"We nonviolently oppose the
reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative
Statement on US policy in Iraq
August 21, 2003
UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY
came into existence nine months ago to oppose the war in Iraq.
UFPPC has argued from the beginning
that the policy of the administration of President George W. Bush toward Iraq
is a tragic and catastrophic mistake. From the beginning of the invasion till
now, it has cost thousands of lives, including to date the lives of 268
Americans. Among those killed: a 19-year-old from Tacoma who died in Baghdad
on August 7. It is time to recognize that while to some degree a military
success, the war has been a political, social, ecological, and human disaster.
This war is the expression of
values and attitudes that are not those of the American people and that cannot
be the basis of a sound national policy. It is also an appalling betrayal of
the trust, commitment, and sacrifice of the people in our armed forces. To the
degree that the war has achieved public support, this has been due to a
systematic campaign of disinformation and lies designed cynically to manipulate
not only our fears but also the very ideals we hold dear as a people.
Execution of the administration's policy has tarnished our nation's image in
the eyes of world public opinion and has led to an extraordinary repudiation of
American leadership in the world. It has led to massive loss of precious human
life and an imprudent waste of resources that we can ill afford.
This week's bombing of UN
headquarters in Baghdad is a terrible and spectacu-lar demonstration that the
war in Iraq is not over. No surrender or cessation of hostil-ities ever took
place. For what are Americans killing and being killed? Our leaders are so
ignorant of the situation into which they are pouring troops and treasure (to
the tune of $1 billion a week, for a total of, according to the Congressional
Budget Office [see costofwar.com], $69,920,000,000 to date) that they are
unable to tell us precisely who "the enemy" is. Indeed, current US
policy advocates an open-ended and ill-defined state of permanent war that is
diminishing, not enhancing, our security.
The Bush administration's aims have
never been frankly and honestly stated, and public opinion is slowly awakening
to a realization that its reports are little more than public relations
gimmicks. The claims made by the administration lack credibility. There is
little point in debating them one by one. There is a need, however, for a
Congressional inquiry into them. Under our system of government, the president
bears responsibility for them to the American people. If he and other
administration officials are guilty of deliberately deceiving Congress and the
American people, they should be impeached or otherwise removed from office.
UFPPC believes that the
administration's current whatever-it-takes-to-succeed policy in Iraq is foolish
and must be abandoned. What is needed is recognition, by this
administration or some future administration, of the following points:
1. The Iraq war is an
ill-conceived venture that ought not to have taken place.
2. Pre-emptive or preventive
war is a destabilizing policy that clashes with fundamental American
values, undermines international institutions, and endangers security for the
world, for the nation, and for us as individuals. This policy, together with
the entire "The National Security Strategy of the United States of
America" proclaimed by the White House on September 17, 2002, should be
3. After acknowledgement of this
mistake by government of the United States, the United Nations should take
over stewardship of the situation in Iraq. The nation of Iraq should be
placed under an international mandate. The United States should fully
cooperate with the United Nations in the administration of this mandate, which
should continue until a legitimate government is constituted to represent the
will of people in Iraq. The form of this government should be left to Iraqis
to determine; the United States lacks the moral and legal authority to dictate
to them on these subjects.
4. The Iraq war and other features
of our national life suggest that our government has become the captive of groups
that do not represent the will or the interests of the American people,
democratically expressed. Revitalization of democracy in our nation is
essential to the survival of the Republic. We call on the citizens of
Pierce County to involve themselves in this movement.
"We nonviolently oppose
the reliance on unilateral military actions