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SRRT Resolutions
International Responsibilities Task Force
of the American Library Association's
Social Responsibilities Round Table


Resolution on the Persian Gulf

The following resolution was adopted by the elected representatives of the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) at the midwinter meeting in Chicago, January 12, 1991. SRRT is a body within the American Library Association but does not and should not be taken to speak for the Association as a whole. In this resolution SRRT speaks only on its own behalf.

Social Responsibilities Round Table Newsletter, Number 99, March 1991, p. 1. Also available on the website of Librarians for Peace (http://www.libr.org/peace/Gulf_resolution.html).

 

WHEREAS nearly half a million U.S. troops, a disproportionate number of them working class and persons of color, are now deployed in the Persian Gulf; and

WHEREAS veterans hospitals in the United States are preparing to handle at least 40,000 casualties; and

WHEREAS the enormous cost of this military adventure threatens to severely worsen the budget deficit and scuttle the long-overdue "Peaace Dividend"; and

WHEREAS the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, while a clear violation of international law, does not in any way justify the massive American mobilization and deployment of offensive forces; and

WHEREAS the internationally-approved economic sanctions and regional peacemaking efforts by the Arab league have not been given a chance to work by the Bush Administration; and

WHEREAS the United States displays a "double standard" in condemning the Iraqi invasion Kuwait while remaining silent or actually supporting Israel's invasions and occupations of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, Golan Heights, and southern Lebanon; Syria's intervention in Lebanon; Turkey's invasion of of northern Cyprus; Morocco's occupation of theWestern Sahara; the oppression and slaughter of Kurds by Turkey, Iran, and Iraq; and the Reagan/Bush invasions of Grenada and Panama, unprovoked bombing of Libya, and covert war against Nicaragua; and

WHEREAS the Kuwaiti regime the Bush Administration seeks to restore is an autocracy that confers full citizenship upon only 8.6% of its 3 million population (namely male descendents of men residing in Kuwait in 1920) and permits the widespread abuse and exploitation of some 500,000 foreign workers; and

WHEREAS the Saudi regime which the Bush Administration ostensibly "defends" is an absolute monarchy without elections of legislature that forbids labor
unions and strikes, punishes conversion to another relgion by death and the public wearing of a Star of David or crucifix by whipping with sticks, bans the study of Freud and Western philosophy, prohibits women from travelling alone, driving cars, or riding bicycles, regards the testimony of one man as equal to that of two women, denies the rights to habeas corpus and legal counsel, and allows the king to remove newspaper editors; and

WHEREAS the Bush Administration and mainstream media have sought to demonize and vilify not only Saddam Hussein but also Iraqis and Arabs in general, thereby worsening anti-Arab bigotry in this country; and

WHEREAS there has not yet been a full and open debate concerning U.S. goals and aims in the Persian Gulf; andWHEREAS the American library profession has mainly acquiesced in the censorship and mutilation of reading materials destined for Persian Gulf troops, thus violating its own basic canons of intellectual freedom;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association condemns the U.S. military response to the Kuwait invasion and calls for the immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops from the region, including Iraqi soldiers from Kuwait and the American forces from the Persian Gulf;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SRRT demands an embargo on arms shipments to all Middle East governments and urges the settlement of the Persian Gulf, Israeli-Palestinian, Kurdish, and other regional conflicts by peaceful, diplomatic means - such as economic sanctions and international conferences - that primarily involve the United Nations and Arab League;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SRRT calls upon the President and Congress to initiate an energy policy emphasizing reduced oil use, conservation, recycling, and development of non-nuclear, renewable power sources, as well as redirecting the massive sums now being squandered in the Gulf to end poverty, homelessness, hunger, and illiteracy in the United States;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SRRT condemns the anti-Arab racism fomented by both politicians and media, calling upon them to treat Arab peoples with honesty, dignity, and respect, and urging libraries to stock and publicize material originating in the Arab community itself;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SRRT invites all American librarians to promote - through programs, displays, bibliographies, and materials selection - a genuine national debate on the Gulf crisis, interventionism, and energy policy, necessarily including "alternative" viewpoints and nalyses from such sources ad the American Friends Service Committee, Women Against Military Madness, National Council of Churches of Christ, Military Families Support Network, War Resisters League, New Jewish Agenda, and Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SRRT opposes the censorship and mutilation of books and magazines everywhre, including both the United States and Saudi Arabia.

 

Page last modified December 19, 2002.