[saymaListserv] Iraq -- views armong the US citizenry

Mary Calhoun moriah at preferred.com
Wed Oct 2 02:20:10 JEST 2002

Dear ATC and Morning Edition,

I was pleased to hear NPR give some time Tuesday to the fact that not
US citizens think war on Iraq is a necessary or good idea.  I do hope,
however, that as you look around for what's news in the Iraq views your
vision will move beyond Left, Right, parties, and Washington DC -- that
you'll do some more legwork in the grassroots and talk to peace-workers,
faith communities, and other dissenters.

Commentary about Iraq issues on Monday's Morning Edition spoke of
churches' voices as hard to find.  In case you've not already received
it, there follows below a joint statement from five Quaker

Mary Calhoun
Listener, WETS-FM, Johnson City TN
Member, Foxfire Friends Meeting, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)


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


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