Resolution on the Militarization of ALA and General Powell's Keynote Speech

Adopted at 1999 Annual Conference

Whereas, General Colin Powell has been selected as the 1999 ALA Keynote Speaker; and

Whereas, Powell, as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations at a base in Vietnam, had a key role in trying to cover up the My Lai Massacre; and

Whereas, Powell, as President Reagan's National Security Advisor, was of key importance in supporting the Contra War against the people of Nicaragua; and

Whereas, Powell, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, illegally invaded Panama and bombed thousands of civilians; and

Whereas, Powell presided over the Persian Gulf War killing thousands of civilians as well as thousands of retreating soldiers on what was called “The Highway of Death”; and

Whereas, the continuing bombing of the civilian infrastructure of Iraq and continuing sanctions have reduced a moderately affluent quality of like to poverty for most people in that country; and

Whereas, the recent bombing of the civilian infrastructure of Yugoslavia parallels the Iraq experience; and

Whereas, the United States has bombed four countries within the last year, including a crucial pharmaceutical factory in Sudan;

Therefore be it resolved, that the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association deplores the decision to hire General Powell to give the 1999 Keynote Speech; and be it further

Resolved, that the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association demands that future Keynote Speakers be associated with life-enhancing work; and be it further

Resolved, that this resolution be distributed to the ALA President, ALA Executive Board, and the library press.

SRRT Newsletter Issue 133, p. 4