Letter from United Auto Workers Opposing Escalation of the War in Iraq

January 12, 2007

Dear Representative/Senator:

During the coming weeks Congress will be considering a number of measures relating to President Bush’s plan to expand the number of U.S. troop in Iraq. The UAW strongly opposes this proposed escalation of U.S. involvement in Iraq. We urge you to support measures that will redeploy and bring U.S. troops home.

President Bush has belatedly admitted that his policies in Iraq have not been working. The reason, as is now plainly evident, is that Iraq is embroiled in a civil war between rival ethnic and religious factions. The U.S. cannot solve this internal civil war. Only Iraq’s leaders can do this, through politically negotiated agreements between the rival factions. Increasing American troops only postpones the day when Iraq’s leaders will have to assume responsibility for the future of their own country.

The UAW applauds the heroism and dedication of the U.S. troops who have performed so magnificently in Iraq. We believe they should continue to receive whatever funding and support is necessary to protect them.

But we also believe it is fundamentally wrong to send more U.S. troops into harm’s way by placing them in the midst of the sectarian conflict in Iraq. It is wrong to send more troops into battle based on a plan that cannot solve this internal civil war.

In our judgment, it is particularly noteworthy that President Bush’s troop surge plan ignores the advice and recommendations from many leading U.S. military commanders, as well as the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. These military leaders and respected former government officials all recognize that the troop surge plan will not work. Instead, it will only serve to inflame the conflict in Iraq and inflict even greater casualties on American troops. Moreover, it will put further unwise and unacceptable strains on our nation’s military forces, and detract from our ability to combat terrorism and strengthen our homeland security.

As we now know, President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in March 2003 was based on erroneous assertions that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction that were a threat to the United States. Under a banner trumpeting “Mission Accomplished,” President Bush subsequently announced on May 1, 2003 that major combat operations had ceased in Iraq. Now, after almost four more years of conflict, over 25,000 brave American soldiers have been killed or wounded. Yet President Bush is now proposing to compound his mistaken policies by further escalating U.S. military involvement in Iraq.

The UAW urges Congress to exercise its constitutional responsibilities by rejecting this mistaken and counterproductive response to the situation in Iraq. Instead, we urge you to support measures that will decrease U.S. military involvement in Iraq and bring our troops home.

Thank you for considering our views on this critically important national issue.

Sincerely, Alan Reuther, Legislative Director