An Open Letter To AFT President Sandra Feldman On The War In Iraq

From: "Rodger Scott"
Date: Sat, 26 Jun 2004 13:11:26 -0700
I'M SENDING THIS message to Sandra Feldman and some of the real unionists in
the CFT and across the country. I hope that some of those good people will
be able to convince President Feldman and others in positions of leadership
in the AFT that the bumbling, interventionist Bush administration was
totally without justification in invading Iraq, and that the delegates to
the AFT Convention next month will pass strong resolutions condemning that
unnecessary, undeclared and immoral war.

Dear Sandra Feldman and AFT:

After reading Closer Look, the new electronic publication of AFT, I am
disappointed again that another AFT publication fails to mention the war in
Iraq. I believe the AFT leadership and the writers who shape our
publications should take a Closer Look at the undeclared, unnecessary and,
in my view, immoral war our country is waging in Iraq. Faculty members and
other Americans who read AFT print media would never know that our great but
imperfect nation is again intervening in the affairs of a distant, sovereign
nation that has never presented a threat to the people within our national
boundaries. I have been a union activist for over 30 years and have served
as representative at large, treasurer, labor council delegate, executive
vice president, and president of AFT Local 2121 at City College of San
Francisco. I also served in the U.S. Army in Germany and the Peace Corps in
Colombia. I take pride in being a member of Local 2121 and our local's
affiliation with the California Federation of Teachers, but I am ashamed of
and outraged by the political cowardice and lack of integrity of the
national AFT "leaders." How can those who work to organize and represent the
people involved  in teaching our citizens fail to criticize U.S.
interventionist and anti-democratic foreign policies and the wars that too
often result when ignorant, arrogant leaders like President Bush implement
those policies? How can any teacher or teacher representative ignore the
semantic, political and historical implications of the right of
self-determination of sovereign nations? Those of us who work in inner-city
school systems and community colleges know statistically and personally that
our students, many of whom have never had their share of educational and job
opportunities, are the ones who have to kill and die in those wars. The U.S.
role during World War II in defeating the fascistic, terrorist nations of
Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan was a heroic one and a majority of the
people throughout the world respected and trusted our citizens and our
leaders. Now a comparable majority of the people throughout the world fear
and distrust our leaders. In countries where Americans were welcomed as
heroes and allies, we are now regarded as ignorant, ethnocentric and
unilateralist bullies who assume we know what's best for other countries and
that we have the right -- sometimes even a moral obligation -- to impose our
views on weaker, smaller nations. Does the leadership of AFT have no shame
and no sense of history? Teachers should be as skeptical of certainty as of
dogma and all human beings should be reluctant to draw firm moral
conclusions, but it's my firm conviction that your failure to oppose our
country's bloody and misguided intervention in Iraq or even to cover that
war in AFT publications is shocking and shameful.

In firm opposition,
Rodger Scott
AFT 2121, Delegate To San Francisco Labor Council

contact LaborNet

copyright 2004 © LaborNet