2004 World Conference against A and H Bombs
Italian Anti-War Coalition
I am glad and sad at once to be here in Hiroshima. I am glad and
grateful because of the privilege of meeting with all the people
that are working to free the world from wars and nuclear weapons.
I am sad because our meeting occurs on the anniversary of one of
the greatest crimes within one of the cruelest war.
Sad and angry because even 60 years later we meet not only in memory
of and respect for the people that were victims of that war, but
with the greatest concern for ongoing wars and occupations and with
the urgent need to plan and work against dangerous plans for wars
The war on Iraq and its present occupation were presented to the
world and still are preached as one of the steps in the path of
preemptive wars to an undefined terror and that will be waged whenever
necessary by the US government.
Even if much has already been said about the definitions, gpreemptiveh
and gnecessary,h of the wars on Afghanistan and then Iraq I believe
that it is still important to once again reconsider again that these
were not just empty words but rather that they contain and illustrate
the extent of the project of the future development that the USA
administration has planned, both in case Bush remains in charge
or is substituted by Kerry.
If one looks back, it is possible to see that the last 15 years
of structural and economic development thatfs leading the project
of global domination of the US administration through use of military
Next year, 2005 many treaties including those negotiated by the
WTO will be implemented. These include agricultural agreements,
privatization of primary resources and the implementation of property
rights on biological material, drugs and intellectual procedures.
Their finalization put the whole of the economies and the natural,
productive and reproductive resources of many countries in the world
under the control (both for exploitation and for regulation of their
use) of US. It will also put the social organization, the lives
of hundred of millions working people under rules primarily defined
according to the stronger WTO partner, the US. There is a growing
resistance against the ALCA, the Mediterranean plan, the pharmaceutical
and crops monopolies, against their appropriation of water sources,
not to mention against US military aggression.
War is part and parcel of the means through which the US will put
on the ground for the realization of the project for global hegemony
and control petrol, water, minerals, innovative technologies, health
and food, the primary resources of the globe. Internally and outwardly,
the empowerment of the military complex, as both the source of economic
activity and of implementation of power, is the basis for this plan.
The US military complex is a state-concerned multinational and private
enterprise the final achievement of the economic model of private
interest within the state structure, and of state interference in
the economic enterprise, a mammoth undertaking.
The US military complex controls production of weapons but also
of research and development in many fields, energy, technologies,
food, water, health and recently even more federal resources for
research in all these fields have been put under direct the control
of the Army and NATO with growing participation by them as partners.
Cooperation with the military to further the interests of multinationals
in health, food and energy and biotechnology is extensive. Beside
the fields of high technology, physics, mathematics, information
and chemistry, a number of research projects in general health,
on viral, bacteriological and nutritional research can also be found.
Large new grants have been given to fund specific programs on protection
against biological and chemical aggression and anti terrorist attacks.
Military funding has been offered to previously independent scientific
societies in all fields of science. This military involvement in
research centralizes the control of the USA government on the development
and the resources of the planet by economic means, as it was developed
since the nineties through the World Trade Organization agreements
and with the control of the global financial economy via the International
Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Regional restructuring of military organizations controlled by
the USA is also underway. In Europe NATO since the 2000 (Praga meeting)
was transformed to a military body for aggression, ready to act
for intervention when required. The recent extension of participation
of other members of the European community within NATO and for state
gmembers to beh has extended its presence in the wider European
area, granted the establishment of new bases and gained allies for
the Iraqi g coalition of the willing.h In gOld Europeh the NATO
is relocating its command and operative basis towards the south
facing the Mediterranean area: in Italy we will see the expansion
of NATOfs command forces in Naples, the enlargement of the naval
basis in Taranto, including other enlargements, beside the maintenance
of its other bases, Aviano, Sigonella, Ghedi, for example. All these
changes are justified by the need to be ready for interventions
in the area. This empowerment of NATO bases involves very invasive
actions on the territory where they are located, causing great danger
to the local populations due to DU weapons in Sardinia, nuclear
armaments stored in Ghedi and nuclear powered submarines floating
by the island of Maddalena. As a consequence, they are generally
not welcomed locally.
