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

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