Pressebericht / in:, 07.04.2003

Against the US war on Iraq

Information on the Special Session of the 8th PDS Congress, Berlin, 5 April, 2003

von: / Pressebericht / Dokumentation | Veröffentlicht am: 7. April 2003


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The National Executive Board of the Party of Democratic Socialism in Germany in connection with the illegal war on Irak called the delegates of its 8th Congress for a one-day Special Session to Berlin. The aim of this meeting was, first, to lead a broad dialogue within the party, with activists of the peace movement in Germany and abroad on the character and the consequences of this US-led aggression, on ways out of this international crisis, on the future of Iraq as a democratic society. Second, to hold on and strengthen the resistance in Germany as a part of the world-wide public movement for peace, against the US war policy.

Well-known figures of the German peace movement as professors Elmar Altvater and Norman Paech, former Greens MEP Wolfgang Ullmann or peace activists Peter Strutynski and Tobias Pflüger followed the PDS invitation and took the floor. As one of them put it: „The PDS differs from other German parties in that it invites the peace movement activists and talks to them.“

Hassan Akif, representative of the Iraqi Communist Party, Committees of Correspondence Co-Chair Prof. Mark Solomon from Boston, USA, and Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn from the UK presented the views and actions of their organisations against the war as well as their ideas on the future of Iraq. Cesar Benjamin of the Brazilian NGO Consulta popular spoke about how to use the enormous potential of the anti-globalisation movement in the fight for peace.

The session which was called on short notice because of the worsening war situation showed great unanimity in the debates and the resolutions adopted with no adverse votes – a moment of satisfaction for the members and sympathisers of the party, but disappointing for some media which hoped for a continuation of the fierce controversies the PDS had engaged in some months ago.

The session accused the governments of the United States and Great Britain of allowing for the mass murder of civilians in order to assert their power politics interests in a war that violates international law. Peace activists called it a dirty colonial war that drives the international relations back to barbarism. It is taking place against the expressed will of the majority of the states of the world, to say nothing of the will of the majority of the world population. But never before has the US empire encountered such sweeping, popular resistance. This war, unleashed by US President Bush as a part of his project for a new world order, may be the last, if war is outlawed as a policy instrument all over the world. The PDS sees this as an opportunity that needs to be seized.

The PDS demands: Stop the bombing and killing immediately! Withdrawal of all invasion troops from Iraq! Immediate help for the people! Reparations by the invading states!

The PDS calls on the German government to join with other states, in compliance with UN Resolution 377, „Uniting For Peace“, to propose the convening of a special United Nations General Assembly to condemn the attack on Iraq as an act of aggression. The International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court must be called into action.

Iraq must not become a US/British mandated territory. The United Nations has to resume responsibility for peace and development in Iraq. The embargo that for years has been bringing the people hunger, poverty and death must be lifted immediately. Whatever the result of this war – the UN has to create the conditions for the Iraqi people to freely express their will on the future of their country. The Saddam regime must not have any chance for a comeback.

The PDS supports the Iraqi Communist Party’s proposal to call an international conference on the future of Iraq under the auspices of the UN to discuss all relating questions- peace, weapons of mass destruction, embargo, human rights, democracy – in a complex manner with the participation of all sides concerned.

In the longer perspective the PDS calls for the formation of an Organisation for Security and Co-operation in the Middle East (OSCME), the task of which would be to find solutions to the problems of achieving disarmament in the region, distributing water, using the oil resources, protecting human and minority rights, resolving the Israeli-Palestinian-Arab conflict, the rights of the Kurds, economic and social development in the region, through co-operation among the states and with the rest of the world.

To counteract the Bush administration’s pre-emptive war strategy the PDS supports proposals for a United Nations World Assembly for Peace not just as a meeting of heads of state and government but as a unique world-wide forum of peace researchers, cultural workers and non-governmental organisations with the participation of Nobel Peace Prize laureates.

In the UN Security Council and in Europe, the German Government together with France and Russia has been a leader in the opposition to the war course taken by the USA. A re-shaping of the common European foreign policy is not feasible without emancipation from the imperial US strategies. But the opportunities for „old Europe“ do not reside in the attempt to compete with the USA in the military field. The political strength of Europe could lie in its experience in the civil resolution of conflicts and peaceful integration processes. The PDS rejects the conclusions now being drawn by Germany, France and Belgium in building up or intensifying military co-operation, in turning the European Union into a military intervention force. The European Left is called to present their own ideas on an independent European foreign and security policy.

The PDS sees with respect the stance of the German government that has strengthened the opponents of the Iraq war among the states and movements. At the same time the party together with the peace movement demands that the Federal government terminate all support services for the US war of aggression immediately. This applies to the use of German air space and use and protection of US military bases in Germany, the personnel for AWACS aircraft, the ABC units in Kuwait, and the naval units at the Horn of Africa and in the Straits of Gibraltar.

The session called for the lifting of the restrictions on civil rights and freedoms introduced in Germany in the name of the fight against terrorism. War refugees must be admitted. The participants also sharply criticised the Federal governments tactics to push the further dismantling of the welfare state in the shadow of the war.

The PDS as an integral part of the German and world wide peace movement keeps supporting all forms of protests by school students, by women and girls, artists, scientists, doctors, athletes, educationists, by clubs and associations, members of local councils against the war, the initiatives of towns and municipalities that have joined the „Cities for Peace“ movement. The PDS appeals for the establishment of and donations to a „Peace Action Fund“ attached to its National Executive Board. Support should be provided from this fund for peace actions, artistic engagement, international co-operation and youth and school student initiatives. The PDS urges support for the Unicef fund-raising drive for the children of Iraq.

The session called for a massive participation in the Easter marches, in the next Global Action Day on 12 April, in May Day demonstrations for social justice and peace; in the celebrations on 8 May, the day of liberation from fascism and war, which shall be turned in a peace demonstration against new wars. The conclusions of the session have been supported by the delegates of the 4th Federal Conference of the youth organisation „solid“ in a common resolution of the two bodies.