black Marxist organization in Los Angeles).

The IS emphasized working class antiwar resistance for the same reason it emphasized working class revolution: only workers have both the objective need and the power to end the war. For what is more powerful than workers in uniform fighting their officers rather than the “enemy,” or civilian workers undermining production? Vietnamese resistance generated these
developments, which ultimately defeated the U.S. war machine.

This same logic applies today. Resistance in Iraq and throughout the Middle East has brought about overwhelming opposition to the war — at least in Iraq — among U.S. workers, uniformed and civilian, who have unique power to end the war.

How do we build more effective antiwar movement? There are no guarantees of success. But to end the war, we need to argue for:

1. Firm and consistent antiwar positions rooted in independence from Democratic Party.

2. Immediate withdrawal of U.S. empire from entire Middle East: U.S. forces out of Iraq, Afghanistan — No timetable, advisers, redeployment, air war or puppet states.

3. No war on Iran.

4. End all aid to the Israeli apartheid state — Freedom for Palestine
means the Right of Return.

5. U.S. hands off the Philippines, Colombia, Haiti, Venezuela, Cuba — and the rest of the world.

6. Connect with War at Home.

7. End the attack on Arab/Muslim rights.

8. No human being is “illegal” – Full amnesty for undocumented
immigrants; no guest worker program.

9. Reconstruction and the right of return for Katrina victims.

10. Defend labor rights.

And we must reflect these positions through bottom-up mobilization and alliances, especially among those with the power to end the war: workers.

Our strategy must prominently include:
• Counter-recruitment (CAN).
• GI resistance (IVAW, GI Special).
• Immigrant rights movement.
• Other labor resistance, e.g., TWU strike.

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Further Debate General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW)

The following two comments are in response to messages from New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW) that point out the pro-occupation position taken by the General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW), one of whose representatives is currently speaking on a tour sponsored by U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW), United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Those prior NYCLAW messages are posted at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LaborAgainstWar/message/2602
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LaborAgainstWar/message/2593
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LaborAgainstWar/message/2264

————-
June 8, 2007 FROM: John Braxton, Co-President, AFT 2026 and representative to the USLAW Steering Committee from Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO

Please read the attached excerpt from an interview with Hashmeya Hussein that explains her position on withdrawal of US troops. If you truly want to have a dialogue on this issue, I assume that you will post this excerpt on your next e-mail announcement to your NYCLAW list. I assume that you will welcome her statement: “I wish the occupation would leave in the fastest way possible” and that you will want everyone on your NYCLAW list to have this information.

In the interest of building a strong and united peace movement, I look forward to your next NYCLAW posting.

John Braxton

Interview excerpt:

Swanson: Yes. And do the Iraqi people want the US soldiers to stay in Iraq or to leave?

Hussein: We suffered from dictatorship for 35 years. We all wanted a change. But we did not choose war or occupation. We were hoping that the change would be from inside and that the Iraqi people would be supported in doing so. All along the Iraqis, we have not been able to do so.

I believe the uprisings that took place after invasion of Kuwait in ’91, there was people uprising but there was no leadership to plan and implement. And who participated in pressing this uprising is America, is the American administration because it gave permission to the Iraqi government at the time which was to fly their airplanes even when there was a no-fly zone.

Swanson: Yes.

Hussein: And they gave them specifics of where these uprisings were taking place and then the government . . .

And I believe the whole world got to witness the abuse that took place and the atrocity that took place at the time. And just as I am coming on my flight a couple of days ago, on the plane I was watching, there was a program, and I don’t know what it was, but I was watching, Chemical Hassan was kicking with his foot the people that were doing the uprising. So I am sure people throughout the world got to witness that also.

And the war took place and afterwards it became a reality. So we are now in the new invasion, in the invasion and many people heard about this

As an example, the resistance that took place in one town the people resisted for two weeks continuously, but it is a small population against a big army. The people cannot resist for such a big army.

In the beginning, after the fall of the regime, people were optimistic because they were hoping for something better. They had been oppressed for 35 years. They Iraqi people they have not received anything other than pain, become backwards in everything, no services, no electricity, no health care. The most we are using until today are Saddam Hussein’s laws. Everything has gotten worse.

