American Views Abroad

Monday, May 29, 2006
A Memorial Day Statement by U.S. CITIZENS AGAINST WAR -- FLORENCE, Italy

Representatives of U.S. Citizens Against War will be participating at the Memorial Day commemoration on Monday 29 May at the Florence American Cemetery for the thousands of women and men buried there or missing in action or buried at sea. It will be an important occasion for us as anti-war U.S. Citizens to show our deep respect for our compatriots who sacrificed their lives to help the Italian people and partisans defeat Nazi-Fascism in this country during World War II. At the same time, we will bear witness to the vast movement back home in our own country and around the world for peace and justice and against the wars of aggression and violation of human rights currently being perpetrated by the U.S. government.

We remember that the launching of wars of aggression was considered to be a crime against humanity at the Nuremberg Trials after the tragedy and Holocaust of World War II. The illegal, immoral U.S. war against Iraq and the subsequent occupation have resulted in the deaths of over 100,000 Iraqis and over 4,000 U.S. servicemen and women, as well as the destruction of much of the country's infrastructure and of entire cities such as Fallujah, and the detention of thousands of Iraqi prisoners without charge. Amnesty International, the United Nations and other human rights organizations have condemned the U.S. Government's prison camps at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere in Iraq, at Guantanamo Bay, in Afghanistan and the network of secret detention centres around the world, the systematic use of torture, prisoner disappearances, and the hundreds of illegal CIA 'rendition' flights.

As part of the international movement for peace and social justice we are here today to affirm that the ultimate sacrifice made by our sisters and brothers in the struggle against Nazi-Fascism, those thousands buried here in the Florence American Cemetery, is in clear contradiction with the U.S. Government's restriction of the freedoms of U.S. citizens at home and its immoral policy of permanent preventive war abroad, and what Amnesty International has condemned as 'grave human rights violations, including torture and ill-treatment, arbitrary detention without charge or trial, and excessive use of force resulting in civilian deaths.' A great American, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., taught us that 'To accept passively an unjust system is to cooperate with that system. Noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.'

As U.S. Citizens Against War we remember and honor the sacrifice of our military dead in the struggle against Nazi-Fascism during World War II, while at the same time affirming that the current U.S. wars and occupations, violation of human rights abroad and attacks on democratic rights at home are a shameful repudiation of that sacrifice. According to opinion polls the majority of U.S. troops in Iraq, as well as the vast majority of U.S. citizens, believe the U.S. should end its occupation and withdraw all troops. The U.S. peace movement says: Support our troops; bring them home now! Withdraw all foreign troops and mercenaries from Iraq now! U.S. reparations for the people of Iraq! Another world is possible -- and necessary.

U.S Citizens Against WarFlorence

May 29, 2006
Tel: 338 8871251

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