Failing Iraq/Failing at Home
Despite growing public opposition, Congress is repeating the mistake they made before the Iraq war began: giving President Bush an $87 billion green light for a muddled, unwinnable policy. Facing deep budget cuts, deficits and unmet needs at home, Americans are angry about war profiteering by U.S. corporations in Iraq. Last week's victories in Congress and the UN will lead us deeper into the quagmire without a fundamental change of course.
The United Nations - not the United States - should oversee the transition to Iraqi self-governance and reconstruction. We can't keep throwing money - and soldiers lives - at a crisis with no end in sight. Tell Congress to:
- demand a realistic plan to bring U.S. troops home and stop the mounting casualties
- demand a plan bringing the reconstruction and transition to Iraqi self-governance under full UN oversight
- demand fairness, openness and accountability in budgeting and contracts in the Iraq Supplementals and beyond
- repeal tax cuts for the richest 1 percent of Americans to help fund reconstruction in Iraq and human needs at home
Rebuild Iraq in accordance with international law
Great power brings great responsibility. The U.S. must meet its legal obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention to repair war damages and provide food, water, and public safety to Iraq. It would be wrong for Congress to make U.S. aid a loan, adding to Iraq 's crushing debt, but right to bring reconstruction now under full UN oversight.
Rebuilding cannot progress effectively with growing resentment toward the U.S. military and corporations. The reconstruction process must fully involve humanitarian agencies and reinforce - rather than undermine - Iraqi workers, business and self-rule.
While conceding an increased role in development aid for the UN and World Bank, the U.S. continues to dominate Iraq 's military, economic and political reconstruction, alienating many Iraqis and other nations. The UN should oversee the reconstruction in concert with a clear transition to Iraq self-governance. U.S. control is deepening the quagmire.
No war profiteering
Reconstruction contracts have favored firms with ties to the Bush administration, and Iraqi firms are getting a raw deal. War profiteering is wrong, rips off Americans and Iraqis, fuels resentment and hurts reconstruction.
No "second looting" of Iraq by U.S. corporations.
Congress should hold hearings on the awarding of reconstruction contracts, and stop companies from making excess profits off war or through privatization of Iraqi infrastructure and services.
Fund human needs at home
How can we meet our moral obligation in Iraq, while adequately funding good schools, health care, jobs, housing, infrastructure, renewable energy and public safety at home?
- 9 million Americans are unemployed, 35 million live under the official poverty line, 44 million have no health insurance, and millions more are unable to make ends meet.
- States face their worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression, and the yearly federal budget deficit is passing $500 billion and growing rapidly.
- Thousands of military families earn so little, they are struggling to get by. We need to fully fund services and benefits for U.S. troops, veterans and their families.
Repeal the tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%
It's wrong to ask soldiers and non-wealthy Americans to sacrifice while giving the wealthy tax cuts.
We cannot fund human needs at home, reconstruction in Iraq, and other priorities unless we repeal the tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. That would save $750 billion by 2010.
Diplomacy, investment in human needs, and sustainable development are humane and cheaper, and will make us more secure than war.