As the armies of the US and NATO continue to grow in readiness
and extend their range of action also to the development of new
weapons, nuclear depleted weapons, and small impact nuclear weapons
among them goes on.
The waging of war in Afghanistan and Iraq has represented the beginning
of the implementation of military force as a tool for control of
the world. Both these countries were militarily weak enemies, both
economically subdued by more than a decade of sanctions and regional
unrest and have become the weakest link needed to penetrate this
most important region. A region rich in petrol where the USA had
only greliableh ally, the Israeli government, and has had to confront
the potential resistance of the Arabic states, with their varied
alliances and potential solidarity against the economic penetration
and political colonization of the USA. Waging war in Iraq has been
a show of power towards the states of the entire Middle East region.
It has also represented a further step in the global empowerment
of the US through the explicit challenge to each and all previous
international rules and agreements. As the country that enforces
and imposes all sorts of rules on the entire globe, the US stood
as the only country that can do without respecting any kind of international
rule. The UN was mocked, ignored and declared unreliable by the
US in all its actions, starting from the dismissal of the results
of inspections of mass destruction weapons before the war, continuing
throughout the war and ending with the mock passage of political
powers while retaining as undefined the future of military and the
economic controls of the country and with the last UN declaration.
Also the laws of countries that had written a veto on aggressive
wars in their constitution, had been broken. Italy and Japan sent
troops disguising their armies as a peace corps while Germany allowed
servicing of the US army permitting the use of air and land passages
to dislocate the Iraqi army.
In brief the war waged was preemptive not because it is waged to
prevent terrorism, but because it is preemptively constituted as
a plan to employ military aggression at any time and repeatedly
as tool for control of resources in the whole world, to occupy territories
of interest. The choice of military aggression entails the upset
without negotiation of the whole body of international agreements
that stood up for the last half of the century.
This is a kind of preemptive action that dooms our future world.
The word preemptive embodies a meaning completely different than
that which media and analysts attributed to it, of defining an action
to prevent the evil, terrorism from hitting home. The evil was made
into a ghost system and used for justifying the military option.
In these days we have proofs from the commissions set up in the
US and UK governments themselves that show that neither possession
of weapons of mass destruction nor terrorism were reasons for the
war to Afghanistan or Iraq that were ggrounded in facts.h They were
information derived from mistaken interpretations by intelligence
agencies of the leading countries of the world. The intelligence
agencies were declared guilty for the mistakes and were promised
funds to improve themselves, the governments that adopted the decision
of waging war were found responsible of misbehaving by the commissions.
Although they continued to claim that they waging war for the common
good and democratization of Afghanistan and Iraq, never mentioned
was the fact that they would be ready to do it again, elsewhere,
So here comes again and shameless, second adjective that was attached
to the war to Afghanistan and Iraq, ga necessary war.h
If you consider how gnecessityh was justified, though use falsified
information and manipulation of reality along with the misbehavior
of intelligence agencies, reiteration of the use of this adjective
by Bush and its Allies clarifies even more the real situation.
Its then easy to understand the word gnecessityh by putting it
into the context of the practice of the building false perceptions
and making people believe them via false alarms, creation of insecurity,
spreading of paranoid perspectives, and other kinds of manipulation
This was done successfully about the existence of weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq and could be repeated again. Necessity has been
claimed in order to conjure the menace of war with other grogueh
countries and for conducting aggression at any time or place. In
summary, declaring the necessity of war amounts to leaving it as
an undefined and uncontrollable decision of the stronger party to
interpret it according to its interests.
The same arbitrary procedure of defining necessity has been applied
to the decision of using any kind of weapons in these wars. DU weapons
where considered necessary to destroy Yugoslavian, Somalia, Afghan
and Iraqi homes, market places and villages, without considerations
that the use of gadequate forceh was once agreed on as the condition
for post-nuclear age conflicts.
Presently, the armed occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine,
unlawful US policies and armies in South America and Africa, all
fall under the category of gnecessity.h It is out of this gnecessityh
that the US menaces the grogueh states of Iran, North Korea, Syria
while maintaining gsmallh armed force for its occupations in Haiti
and sustaining paramilitary forces and military bases all over the
Necessity is equally used with the aim to justify the gmodel occupationh
and the subduing of civil populations. The Israeli governments with
the full and continuing support of the US, has represented an experimental
model for actions to enslave a population through depriving it of
such fundamental resources as water, land including the restriction
of work and freedom of movement. This experiment has been ongoing,
preceding the Intifadas, and is now sustained though claiming the
construction of a wall necessary for self-protection.
