American Friends Service Committee
Patrica Watson, Editor
Sara Burke, Assistant Editor
Pat Farren, Founding Editor
2161 Massachusetts Ave.
Peacework has been published monthly since 1972, intended to serve as a source of dependable information to those who strive for peace and justice and are committed to furthering the nonviolent social change necessary to achieve them. Rooted in Quaker values and informed by AFSC experience and initiatives, Peacework offers a forum for organizers, fostering coalition-building and teaching the methods and strategies that work in the global and local community. Peacework seeks to serve as an incubator for social transformation, introducing a younger generation to a deeper analysis of problems and issues, reminding and re-inspiring long-term activists, encouraging the generations to listen to each other, and creating space for the voices of the disenfranchised.
Views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily of the AFSC.
Bill Thomson, Ann Arbor, MI
We cannot depend on the UN to prevent this war. France and Russia, who have significant economic interests in Iraq, and in the case of Russia a desire for a similar war against the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, are already indicating that they will go to the highest bidder. And in the case of bidding, nobody outdoes the United States. It is extremely likely that the present administration will purchase an appropriate Security Council resolution, as it did in 1990.
The President can be reached at <President@whitehouse.gov>, ph. 202-456-1111, and your members of Congress may be found in the "government" section of your local phone book. You can also call the Capitol switchboard toll-free: 800/839-5276 (or 202/224-3121).
There are many members of the House and Senate who oppose this war, but they must at this time be feeling completely undercut by those they picked as their leaders. It is critical that we provide them support, and it is critical that we pressure members who are in favor of war.
We all need to be meeting locally in the next day or two and planning significant civil disobedience (including arrests) so as to put a stop to this madness. The interruption of the Rumsfeld hearing Wednesday by three unidentified women provides an inspiring model. There is little time to organize national actions; our best hope at this point is to create sufficient local opposition to make our voice heard. I am guided by Gandhi's comment that "Nonviolence, when it becomes active, travels with extraordinary velocity, and then it becomes a miracle."
We need a miracle, and we can achieve one.
From a letter from Ramsey Clark to Kofi Annan, September 20, 2002
George Bush cites two invasions of other countries by Iraq during the last 22 years. He ignores the many scores of US invasions and assaults on other countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas during the last 220 years, and the permanent seizure of lands from Native Americans and other nations--lands like Florida, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California, and Puerto Rico, among others, seized by force and threat.
In the same last 22 years the US has invaded or assaulted Grenada, Nicaragua, Libya, Panama, Haiti, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and others directly, while supporting assaults and invasions elsewhere in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
It is healthy to remember that the US invaded and occupied little Grenada in 1983 after a year of threats, killing hundreds of civilians and destroying its small mental hospital, where many patients died. In a surprise attack on the sleeping and defenseless cities of Tripoli and Benghazi in April 1986, the US killed hundreds of civilians and damaged four foreign embassies. It launched 21 Tomahawk cruise missiles against the El Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum in August 1998, destroying the source of half the medicines available to the people of Sudan. The US has bombed Iraq on hundreds of occasions since the Gulf War, including this week, killing hundreds of people without a casualty or damage to an attacking plane.
Prior regime changes by the US brought to power among a long list of tyrants, such leaders as the Shah of Iran, Mobutu in the Congo, Pinochet in Chile, all replacing democratically elected heads of government.