We wish that the occupation would leave in the fastest possible way. Withdraw all their troops out of Iraq. We feel and we see that this is the only solution for the Iraqi people.

Swanson: And do most Iraqis agree with that?

Hussein: We are in the union organization as a union force. We believe that. And we have taken our efforts and discussions to the Parliament and to the government and so this moment we demand the withdrawal of the occupation.

————-

June 9, 2007

From: hana abdul ilah al bayaty, BRussells Tribunal Executive Committee

Several issues are at stake here:

1. Where can we find the declaration from the delegates of GFIW of their endorsement of an immediate withdrawal?

2. Are we talking about an immediate AND complete (including military basis and the 120 000 private “security contractors” which work as mercenaries in this corporate war) AND unconditional withdrawal?

3. Do we agree that according to international law, the pre-emptive war against the sovereign state of Iraq, one of the founding members of the UN, was and remains illegal, therefore all that derives from it is illegal and null and void, including the entire political process, its fake elections, so called constitution, agreements, treaties and contracts?

The GFIW being affiliated to several political parties directly participating to this criminal political process of plunder and massacre, I doubt that it agrees that as stated by international law, the resistance of the Iraqi people to this ferocious occupation is legal and legitimate and can resort to any means including armed struggle. As the occupation dismantled what was the sovereign state of Iraq and imposed an illegal political process, the people who resisted and still resist this dismantlement are the sole representative of the Iraqi people.

No legitimacy can be afforded to a parliament which sat for sectarian and personal reasons making millions while overseeing the biggest humanitarian tragedy since WWII, resulting in the death of a million of its own citizens and forcing minimum 4 millions to flee, while organizing the biggest theft of contemporary history. No legitimacy can be given to any US appointed entity pretending to represent the Iraqi people. The Iraqi resistance is the sole legal and legitimate representative of the Iraqi people. Unless GFIW states this clearly that the political process is illegal, then it cannot be considered anti occupation.

http://www.brusselstribunal.org/ResistanceLegal.htm

I went to see what “sister” Hussein has to say and advocate for. It seems blur to me. She mentions “terrorist attacks” but makes no mention of the state sponsored terrorism of the occupation and their sectarian stooges.

It is not surprising however that GFIW opposes this law. No Iraqi politician including our worse collaborators can sign the US sponsored oil draft. All know that it is a red line that cannot be crossed. It simply means political suicide. It is important to differentiate between patriotic Iraqi forces and mere opportunistic stands if we are to work in solidarity to end this tragedy.

yours in struggle,

hana abdul ilah al bayaty BRussells Tribunal Executive Committee

New York City Labor Against the War Response to USLAW

Please note that the previous posting of the statement below inadvertently cited the source for a statement by Hassan Juma’a Awad, leader of the Iraq Federation of Oil Unions (which just conducted a major strike), that the IFTU/GFIW “[does] not oppose the occupation but are linked to their stooge regime.”

The correct citation is: The Socialist (U.K.), March 19, 2005
http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/2005/385/index.html?id=pp8.htm

The corrected statement follows
———————

NYCLAW Response to USLAW on GFIW

USLAW leadership’s overheated defense of the General Federal of Iraqi Workers (GFIW) <http://nyc.indymedia.org/or/2007/06/87029.html> is unpersuasive.

It consists largely of an angry tirade against New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW), which is accused of spreading “misinformation,” “malicious, red-baiting characterizations,” “unprincipled attacks,” “put[ting] courageous [GFIW] labor leaders in grave danger,” “breed[ing] confusion and division,” and “destructive baiting.”

This litany of name-calling speaks volumes about USLAW leadership’s intolerance for dissent. But how does it address — let alone refute — the fully-documented evidence about GFIW’s support for U.S. occupation of Iraq? <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LaborAgainstWar/message/2593> <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LaborAgainstWar/message/2264>

Indeed, the *only* evidence contained in USLAW’s response is a declaration, signed by GFIW’s predecessor (IFTU) during the 2005 U.S. Iraq labor tour, that calls for “the war and occupation to end.”