In looking at the picture of the world that is presented to us
each day in news reports, we know the war has changed the lives
of all people in our present and near future. The victims of aggression
are affected in deadly ways while others in subtler yet equally
As a woman, I realize that we have always been the first targets
of rape in any war. I canft help sympathizing with the Iraqi prisoners
of both sexes who endured humiliation and violation in Abu Grab.
I denounce the worst of the aggressive US counter-culture of aggression
that has been promoting and exercising with such success and ease.
So much so that US soldiers violating the human rights of Iraqi
prisoners always did so with a smile.
Since I am not a citizen in the occupied territories I have often
felt my limits of judgment on what goes on in others countries,
including its suffering from fear of danger, from the inability
to communicate, or suffering from lack of primary items essential
to life such as work, food water electricity, social trust.
It goes without saying that the resistance to such suffering under
occupation is legitimate. Though defining what differences there
are in vision and projects within the resistance in Iraq, one thing
is certain. We know that within the acting forces of the resistance
there are those that are performing a destabilization role for the
country and those who have more difficulties emerging. It is clear
that the longer the occupation will continues, the more people will
suffer and the more autonomous decision making and resources will
diminish. It also jeopardizes reconstruction efforts and opportunities
for political engagement.
In speaking with Iraqis I have often hear that among the most offensive
consequences of the occupation for them are; insecurity, street
violence, lack of work or of respect for peoplefs abilities, and
the loss of daily access to primary items, including healthcare.
These difficulties didnft previously exist before and Iraqis donft
see a light at the end of the tunnel. I also often hear Iraqi people
speaking of the aim for political action towards a nonreligious
state respectful of all religions. A society multicultural and based
on the labor they are experience at and are competent in doing.
Iraq was not and is not a country without experience in building,
making, thinking, creating, as it has been often been suggested
by the propaganda, nor is it a country of fanatics.
The continuation of military occupation can only produce degeneration
of the Iraqi social context. The enforcement by the US of their
reconstruction agencies and of multinational projects can only produce
a waste of the capabilities of the people of Iraq.
The global antiwar movement has worked to solidify this position
by marching all over in the world on March 20, 2004. The request
was that the troops leave Iraq and the Iraqi people decide on their
future organization and alliances.
But this is not what has happened, and since then there has been
an increasingly complex antagonism amongst different groups resisting
the occupation on the ground in Iraq and inevitably conflicting
alliances between them. In addition to such tension there are visible
differences such as the introduction of the kamikaze assaults, kidnappings
contrasting it with the US and its industrial and services partners.
Since then a new puppet government has been recognized internationally
and new laws were passed to among other things protect the impunity
of US occupants in Iraq.
The Iraqi conference that is in preparation is a battleground for
different forces and it is still unknown if there will emerge a
consensus for a democratic call to vote. In addition, there are
non-religious forces in civil society and religious groups who promote
different models for the founding principles of a state. In this
uncertain compromise, the material situation further degenerates
and it is not easy to foresee an outcome to this complex situation
is possible under occupation.
Can an antiwar worldwide movement help the Iraqi people return
to autonomy and support them in developing a new form of social
consensus? Can a movement successfully oppose the continuation of
the enslavement of Iraq along with other occupied countries? What
are the means and actions to tackle this issue?
These are the difficult questions that we are presently confronting.
Each of our meetings is a passage towards elaborating a collective
understanding and some answers.
Since last years meeting in Jakarta some actions have been decided
and were reinforced in the Antiwar Assembly at the Mumbay social
forum. Campaigns were endorsed to promote
- coordinated opposition to US plans for war in each country against
military bases and military forces of USA and NATO.
