Statements: War on Iraq

March 14, 1998

 

The Seamless Garment Network, Inc., an organization committed to a consistent ethic of life from conception to natural death, calls for an end to continuing threats of U.S. military strike in Iraq and for an immediate cessation of United Nations/United States economic sanctions against the people of Iraq. We support diplomatic, peaceful resolutions and are encouraged by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan's negotiations, but know there will be no true resolution under the continuing threat of war. 

 

The Seamless Garment Network, Inc. does not condone Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction, but an even greater outcry is required against the United States, which possesses more weapons of mass destruction than any other country on earth. Furthermore, only the U.S. has ever used nuclear weapons.

 

The U.N./U.S. economic sanctions against Iraq are a weapon of mass destruction. Back in December of 1995, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reported that over 1,000,000 Iraqis have died, 567,000 of them children, as a direct result of the sanctions. UNICEF reports that 4,500 Iraqi children under the age of five are dying each month from disease and starvation. The sanctions prevent Iraq from engaging in the commerce necessary to provide the Iraqi people with adequate food, clean water, medicine, and supplies to rebuild the country's infrastructure.

 

The people of Iraq are our brothers and sisters in the human family. The Seamless Garment Network, Inc. calls for an immediate lifting of U.N./U.S. sanctions and for an end to continuing threats of U.S. military strike in Iraq!

 

2002

 

The Seamless Garment Network (SGN) adds its name to the voices of many others calling for a nonviolent resolution to the current standoff between the United States and Iraq. SGN is a coalition of individuals and organizations promoting the consistent life ethic. We believe all

life is precious and any threat to life must be opposed. We choose nonviolence both as a tool

to resolve conflict and as a way of life. Given these beliefs, SGN does not support the Bush administration's proposals for the use of military force against Iraq, nor the subsequent proposals by the US House and Senate. 

 

While recognizing the instability in the Middle East and the dangers posed by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, a unilateral attack by US forces would still not be justified. The Iraqi people have suffered tremendously in the last 11 years as a result of the 1991 Gulf War and subsequent economic sanctions - estimates are that more than 1 million Iraqis have died. To inflict further suffering on the people of Iraq would be a tragic mistake and morally indefensible.

 

The majority of the world's leaders oppose another US invasion of Iraq. It is time for the United States to listen to the rest of the world, rather than act unilaterally. The US cannot continue to act in opposition to the wishes of the rest of the world without consequence.

 

International conflicts should be addressed by diplomatic means, using agencies such as the United Nations to help find nonviolent, just resolutions. Any action taken by the UN or other agency must be multilateral, verifiable, and given the time necessary to enforce.

 

War is not a just option.Wars in the 20th century have resulted in the deaths of approximately 175 million people - about 1.75 million dead per year for 100 years. The vast majority of those deaths were civilians - not soldiers. Iraq is no exception. Iraqi deaths during the Gulf War were about 90 percent civilian and at least half of those civilians were children (according to
UNICEF reports).

 

Modern warfare, with horrible weapons of mass destruction, will only make matters worse in the years ahead. War has become obsolete. Now it must be abolished.Let us look instead to non-violent and peaceful means of resolution to this conflict. These could include a return to arms inspections and elimination of all weapons of mass destruction by all parties - including the United States.

 

As the world's lone Superpower, the US must take the lead in the war-abolition effort. We remain the only nation to have used nuclear weapons of mass destruction on another nation (Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, 1945) and the people of Iraq continue to suffer from the US use of depleted uranium during the Gulf War.

 

The US has a stated policy that reserves the government's right to use nuclear weapons first - even against a non-nuclear foe. This policy must be abandoned. Rather than set an example of hope for peace in the 21st century, the US is continuing the same flawed policies of the past.

 

Let us use whatever diplomatic means necessary to claim the moral high ground in the effort to resolve this dangerous conflict with Iraq. Let us seek to resolve this conflict, and all conflicts, by turning to our neighbors and allies peacefully. Let us work to build a world that rejects war, and instead seek paths of peace and a world of justice.

 

SGN is a coalition of individuals and organizations working to promote the consistent life ethic. We are committed to the protection of life, which is threatened in today's world by war, abortion, poverty, racism, the arms race, the death penalty and euthanasia. We believe that these issues area linked under a consistent ethic of life. We challenge those working on all or some of these issues to maintain a cooperative spirit of peace, reconciliation and respect in protecting the unprotected.

 

March 24, 2003

 

It is with great shock and sadness that Consistent Life witnessed the recent United States' invasion of Iraq and the subsequent deaths of scores of innocent civilians.Led by a president who purports to be pro-life, US troops have invaded a sovereign nation already devastated by the 1991 Gulf war during which it was "bombed back to the stone age," followed by 12 years of economic sanctions which have left Iraq's people hungry and sick.

 

We are especially saddened that a professed pro-life position, with its insight that killing people is not a good way to solve problems, has not been more influential in stopping this war. There is a terrible inconsistency in opposing the killing of unborn children and then taking actions which will directly, albeit unintentionally, kill Iraqi children.

 

We had hoped the US Government would listen to the voices of reason worldwide urging the US to use diplomacy to resolve the problems in Iraq instead of leading a preemptive strike in defiance of global public opinion. The US cannot continue this reign of terror. Empires don't last forever.

 

Consistent Life calls on the US Government to immediately cease its attack on Iraq and to begin to make reparations for the damage it has wreaked upon the country and its people. We call on the international community, with backing from the United Nations, to continue to demand that the US operate within its dictates.

 

As the world's lone Superpower, the US should lead humanity to peace - not be a global bully. Peace cannot come from bombing innocent people. Peace can only come by promoting justice for all people.

 

Nuclear weapons proliferation is bringing humanity to the brink of unimaginable horror, yet the US has threatened to use those weapons of mass destruction first in this war. While hunger and poverty abound, the US spends more than $1 billion per day on the military - with additional billions being spent on this war. If we believe in the words of the US Constitution "that all (people) are created equal," we must begin now to seek nonviolent solutions to international conflicts.

 

 
 
 

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