How Will a War on Iraq Affect Working Families?

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How Will a War on Iraq Affect Working Families?     Deaths and disabilities. About 160,000 soldiers -- more than 1 out of 4 U.S. men and women who fought in the 1991 Gulf War -- suffered disabling injuries or illnesses. Since the end of the ...
How Will a War on Iraq Affect Working Families?

Deaths and disabilities. About 160,000 soldiers -- more than 1 out of 4 U.S. men and women who fought in the 1991 Gulf War -- suffered disabling injuries or illnesses. Since the end of the war, more than 8,000 veterans have died from war-related injuries and exposures. This war would be likely to have many more casualties since the goal would be to take control of the entire country.

Less security, not more. President Bush argues that an attack on Iraq will make Americans more secure. Many other leaders believe that it may have the opposite effect, provoking new, even more serious terrorist attacks in the U.S.

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) says it may "unleash a global scramble to acquire the means to deter the U.S. from unprovoked attacks."

After a trip to the Middle East, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), a Vietnam combat veteran, said, "Some of our policies in the Middle East have generated animosity, not support, throughout much of the Arab and Islamic world. We are pushing our friends and allies in these regions into a box, with no good alternatives, by pressing for a call to arms in the absence of an imminent and urgent threat to our security."

Cuts in health care, education, other vital services. The cost estimated by President Bush's former top economic advisor is up to $200 billion, although in past wars early estimates have usually been too low.

Even if the cost were "just" $200 billion, how much is that?
· Enough to provide health care to all uninsured children in the U.S. for 10 years.
· Nearly 200 times what the U.S. now spends per month on military operations in Afghanistan.
· 10% of the total federal budget -- meaning that health care, education, Social Security, Medicare, and every other service and benefit working people have earned could face cuts. About one-third of the money for state and local services comes from the federal budget, so huge budget shortfalls in states, cities, and counties would get worse.
Attacks on worker rights, individual liberties, and the right to privacy.
· The government has detained U.S. residents without due process.
· A Bush spokesman announced Jan. 9 that "collective bargaining conflicts with national security needs" as airport screeners were denied the right to a union.
· More than 170,000 public service employees in the new Homeland Security Department and the Justice Department have been stripped of the right to a union.
· Bush used "wartime" as an excuse to try to stop longshore union members from freely negotiating a new contract.