But this proves only that, when expedient, GFIW can talk vaguely antiwar talk — not that it walks the walk. How is that any different from Democratic politicians who vote to fund the war they claim to oppose?

Again, we ask trade unionists and antiwar activists to reject attempts to silence those who report facts freely available to anyone who cares to look. Critically assess the unchallenged evidence posted above. Challenge GFIW’s representative and tour sponsors to honestly answer questions such as the following:

1. Did Abdullah Muhsin, GFIW International Representative, state that, “If the American troops leave, Iraq will become a bloodbath and turn toward the dark ages”? (Philadelphia Citypaper, January 31, 2007, http://www.citypaper.net/articles/2007/02/01/occupational-hazards)

2. Did Wishyaar Hamad Haji, a member of the secretariat of the Iraqi Kurdistan Teachers’ Union, a GFIW affiliate, tell trade unionists in the U.K. that “troops out now would be a ‘catastrophe’ without first building up the capacity of the Iraqi security forces, for which he wanted training from British troops”? (GFIW, April 19, 2007, http://www.iraqitradeunions.org/archives/000932.html)

3. Why did Hassan Juma’a Awad, leader of the Iraq Federation of Oil Unions (which just conducted a major strike), state that the IFTU/GFIW “[does] not oppose the occupation but are linked to their stooge regime”? (The Socialist (U.K.), March 19, 2005 http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/2005/385/index.html?id=pp8.htm)

4. Does the GFIW agree with Raid Fahmi, member of the Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist party, that, “It’s not possible to call for an immediate [U.S.] withdrawal”? (Political Affairs, November 25, 2006, http://www.politicalaffairs.net/article/articleview/4453/1/32/)

5. Does the GFIW agree with Hameed Moussa, head of the Iraqi Communist Party, that Bush’s “surge” is a “positive” plan that “will succeed despite of challenges and difficulties”? (Deutsche Presse-Agentur, February 25, 2007, http://news.monstersandcritics.com/middleeast/news/article_1269172.php)

6. In what statement has the GFIW ever called for an *immediate* end to the U.S. war and occupation?

* * *

NYCLAW Co-Conveners
(Other affiliations listed for identification only):

Larry Adams
Former President, NPMHU Local 300

Michael Letwin
Former President, UAW Local 2325/Assn. of Legal Aid Attorneys; Former
member, USLAW and UFPJ national steering committees

Brenda Stokely
Former President, AFSCME DC 1707; Co-Chair, Million Worker March

General Federation of Iraqi Workers — Against the Occupation of Iraq? (MRZine)

05/06/07

General Federation of Iraqi Workers —
Against the Occupation of Iraq?

by Michael Letwin

This month, US Labor Against the War, United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) and other organizations are sponsoring an “Iraq Labor Tour” in various U.S. cities.

One of the featured speakers represents the Iraq Federation of Oil Workers, which spearheads opposition to privatization of Iraqi oil and demands immediate U.S. withdrawal.

However, the tour also includes a representative of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW).  The GFIW (formerly IFTU) is sponsored by the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP) and former U.S.-installed Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.  These parties oppose immediate U.S. withdrawal, support Bush’s “surge,” and demand that the Iraqi puppet regime crush Iraqi resistance — positions that are echoed by the GFIW.

Inexplicably, U.S. tour organizers deny these well-documented facts (see, e.g., “Trojan Horse in the Antiwar Movement: Facts About the IFTU,” New York City Labor Against the War, June 20, 2005, <groups.yahoo.com/group/LaborAgainstWar/message/2264>), which are confirmed by recent evidence (below).*

NYCLAW believes that such support for pro-occupation forces undermines genuine solidarity with Iraqi workers, weakens the fight for immediate U.S. withdrawal, and has no place on an antiwar platform.  We also believe that tour organizers owe an explanation for their continuing misrepresentation of GFIW’s true position.

We urge those who attend these public meetings to question the sponsors and GFIW representatives on these issues.

*

Political Affairs, November 25, 2006

As Iraqi Minister of Science and Technology, Raid Fahmi is also a member of the Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist party. . . .

