[saymaListserv] IMP^o^ 148 Iraq - WQO's statement

Mary Calhoun moriah at preferred.com
Tue Oct 1 23:59:32 JEST 2002

IMP ^o^ Bulletin 148
Quakers on Iraq War --
Joint Statement
from FGC, AFSC, FCNL, Philadelphia YM, & Pendle Hill

(forwarded 9-26-02 by Penelope Wright, a SAYMA representative to FGC)

<|>    Dear Friends,
            The statement attached (and below) has just been issued by
the named Wider Quaker Organizations. The statement has been sent out to
multiple addresses. A similar statement issued after 9/11/01 appeared in
the New York Times. It isn't only our individual voices that are
speaking out on this matter; so too are many of our Quaker
            Praying for peace, Penelope Wright

<|>    Friends,
            Attached and copied below you will find a joint statement
from the General and Executive Secretaries of FGC, AFSC, FCNL,
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, and Pendle Hill on the threat of war with
Iraq and the new doctrine on preemptive military strikes being
promulgated by the Bush administration.  You may use this statement in
any way that might advance the cause of peace.  You may forward it to
other individuals and organizations.  We would be interested in any
response you might wish to make to the Friends General Conference
office: fgc at fgcquaker.org, 215-561-1700, 1216 Arch Street 2-B,
Philadelphia PA 19107.
            Bruce Birchard, FGC General Secretary

<|>    Joint Statement in Response to Threat of War with Iraq
                From the General and Executive Secretaries
                    of Five Quaker Organizations
                Ninth Month 24, 2002

                "I told them that I lived in the virtue of
                that life and power that took away the
                occasion of all wars.  I told them I was
                come into the covenant of peace which was
                before wars and strife were..."  George Fox,
                Founder of the Religious Society of Friends
                (Quakers), 1651.

        The United States government stands on the verge of launching a
major war against Iraq.  At the same time, U.S. political leaders are
promulgating a doctrine that asserts the United States' right to launch
unilateral, preemptive military strikes on any nation or group to
counter a perceived threat.  The peace and security of all peoples are
threatened by these developments.

        If ever there were a time for Friends to take action based upon
our historic peace testimony, that time is now.  We call upon Friends to
witness and work to prevent this war, to reverse this new military
doctrine, to call upon our governments to implement multilateral,
diplomatic responses to the threats posed by the government of Iraq, and
to continue developing positive, nonviolent approaches to resolving
international conflicts.  We know that there are millions of people of
good will with whom we can join in this work.

        We find many compelling reasons for all people of faith and
reason to oppose this war and this dangerous new military policy.  Among
them are:

        --A war with Iraq is likely to cause tremendous loss
            of human lives, vast destruction, and terrible human
        --The aftermath of a war with Iraq is likely to include
             years of chaos and suffering in Iraq, instability and
             violence in the Middle East and South Asia, hatred of
             the United States for generations to come, and an
             increase in acts of terrorism against countries deemed
             responsible for the war.
        -- Such a war, and the policy that underlies it, would
             legitimize preemptive military strikes by nations that
             feel threatened by others.  Such a terrible precedent
             would undermine international law and the U.N. Charter
             and could lead to a tremendous increase in wars and
             violence in the future.

        We know from history that acts of violence only breed further

        We also know that the terrifying spiral of violence and hatred
can be interrupted by acts of creative nonviolence, conflict resolution
and courageous love.  The real path to global security lies in a
stronger global civil society based on increasing trust and respect, the
rule of international law, and the removal of the roots of violence and

    There is no way to peace.  Peace is the way.

Mary Ellen McNish, General Secretary,
        American Friends Service Committee
Bruce Birchard, General Secretary,
        Friends General Conference
        (organization listed for identification purposes only)
Steven Baumgartner, Executive Director,
        Pendle Hill
Thomas Jeavons, General Secretary,
        Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
Joe Volk, Executive Secretary,
        Friends Committee on National Legislation

~~~~~~ end ^o^ ~~~~~~ 1stpost 100102 ~~~~~~

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