Saturday, March 22, 2003

Message from the Justice Not War Coalition:

OPPOSE THE US WAR ON IRAQ AND US INTERFERENCE AND ARMED INTERVENTION!
A call for Asia Pacific-wide protest actions on April 9

Disregarding the opinion of various world leaders, the worldwide people’s protests, international law including the UN Charter and even its own constitution, the US government is hell bent on raining war and devastation on Iraq.

On a world scale and in the long term, the US wants to impose PAX AMERICANA .

By using its self-serving doctrines of pre-emptive strike, regime change and unilaterism, the US invaded Afghanistan and has targetted other alleged security threats, namely Iraq and North Korea, and other alleged terrorists worldwide. The US is deploying more forward forces and holding more military trainings and joint exercises purportedly to protect its national interest and to decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars abroad.

The Asia Pacific region in particular, with its vast landmass and sea territory brimming with huge economic and geopolitical value, remains strategically important to the US. Without a strong projection of power in this region via the US-Japan security alliance and other bilateral and multilateral military treaties and agreements with other countries, the US drive for world hegemony and dominance will not prevail.

Throughout Asia, The US has been aggressively forging status of forces agreements, access agreements, landing rights, logistics arrangements and the like, coupled with a never ending stream of joint military trainings and exercises.

Among the US’s military objectives are the containment of China as a potential peer rival power and deterring the growth of other threats to US hegemony, including progressive and revolutionary movements and independent regimes. It is therefore part of US strategy to intervene and initiate “regime change” in Asian countries that resist US militarist, political and economic impositions. .

The US has labeled three Asian countries – Iraq, Iran and North Korea – as the “axis of evil.”

In Southeast Asia, the US has declared the Philippines as the “second front” of its borderless war. Thousands of US troops have been deployed to the Southern Philippines since December 2001, ostensibly to give “anti-terrorist training”, “assistance” and “advise” to Philippine troops. Just like in the Vietnam war, the bogey of terrorism and communism is being used as a pretext for direct US military aggression and power projection in the region.

Once the US establishes the Philippines as its foothold in region, the US will have a jump-off point for its interventionist activities in the Muslim-dominated countries of Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei and elsewhere in Asia.

In South Korea and Japan, the US stubbornly insists on maintaining its military bases despite the strong public clamor to have them removed. Moreover, the US has been fully supportive of a more aggressive and outward-looking Japanese Self Defense Forces, which can readily be transformed into an offensive force to support US military adventures in Asia .

These moves by the US, especially in the light of the impending invasion of Iraq, certainly bodes ill for the peoples of the Asia Pacific region. The US bases and military forces in Asia are slated to play a major role in the impending war on Iraq. Furthermore, what happens in Iraq will most likely set the precedent for increasing US unilaterism and aggression in Asia and the whole world. There is an urgent need to oppose this threat to world peace.

Thus, on April 9, we propose that the peoples of Asia and the Pacific hold simultaneous demonstrations and other forms of protest to send the strongest message across the oceans to George W. Bush that WE OPPOSE THE US WAR ON IRAQ AND US INTERFERENCE AND ARMED INTERVENTION IN ASIA.

We in the Asia-Pacific region continue to be inspired by the huge demonstrations of February 15, where 30 million people rose up in mass protest in more than 600 cities and towns all over the world, including: Sydney, Australia – 250,000; India – 200,000; Tokyo – 25,000; New Zealand – 13,000; Manila – 5, 000; Taipei – 2,000.

Bigger and more frequent demonstrations are being held in Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Pakistan, India and other Asian countries.

Let us unite these efforts in one coordinated action on April 9.

Let us not be deterred by the US Empire’s bullying and evil machinations. Let us struggle for peace! Oppose the US war on Iraq and US interference and armed intervention in Asia! US troops, out of Asia!

Endorsing individuals/organizations (Please add your name before forwarding. Email us of your intention to participate in the April 9 actions at april9@pilnet.com and asiapacificaction@mealbox.com):

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan
Philippine Peace Center

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