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The U.S. government was supported by the blue collar workers, who had several American unions during the wartime. Out of patriotism, the unions had agreed not to strike during that period of war. It was until 1991 when the unions protested the entry into the Gulf War by the United States. The protests were a significant shift by the unions in history. The U.S. intervention in the Gulf War was not universally popular among the unions of workers who participated in antiwar protests. Many unions made remarks that clearly revealed that they were against the U.S. intervention into the Gulf War.
Analyzing the remarks of the union members reveals that the movement and the motive of the U.S. lacked unity and focus. A protester named Edgar de Jesus, manager of the cabinet makers’ union of the Amalgamated Clothing, and Textile Workers” Union gave remarks that revealed why the union never supported the intervention into the Gulf War by the U.S. The protester referred to the war as unjust and regarded that it had a motive of testing the U.S. Weapons as well as bringing all the military arsenals. The protester commented on how the union member’s sons and daughters had entered the military as the only available job option. These union member’s sons and daughters end up dying in the war, and the loss goes to the members. The protester’s comments mentioned at many meetings scheduled in all the hospitals meant to discuss war effects. The analysis of the protester’s remarks revealed the opposition of the movement by America to enter into the Gulf War.
The workers’ unions opposed the American participation in the Gulf War as the protesters believed the war would cause loss of life to their people; it distracted the public from war against other notable projects. The protesters claimed that instead of spending money in the Gulf War, it was crucial to spend the same money for AIDS, healthcare, education, housing, and unemployment. The union of workers believed that the nations had a different motive other than creating unity. The protester’s remarks indicated their thoughts on the movement. They believed that it was not about human rights, democracy or peace, but rather it had to do with oil, power, and hegemony in the Gulf area.
The protester’s remarks reflected a division in the U.S. society. The division reflected in the society was between the union members’ families, whom the protester refers to as average working men, and the rich oil organizations, sheiks, and other corporations benefiting from oil. In the event of that war, the daughters and sons of union workers would perish when fighting happens on the ground. The working people will not benefit from the war, but Exxon, Mobil, Gulf, and Middle East oil sheiks will benefit.
Vietnam experience shaped the protesters understanding of the 1990 events. It is the events that had occurred during the Vietnam War and experiences that made the protesters oppose the Gulf War. The protesters had experienced women going to reserve due to the lack of healthcare and jobs at home that made the young men join the military, and the war profited other corporations. The protesters feared the repetition of these events.
The current conflict between theU.S. and Iraq has impacted the economy of the U.S. due to the funds that are used during the war and also due to the high oil prices. The impacts are direct, small, but strong compared to the impact of World War II. Many families in the U.S. have lost their loved ones who went to serve in Iraq. Living in the U.S., one feels secure from the dominance of the U.S. troops in Iraq.
The conflict with Iraq is different from World War II and the Vietnam War. In the two wars, Americans had to pay higher taxes and burn less gas. There is no mass street protests in America against conflict with Iraq as it was witnessed in the protests of Vietnam.