Cairo declaration against war

Ben Courtice benj at connexus.net.au
Fri Jan 10 04:56:33 MST 2003



    CAIRO DECLARATION

    Against U.S. Hegemony and War on Iraq and In Solidarity with Palestine

    The international meeting organised by the Egyptian Popular Campaign to
    Confront U.S Aggression was convened in Cairo on December 18 and 19 to launch
    the International Campaign.

    We, the participants reaffirm our resolve to stand in solidarity with the
    people of Iraq and Palestine, recognising that war and aggression against them
    is but part of a U.S. project of global domination and subjugation. Solidarity
    with Iraq and Palestine is integral to the internationalist struggle against
    neo-liberal globalisation. The Cairo meeting is not an isolated event, but an
    extension of a protracted international struggle against imperialism, from
    Seattle and Genoa to Lisbon and Florence, to Cordoba and Cairo.

    The U.S. provides unlimited support, and even justification, to the Zionist
    perpetrators of genocidal crimes against the Palestinian people. The suffering
    of the Iraqi people under a regime of genocidal sanctions lasting over a
    decade, and the aggressive militarism which they face today is but a logical
    outcome of the structures of power asymmetry of the existing world order:

    * The U.S. monopolises political, economic and military power within the
    framework of capitalist globalisation, to the detriment of the lives of the
    majority of the world's people

    * The U.S. imposes control through naked aggression and militarised
    globalisation in pursuit of its rulers' interests, all while reinstating the
    characteristic direct occupation of classical colonialism

    * The U.S. global strategy, which was formulated prior to September 11 2001,
    aims to maintain the existing uni-polar world order, and to prevent the
    emergence of forces that would shift the balance of power towards
    multi-polarity. The U.S. administration has exploited the tragic events of
    September 11, under the pretext of fighting terrorism, to implement the
    pre-existing strategy.

    Attention to this global context helps explain current world developments:

    First: Capitalist Globalisation and U.S. Hegemony

    * prioritise the interest of monopolistic capitalist circles above those of the
    people, including Europeans and U.S. citizens.

    * integrate the economies of different countries into a single global
    capitalist economic system under conditions which undermine social development
    and adversely affect the situation of women, child health, education, and
    social services for the elderly. In addition, unemployment and poverty
    increase.

    * generalise the culture of consumerism and individualism, to the detriment of
    a sense of collective responsibility, whether towards the thousands of infant
    and child deaths in Iraq resulting from polluted water, malnutrition and
    deficiencies in medical supplies, or towards the victims of AIDS, malnutrition
    and famines around the world. Among millions of people standards of living have
    deteriorated while unemployment and poverty have become widespread.
    Globalisation has resulted in the marginalisation of entire peoples who could
    no longer acquire the basic necessities to sustain life.

    Second: In the absence of democracy, and with widespread corruption and
    oppression constituting significant obstacles along the path of the Arab
    peoples' movement towards economic, social, and intellectual progress, adverse
    consequences are further aggravated within the framework of the existing world
    order of neo-liberal globalisation.

    * Admission to restrictions on democratic development in Iraq in no way
    constitutes acceptance of U.S. justifications for continuation of sanctions,
    and now preparations for war. Without disregarding long-standing restrictions
    on democratic development in Iraqi society - as is the case in all Arab
    societies - it is evident that the U.S.-imposed sanctions have had a
    devastating effect on Iraq's development. Whereas Iraq had once enjoyed a
    relatively positive profile according to certain human development indicators,
    its people now suffer severely as a result of the sanctions regime. Iraq has
    witnessed a significant rise in child mortality rates, the spread of several
    diseases, reduction of opportunities in education, and a marked deterioration
    of the standard of living. As human suffering increases it generates a sense of
    defeatism.

    * The Palestinian people are suffering as a result of the loss of their land
    and continued Zionist aggression, which the U.S. supports militarily,
    economically, and politically, making its administration a de facto accomplice
    in the crimes committed against the Palestinian people. The U.S. protects
    Israel from condemnation in international forums under the pretext of combating
    terrorism, and it asserts additional false claims, such as when it equates the
    legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people to resist occupation, liberate
    their land, and return to their homes, on the one hand, with terrorism that we
    all abhor, on the other.

