NCAA Call To Action:
The National Council of Arab Americans (NCAA) joins the call for mass mobilizations against the war on and foreign occupation of Iraq, to be held on Saturday, March 20, 2004. Being also only 10 days before the anniversary of the historic March 30, 1976, Land Day in Palestine, calling for liberty, right to return, and self-determination for the Palestinian people on that same Saturday is an imperative complimentary political necessity, without which the end to colonial occupations cannot be fully realized.
Marking only the latest assault on Iraq one year ago this coming March, the NCAA well recognizes that only through a systematic and organized grassroots effort that a halt to perpetual war can be achieved. Although exposing U.S. strategic goals through education is of primary importance, it is the ability of the American people to marshal a united front anchored in the principals of liberty, freedom and respect for self-determination that has undoubtedly become priority one.
In formulating the organizational and political framework of this united movement, the role of Arab-Americans and Muslims is central. As a people who are at the primary receiving end of the ravishes of war and racism in their multiple forms, our community must take difficult extra steps to assert its constitutional right to free speech and assembly despite all attempts and scare tactics to abrogate these rights. Not only do we have this responsibility to ourselves and to our children, history has also placed upon us the task of halting the advance of yet another form of McCarthyism and fear. To that end, and despite many imposed hardships, we call on our communities in all sectors nationwide to assume our just role in shaping a better future for this country and the world by mass mobilizing against war and racism.
Indeed, the people of the United States, inclusive of all and barring none, have an historic duty and a collective responsibility to: (1) terminate the escalating state of war of an emerging empire, particularly against the Arab people, by ending the occupation of Iraq and bringing the troops home NOW; (2) stop all forms of economic, political, and military support for the State of Israel, and, instead, support the rights of Palestinians for liberty, self-determination, and the full right to return; (3) repeal the USA PATRIOT Act, terminate institutional collective criminalization of Arab Americans and Muslims, and secure constitutional rights for all; and (4) redirect budgetary allocations to domestic reconstruction and needs rather than militarism and colonial expansions.
It is precisely the multi-faceted nature of this ever-expanding war that we are tasked to recognize. Delinking issues for political and organizational expediency by selectively focusing only on one aspect of this war is wrong and dangerous. It not only weakens the emerging global movement for freedom and liberty but also marginalizes the voices of wars many victims.
True, the challenges before us are difficult and monumental, but history, in particular during the past 2 years, has shown that we are equal to the task when some waited in doubt. As evidenced on the days of October 26, 2002, January 18, February 15-16, March 15, April 12, and most recently October 25, 2003, we are a people that have repeatedly taken to the streets in the hundreds of thousands representing millions from coast to coast as we soundly stood with millions across the globe against war in favor of peace. We have rejected colonialism in favor of self-determination, opposed the USA PATRIOT Act in favor of constitutional rights, and demanded funding for education and health care instead of militarism.
But we also need to be clear on what we stand for in this emerging movement. Positions such as internationalizing the occupation give colonialism a new marketable cover, and should not be accepted as a viable option for this global popular movement. This is a time when political clarity is a must. Regardless of the source, the notion that the people of Iraq need some form of Western intervention, even if temporary, to secure their very own stability is overtly racist and a real threat to civilization. Self-determination should clearly preclude the return of any modern form of the Mandate days of the League of Nations. Such is the global grassroots consensus; it must become so for the movement and popular opinion in the United States.
Ending the ongoing foreign occupation of Iraq and stopping the destruction and exile heaped on the Palestinian people are inextricable dual tasks that require a reformation of our vision towards the world and us as a people of a variable mosaic. We must succeed in formulating a strategic vision where we are partners in the community of nations and in the building of our own neighborhoods and school districts.
We cannot continue the path of perpetual domestic and foreign confrontation and dominance.
All Out On March 20, 2004
The National Council of Arab Americans, December 24, 2003