We think that it’s not possible to call for an immediate withdrawal.  The country is united on this front. . . . At this point, we can say that the maximum period for withdrawal should not surpass three years.  As for the military bases, the Iraqi government has not yet dealt with this question.

People’s Weekly World, November 30, 2006

Iraqi Communist Party viewpoint

A national consensus is emerging in Iraq, among the major political forces, that there should be a clearly defined objective timetable for a speedy withdrawal of the occupying forces, linked to rebuilding the Iraqi armed forces. . . .  [A]n immediate withdrawal is widely seen by Iraqis as not feasible.

Philadelphia Citypaper, January 31, 2007

While [antiwar]  protesters would applaud [U.S. withdrawal], Abdullah Muhsin, international representative of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU), says the prospect of a U.S. withdrawal is to be feared. . . .

“[T]he removal of foreign troops should happen at a time when the Iraqis have security forces which are fully loyal to Iraq and its constitution, and a police to maintain law and order. . . .  If the American troops leave, Iraq will become a bloodbath and turn toward the dark ages.”

An official with the national oil union in Iraq who identified himself as Abdull-Latif during a telephone interview last week has a different perspective.  “We are against any occupation,” he said in Arabic.  “It was imposed on us and we want Iraq to be completely sovereign so we can make our own decisions.”

Deutsche Presse-Agentur, February 25, 2007

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Saturday . . . praised the results of a newly implemented security strategy [Bush’s “surge”], in which he claimed that Iraqi and coalition forces have killed 400 terrorists and detained more than 400 others. . . .

Hameed Moussa, head of the Iraqi Communist Party, also described the plan as ‘positive,’ and called ‘comforting’ the initial indications.

‘It will succeed despite of challenges and difficulties,’ he added.

Arab News, March 31, 2007

In Iraq, the two Communist parties, along with the Social Democrats and other center-left groups, supported the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and continue to play a significant role in shaping the new pluralist system. . . .

[S]ays Awad Nasir, one of Iraq’s best-known poets and a lifelong Communist.  “We heard from the US and Western Europe that being left meant being anti-American.  So we were anti-American. And then we saw Americans coming from the other side of the world to save us from Saddam Hussein, something that our leftist friends and the Soviet Union would never contemplate”. . . .

“We had hoped that with a party of the left in power in Madrid we would get more support against the Islamofascists not a withdrawal,” says Aziz Al-Haj, the veteran Iraqi Communist leader. . . .

Reza Khosravi, a veteran of Iran’s Communist movement, cites history as justification for the left’s rejection of “banal anti-Americanism.”

GFIW, April 19, 2007

Wishyaar Hamad Haji, a member of the secretariat of the [GFIW-affiliate] Iraqi Kurdistan Teachers’ Union. . . . was on a whistle-stop tour [of the UK]. . . .

[H]e argued that troops out now would be a “catastrophe” without first building up the capacity of the Iraqi security forces, for which he wanted training from British troops.  If only more people on the left would heed what trade unionists like Wishyaar are asking for.


Michael Letwin, Former President of UAW Local 2325/Assn. of Legal Aid Attorneys, is a co-conveners of NYC Labor Against the War.

Iraq: USLAW/UFPJ Again Sponsor Pro-Occupation Speaker

This month, US Labor Against the War, United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) and the American Friends Service Committee are sponsoring an “Iraq Labor Tour” to various U.S. cities <http://www.uslaboragainstwar.org/article.php?list=type&type=103>.

One of the featured speakers represents the Iraq Federation of Oil Workers <http://basraoilunion.org/&gt;, which spearheads opposition to privitazation of Iraqi oil and demands immediate U.S. withdrawal.

However, the tour also includes a representative of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW). The GFIW (formerly IFTU) is sponsored by the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP) and former U.S.-installed Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.

These parties not only oppose immediate U.S. withdrawal, but support Bush’s “surge,” and demand that the Iraqi puppet regime crush Iraqi resistance — positions that are echoed by the GFIW.