    * The policies of Structural Adjustment associated with neo-liberal
    globalisation have precipitated global crises manifest in a widening wealth
    gap, increase in poverty and unemployment, and general deterioration of
    standards of living.

    * U.S. military presence in the Arab region, and its dictates to governments of
    sovereign nations of the region has compounded the suffering of the Arab
    people. Interference in the internal affairs of these nations now extends to
    demands of educational reform, and insistence on  "democratisation". Ironically
    this is occurring at a time when civil liberties in the U.S. are clearly under
    siege, especially with regard to Arab and Muslim Americans, along with other
    minorities. The U.S. administration also violates international law by its
    inhumane treatment of the POWs in Guantanamo. Also evident is the wealth gap in
    the U.S., which is the widest among the industrial nations of the world.

    * Far from secretly, the US intends to partition Arab countries into smaller
    entities on ethnic or religious basis. This would enable Israel to become the
    dominant regional power within the framework of the Middle East Project, to the
    peril of an Arab project of equitable development and regional unity.

    The suffering of the Arab people and U.S. unwavering support of the system of
    apartheid imposed on the Palestinian people, will undoubtedly fuel conflict and
    lead to the escalation of violence in one of the most sensitive areas of the
    world. Such danger can easily extend to neighbouring Europe, Asia and Africa.
    Continued preparation for war on Iraq in spite of its acceptance of a UN
    resolution of aggressive inspection of its armament, as well as civilian
    industries, signals a predetermined intent to control the Arab region, its oil
    and indeed the entire world supply of oil.

    Third: For all these reasons we declare our total opposition to war on Iraq and
    our resolve to continue the struggle against U.S. policies of global
    domination. We strongly believe in the urgency of mobilising against these
    policies. All democratic forces in the world that are for genuine Peace and
    Justice must join together within the framework of an international campaign
    against neo-liberal, US-centric globalisation and promote an alternate
    globalise based on Equity and Justice. This would mean better utilisation of
    the world's resources and protection of the environment. Together the people of
    the world are quite able to combat aggression and all forms of injustice,
    prejudice and racism, and make a better world possible.

    The Cairo conference against war on Iraq and in solidarity with Palestine
    represents the launching of an international popular movement that creates
    effective mechanisms for confronting policies of aggression. The participation
    of international activists who are prominent for their struggles for Human
    Dignity, Rights and Justice, as well as intellectuals, authors, unionists,
    human rights workers, journalists and artists- from Egypt and the rest of the
    Arab World, Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the United States- will no
    doubt accelerate this noble endeavour in spite of the numerous obstacles that
    we have to confront.

    Fourth: It is important that this international popular initiative of
    solidarity with Iraq and Palestine proceed according to an Action Plan which
    includes clearly defined priorities:

    1. Condemnation of U.S. military presence on Arab land along with pressuring
    the Arab governments that allow U.S military bases on their territory to close
    them down, and not to provide air, naval, or land facilities

    2. Develop co-operation among popular organisations of the South to reinforce
    solidarity in confronting the policies and practices of neo-liberal
    globalisation and U.S. hegemony

    3. Work towards co-operation with the international anti-globalisation movement
    of the North and South, and participation in activities and meetings organised
    by this movement

    4. Promote the unity of democratic forces and popular organisations in
    different parts of the world, and form solidarity committees which oppose war
    on Iraq, and the genocidal crimes faced by Palestinians, supporting their right
    to resistance and struggle for liberation

    5. Under the banner Together against globalisation and U.S Hegemony add Iraq
    and Palestine to the agendas of international progressive meetings,
    particularly the next Social Forum at Porto Allegre

    6. Invite Arab and international human rights organisations to evaluate
    humanitarian conditions in Iraq and disseminate their findings worldwide

    7. Prepare to send human shields to Iraq

    8. Introduce the boycott of U.S. and Israeli commodities in solidarity
    campaigns in support of Iraq and Palestine, with emphasis on the right of
    return for Palestinians

