Anti-war forces call Sept. 27 day of action
Pentagon ramps up threats on Iran
Published Sep 7, 2008 8:33 PM
While much of the media and public attention has been on the Olympics and the
Republican and Democratic national conventions, the Pentagon has been ramping
up for what many believe is a planned attack on Iran.
On Aug. 31, the U.S. and Britain finished five days of naval exercises in the
Central and Southern Arabian Gulf. According to the U.S. Navy, the
mobilization, called “Exercise Goalkeeper,” focused on
“command and control in locating and tracking specific vessels deemed to
pose a threat to Coalition nations in the Gulf region. The exercise also allows
Coalition teams to board the vessel and practice the procedures for handing
them over to Coast Guard ships.”
The exercises follow July’s Operation Brimstone, a U.S.-led naval
exercise that included units from the British, French, Brazilian and Italian
navies. Brimstone provided these forces with training for operation in shallow
coastal waters such as the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. This comes as
both houses of Congress have pending resolutions that would mandate an air, sea
and land blockade of Iran.
A naval blockade, were it to be implemented, is equivalent to a declaration of
war. It constitutes a blatant violation of international law. According to
Francis Boyle, a renowned specialist in international law:
“A ‘blockade’ is a term used under international law to
specifically refer to belligerent measures taken by a nation for the purposes
of preventing the passage of vessels or aircraft to and from another country.
Customary international law recognizes blockades as an act of war because of
the belligerent use of force even against third-party nations in enforcing the
blockade. Blockades as acts of war have been recognized as such in the
Declaration of Paris of 1856 and the Declaration of London of 1909 that
delineate the international rules of warfare.”
Activists across the U.S. and worldwide have been mobilizing. On Aug. 2, in
response to an emergency call to action by the Stop War On Iran (SWOI)
campaign, there were protests, pickets and rallies in more than 100 cities.
Organizers with SWOI, hoping to turn up the heat and preempt an attack, have
called for another day of action on Sept. 27. The call to action reads, in
“What we do now can make a difference. We must act now.
As more U.S. warships are deploying to the Persian Gulf, we have to mobilize to
stop an ‘October Surprise’ or any other attack on Iran—or any
other country. Politicians don’t stop wars—they create them. The
only force that will stop endless war in the Middle East is a massive
grassroots people’s movement.
“While billions of dollars go to war spending, at home the unemployment
rate hit the biggest spike in 23 years. Home foreclosures and evictions are
increasing. Fuel and food prices are through the roof. While the situation is
growing dire for many, Washington’s cuts to domestic programs continue.
The coming fiscal year, beginning on Oct. 1, will bring drastic cuts. A new
U.S. war will bring only more suffering.”
Activists report that response to the call has been encouraging, and that they
are expecting to see actions in well over 100 cities across the U.S. and
internationally. For more information, to endorse the call to action, or to get
involved, go to www.StopWarOnIran.org.
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