This is the second such tour in which the U.S. organizers inexplicably deny these well-documented facts (see, e.g., Trojan Horse in the Antiwar Movement: Facts About the IFTU, New York City Labor Against the War, June 20, 2005, <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LaborAgainstWar/message/2264>), which are confirmed by recent evidence (below).

NYCLAW believes that such support for pro-occupation forces undermines genuine solidarity with Iraqi workers, weakens the fight for immediate U.S. withdrawal, and has no place on an antiwar platform. We also believe that tour organizers owe an explanation for their continuing misrepresentation of GFIW’s true position.

We urge those who attend these public meetings to question the sponsors and GFIW representatives on these issues.

————
Political Affairs, November 25, 2006

As Iraqi Minister of Science and Technology, Raid Fahmi is also a member of the Central Committee of the Iraqi Communist party. . . .

We think that it’s not possible to call for an immediate withdrawal. The country is united on this front. . . . At this point, we can say that the maximum period for withdrawal should not surpass three years. As for the military bases, the Iraqi government has not yet dealt with this question.

http://www.politicalaffairs.net/article/articleview/4453/1/32/

————
People’s Weekly World, November 30, 2006

Iraqi Communist Party viewpoint

A national consensus is emerging in Iraq, among the major political forces, that there should be a clearly defined objective timetable for a speedy withdrawal of the occupying forces, linked to rebuilding the Iraqi armed forces. . . . [A]n immediate withdrawal is widely seen by Iraqis as not feasible.

http://www.pww.org/article/articleview/10226/1/148/

————
Philadelphia Citypaper, January 31, 2007

While [antiwar] protesters would applaud [U.S. withdrawal], Abdullah Muhsin, international representative of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU), says the prospect of a U.S. withdrawal is to be feared.
. . .

“[T]he removal of foreign troops should happen at a time when the Iraqis have security forces which are fully loyal to Iraq and its constitution, and a police to maintain law and order. . . . If the American troops leave, Iraq will become a bloodbath and turn toward the dark ages.”

An official with the national oil union in Iraq who identified himself as Abdull-Latif during a telephone interview last week has a different perspective. “We are against any occupation,” he said in Arabic. “It was imposed on us and we want Iraq to be completely sovereign so we can make our own decisions.”

http://www.citypaper.net/articles/2007/02/01/occupational-hazards

————
Deutsche Presse-Agentur, February 25, 2007

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Saturday . . . praised the results of a newly implemented security strategy [Bush’s “surge], in which he claimed that Iraqi and coalition forces have killed 400 terrorists and detained more than 400 others. . . .

Hameed Moussa, head of the Iraqi Communist Party, also described the plan as ‘positive,’ and called ‘comforting’ the initial indications.

‘It will succeed despite of challenges and difficulties,’ he added.

http://news.monstersandcritics.com/middleeast/news/article_1269172.php

————
Arab News, March 31, 2007

In Iraq, the two Communist parties, along with the Social Democrats and other center-left groups, supported the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and continue to play a significant role in shaping the new pluralist system. . . .

[S]ays Awad Nasir, one of Iraq’s best-known poets and a lifelong Communist. “We heard from the US and Western Europe that being left meant being anti-American. So we were anti-American. And then we saw Americans coming from the other side of the world to save us from Saddam Hussein, something that our leftist friends and the Soviet Union would never contemplate”. . . .

“We had hoped that with a party of the left in power in Madrid we would get more support against the Islamofascists not a withdrawal,” says Aziz Al-Haj, the veteran Iraqi Communist leader. . . .

Reza Khosravi, a veteran of Iran’s Communist movement, cites history as justification for the left’s rejection of “banal anti-Americanism.”

http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/20677

————
GFIW, April 19, 2007

Wishyaar Hamad Haji, a member of the secretariat of the [GFIW-affiliate] Iraqi Kurdistan Teachers’ Union. . . . was on a whistle-stop tour [of the UK]. . . .

[H]e argued that troops out now would be a “catastrophe” without first building up the capacity of the Iraqi security forces, for which he wanted training from British troops. If only more people on the left would heed what trade unionists like Wishyaar are asking for.

http://www.iraqitradeunions.org/archives/000932.html