Austin CISPES' position on Middle East crisis

By Austin CISPES
September 1990; page 15; Volume 2, No. 1

The Austin chapter of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador joins with other area organizations in opposition to resolving the current crisis through unilateral U.S. military actions. We offer the following position paper to outline an approach to the crisis.

Support for Self-determination in the Middle East

The recent troop movements in the Middle East on the part of the U.S. government are only the latest in a history of Western agression in the region. Such military intervention - an extension of attempts at economic control of Middle Eastern natural resources - is a threat to self-determination in the Middle East. As well, the U.S. military action supercedes international bodies set up to resolve such conflicts (e.g. UN, Arab League, etc.). The intervention threatens self-determination not only in the Middle East but also puts at risk the principles of similar struggles for self-determination in Africa, Latin America, the Pacific and those of indigenous populations throughout the world.

Defense of Democracy at Home

At home, the U.S. intervention prolongs a culture of militarism, eroding our democratic principles. George Bush's appeals to "protecting our way of life" discourage not only dissent and public criticism of U.S. foreign policy but also debate around alternative energy and ecological policies.

End Racism in All Its Forms

For our Arab-American brothers and sisters, the intervention heightens an atmosphere of intolerence here in the United States, offering day-to-day threats to physical safety, housing and work. Racism is unacceptable in any form: in the classroom, in the media, in editorial cartoons, at the workplace, in the halls of Congress, in our union, or in casual conversation.

Specific Demands

  1. Immediate and unconditional withdrawal of U.S. troops and advisors from Saudi Arabia;
  2. Respect for the self-determination of all peoples of the Middle-East: Kuwait, Palestine, as well as the Kurds and other minority populations of Iraq;
  3. Establishment of an Austin citizens' panel on racist stereotyping in the media;
  4. A special issue of the Austin American-Statesman, focusing on the historical underpinnings of the crisis in the Middle-East and the crisis' effect on the U.S. economy with special attention given to dissenting views on: self-determination for Palestinian peoples, the threat of war and racist attacks against Arab-Americans, alternative energy policies for the United States ... environmental implications of a petroleum-based economy.