- the reduction of military expenses and disarmament
- the creation of bridges of reciprocal support and solidarity with
- education on and condemnation of the crimes of war in Iraq (World
Tribunal on Iraq)
Thus one of the tasks for all of us in the movement of opposition
to war is to support the emergence of the large majority of the
people of Iraq who are seeking autonomy and freedom from the occupation
on the terms of their own cultural basis. We have already been witness
to the procedures applied by the Israeli government in alliance
with the US government, which has consistently voted against any
procedure presented at the UN for sanctions on Israel, and even
recently voted against the resolution condemning the building of
the wall, to subdue Palestinians. They include taking from them
land, jobs, schools, freedom of movement, and other basic necessities
of life in a systematic and escalating fashion, since before the
We are witnessing now a similar procedure applied by the occupying
forces in Afghanistan and at work in Iraq.
From Iraq alarm comes for the disappearance or killing of professionals
in the universities and in the health services. Alarms come from
women who are intimidated from continuing a working life with daily
violence. Alarms come because any attempt made by Iraqi to rebuild
essential services like telephones or electricity, as they had already
done in 1992 after the first aggression by the US, is met with obstacles
set up by the occupying forces.
One other action taken to oppose the continuation of the war plan
was to give voice to the victims of war in the occupied countries
by offering channels for communication and for helping establish
relationships to establish peace projects at home.@@We can help
by the collection and analysis of data on Iraqi grievances. We can
also assist them by support for their requests for justice whether
in the form of compensation or other political and cultural forms
of public recognition of occupation offenses. Many people and groups
are enacting such strategies of support.
We can oppose the growth of the US Empire in our own countries
by struggling against the rearrangement of the NATO and US bases
and against the privatization plans imposed by IMF. We can also
protest against military expenditures that are soaring higher than
ever and the production or sale of weapons by our government. In
Europe, we can oppose the building of an European army.
But our strength against war in perspective is to find a way to
link in strategies and actions to all the people all over the world
that have experienced the gcollateral effectsh of this articulated
war plan. Our strength also lies in building strategies to oppose
economic and low-impact military aggression as well as war.
With 2005 there comes a list of deadlines for the enactment of
major economic agreements such as the agricultural trade agreement
in Latin America and the enforcement of the Intellectual Property
Rights bill in partnership with countries of the WTO, the Mediterranean
Trade Agreement for North Africa. The path of each of these agreements
has already been seeded by violence and deaths.
As the global Anti-War Movement, we have become more visible, organized,
and coordinated since the war on Iraq than any other moment in history.
Though it has become increasingly easier to be against war, it is
still more difficult to agree on strategies and shared visions for
a on building new world.
The step of endorsing campaigns allows a tool to the antiwar movement
to expand its activities in all the countries by taking up campaigns
and regional actions that will produce growth, strengthen, and make
permanent in each society the ethics and policies for peace against
the wars and occupations of the present and future.
I am convinced that we now have to learn how not to waste this
convergence despite initial differences obviously present in the
original formation of the anti-war coalition. We have the desire
and the potential to go through the process of building strategies.
To move forward we now have to create for ourselves the possibility
of moments for discussion and find at least partial agreement and
time to debate about differences. We made fruit of the experiences
and relationships that we have gained in the process of building
the antiwar movement. Now we must utilize these gains to link and
debate with the other resistance movements on strategies to counter
the plans for control of the planet by one state and its temporary
I would like to work, am committed to work, toward what I imagine
as the next great event of our resistance to war; organizing in
the streets of the whole world like the antiwar movement in February
15, 2003. It is time we oppose war and colonization, both sides
of the same coin, together with the movements and populations of
indigenous people also opposed to the economic hegemony of the US,.
I imagine this needs to be consciously decided by the antiwar coalition
very soon and should be one of the issues on the antiwar movement
I am aware, as many of you are, that there are many reasons for
furthering our alliances and working together on these movements
of the future. A good example of the needed preparation for linking
our struggles can be found in the report of the World Uranium Weapon
Conference in Hamburg of last year. Despite a diverse chain of concerned
parties involved in the reformation of uranium mining which included
nuclear plans workers, both medical and scientific monitors, consultants,
as well as the and victims of the indiscriminate abuse of DU, they
all came together to formulate common strategies and actions. I
hope my presence here at this meeting with all of you performs a
similar role. I thank you for having organized it.