The failure of diplomacy to prevent war in Iraq can be blamed squarely on the United States and its shameless political agenda. Knowing that there could not be any consensus in the UN Security Council due to the fierce opposition of European countries, the US is going ahead anyway with its plan to invade Iraq. This is an unjustifiable unilateral military strike that violates international law and goes against the grain of global opinion against war. This attack has nothing to do with September 11, with the fight against terrorism or even weapons of mass destruction. It is all about the US muscling its way into the Middle East. It has nothing to do with expelling a dictator like Saddam Hussein, it is all about killing thousands of innocent Iraqis for the sake of global domination. The US is invading Iraq because it can.

 We in AKBAYAN have opposed this war from its inception. We feel that the tyranny of Saddam Hussein and the allegations of terrorist ties and nuclear weapons can be addressed using multi-lateral measures and international cooperation. We believe that the US does not have the legal nor moral ascendancy to liberate Iraqis or any oppressed country for that matter simply because it has contributed towards their creation. We fear that this military strike will exacerbate tensions in the Middle East and fuel religious conflict throughout the world.  We fear for the lives of Iraqi victims of this impending atrocity. We fear for our countrymen in that region; for our representative and national chairman, Etta Rosales and Walden Bello who are still in Baghdad on a peace mission to express solidarity with the Iraqi people. And what of us? What will this war bring to us Filipinos who are already confronted with innumerable problems? What will happen to our economy? What of the chaos in Mindanao?

 We have repeatedly condemned the Arroyo government’s servile attitude towards the American geo-political agenda and we condemn it once more. Sec. Ople once declared that the Philippines will surely side with the US when it goes to war in Iraq. What he means by “Philippines” is him, his boss and the war-mongers and American lackeys in the Arroyo Cabinet. We are Filipinos, too, and we are against this unjust war because of its intrinsic inhumanity, and because it will bring nothing but added misery to this country.

 We take President Arroyo to task for making this country vulnerable to the negative consequences of this war and demand a swift response to the emergencies it will generate. Stop playing sidekick to the US and pay attention to the national situation!

Evacuate and protect Overseas Filipinos at all costs. Protect the domestic economy from shortages, price shocks and shutdowns. Ensure security and order nationwide, esp. in Mindanao.

 Predictably, Pres. Arroyo will call for our “cooperation” during this crisis. We will NEVER cooperate in any effort to massacre other people in anyone’s name. Although this carnage seems imminent, and although we appear to be powerless in the shadow of the US, we cannot and will not stay silent in the face of this outrage. We call on all Filipinos to likewise withhold support from this war.

 18 March 03