    9. Elect a Steering Committee to follow up on the implementation of the Cairo
    Declaration, and co-ordination among organisations which commit to its
    principles, and enhance awareness through appropriate actions ranging from the
    preparation of posters to organising marches and demonstrations in solidarity
    with Iraq and Palestine

    Contact us
        office at stopwar.org.uk          www.stopwar.org.uk
    07951 235 915 or 020 7053 2155/6     PO Box 3739, London E5 8EJ

    Call for support for Cairo Declaration

    By George Galloway MP and John Rees, vice-president, International Campaign
    Against US Aggression on Iraq.

    We are writing to ask for your support for an initiative launched from an
    extremely important conference that took place in Cairo on 18th-19th
    December 2002.

    The conference launched the International Campaign Against US Aggression on
    Iraq and was attended by over 400 delegates from the Arab world and the
    international peace movement. Its proceedings were given extensive coverage by
    the press and TV in the Middle East.

    The conference issued the Cairo Declaration against globalisation and war (a
    copy is included here). We would like you to add your name to this declaration.

    A co-ordinating committee has been established headed by former President of
    Algeria Ahmed Ben Bella and two vice presidents, John Rees of the Stop the War
    Coalition in Britain and Elias Rashmawi from the US peace movement

    The Egyptian government attempted to ban the conference but political
    pressure forced it to allow the meeting to go ahead. This in itself is a
    considerable political triumph since the conference did not have the support of
    any government in the region. The conference was followed by a 1,000 strong
    demonstration in central Cairo, again widely reported in the Arab press.

    The International Campaign is now attempting to organise solidarity actions
    with the anti-war demonstrations in the US on 18th January 2003. It is also
    mobilising for solidarity actions with the European demonstrations planned for
    15 February as agreed at the European Social Forum in Florence last November.
    These now involve the peace movements of 11 European countries.

    This is an important initiative, the first to link a representative voice from
    the Arab world with the wider anti-war and anti-globalisation movement. Please
    add your name to the Cairo Declaration by emailing us, with subject  "support
    Cairo declaration", giving your name, position and contact details. Please ask
    friends and colleagues to add their names.

    George Bush and Tony Blair are now moving swiftly towards a war on Iraq. We too
    must move with all possible speed to create a global anti-war movement. Please
    lend us your support.

    Yours,

    George Galloway MP

    John Rees, vice-president, International Campaign Against US Aggression on
    Iraq.

    UK Stop the War press release for Cairo conference

    Egyptian government fails to stop anti-war conference

    Stop the War Coalition sends delegates

    A major anti-war conference will begin tomorrow in Cairo even though the
    Egyptian government attempted to prevent it taking place.

    The conference will be addressed by former UN official Denis Halliday,
    former US attorney general Ramsey Clark, UK Labour MP George Galloway and Stop
    the War Coalition steering committee member John Rees. The conference will now
    take place as part of the growing world-wide protest against war in Iraq.
    Eleven European countries, including Britain, Italy, France and Germany, will
    be mounting anti-war protests on February 15, 2003.

    This Cairo conference cancellation was surprising, particularly in view of
    ample indications of a green light, and no objections from the authorities. On
    that basis the organisers extended invitations to thirty international
    intellectuals and activists, and forty-five from the Arab region, in addition
    to well over four hundred Egyptian academics, artists, trade unionists,
    writers, journalists, and activists of diverse political orientations.

    Not surprisingly, there was a very positive response to the Egyptian
    initiative. Internationally, the announcement of a conference in Cairo, in the
    heart of the Arab World, was deemed  "long overdue" at a time when
    mobilisation against war and militarised globalisation is spreading across the
    world.

    As declared in its initial announcement, the Campaign Against War in Iraq was
    not meant to be only a conference focused on Arab regional issues, particularly
    Iraq and Palestine, but a process of sustained collective international
    resistance to U.S. militarism and dictates. Representing a clear stance against
    U.S. hegemony, the announcement raised concerns about corporate-led
    globalisation and derivative global apartheid.

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