The following statement was recorded by the Socialist Equality Party candidate for US Senate from New York Bill Van Auken for the Department of Defense Information Center. Established under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, the center carries personal audio messages from candidates for federal office and for governor from each state directed to military personnel stationed overseas and other US citizens residing abroad.
My name is Bill Van Auken and I am the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for the US Senate from New York. As the candidate of the only party in this election that defends the interests of the working class, I demand an immediate end to the US occupation of Iraq and that all troops be brought home now.
The Bush administration dragged the American people into this “war of choice” on the basis of lies about nonexistent weapons of mass destruction and terrorist connections. Its aim was to conquer a small country and seize control of Iraq’s oil wealth. This invasion violated the laws under which the leaders of Nazi Germany were tried at Nuremberg in 1946 after the conclusion of World War II. The Nuremberg trials established a precedent that outlawed the use of unprovoked “preventive” wars as an instrument of state policy.
The war is exacting a terrible price in human suffering and misery. A scientific study conducted by Johns Hopkins University researchers has established that approximately 655,000 Iraqis have been killed as a consequence of the US invasion—that is, 2.5 percent of the population. The number of American troops who have been killed is fast approaching 3,000, with more than 10 times that number wounded.
America is a nation founded in a revolution against colonialism, but this government is trying to revive colonialism in Iraq, where American troops are seen not as liberators but as occupiers. As long as the occupation continues, the violence will go on and lives, American and Iraqi alike, will be lost.
I am a candidate thanks to the support of 25,000 New Yorkers—including many veterans and active duty military and their families—who signed petitions to place me on the ballot. One mother from Queens signed because her son had been killed in Fallujah, and she said that “no one else’s children should have to die” in a war based on lies.
Democrats like my opponent, Hillary Clinton, accuse the Bush administration of “mismanaging” the Iraq war, but support its continuation. Democrats and Republicans alike speak for the big banks and corporations that use military force to promote their global financial and business interests.
I ask all those who want an end to this war as well as the occupation of Afghanistan to vote for me. You can find the Socialist Equality Party’s election program, which explains our policies in detail, as well as daily news and analysis at the World Socialist Web Site—www.wsws.org. I urge those of you in the military to read this program and circulate it as widely as possible among your brothers and sisters in uniform.
Thank you for listening. Once again, this is Bill Van Auken, the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for US Senate from New York.