"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."


Statement on UN Security Council Resolution 1483

May 22, 2003

UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY came into existence six months ago to oppose the war in Iraq.

The Iraq war took place nonetheless, despite overwhelming opposition from world public opinion. In three weeks, an Anglo-American coalition succeeded in destroying the brutal r≥gime of Saddam Hussein and in establishing its dominion throughout Iraq. This victory came at an enormous cost, including at least 4,800 civilian lives (iraqbodycount.net) and a reckless blow to the comity of nations.

UFPPC deplored the decision to go to war. On February 6, we had issued a statement rejecting the administration's claims that Iraq was a threat to the United States. We disputed claims of evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or links to transnational terrorism. We rejected the legitimacy of an invasion whose fundamental incompatibility with the UN Charter could not be papered over by the pretense that it was a way to promote democracy. On all these points, UFPPC believes that subsequent events have justified our positions.

Although the US-UK forces won the war, they are losing the peace. The forty-three days since Baghdad fell to US forces on April 9 have been marked by ineffective, ill-prepared, ill-coordinated, and so far unsuccessful efforts to establish basic civil administration in the highly urbanized society of central Iraq. The US and UK are sending an additional 7500 military police. (Guardian, May 15 & 22)

What is UFPPC's position on Iraq now?

Although UFPPC vehemently opposed the war, we recognize that the occupation of Iraq by United States military forces is now an undeniable historical fact. What is done cannot be undone. Given the situation of the inhabitants of the country (estimates of the population range from 22 million to 27 million people) and the absence of an effective government, we cannot responsibly advocate the immediate departure from Iraq of US forces, because it would result in anarchy and civil war. By virtue of its wrongful actions, the United States now has a responsibility to the people of that unhappy nation, as do the nations of the world. But these responsibilities can best be carried out within the context of international agencies ∆ above all, the United Nations.

This morning the UN Security Council, which had refused to support the decision to invade Iraq, bowed to this reality and voted, 14-0 (Syria not participating), in favor of UN Security Council Resolution 1483, ending sanctions and granting a degree of legitimacy to the present situation. On this occasion, UFPPC urges others to join us in supporting those in the world community who call for:

1. A substantial and increasing role of the United Nations in the administration of Iraq. Only the United Nations can legitimize future American action in Iraq. General recognition of this fact can help restore the legitimacy of the United Nations, which is now at risk in the face of the outrageous, unwise, and un-American "National Security Strategy of the United States of America" announced by the White House on Sept. 17, 2002, justifying pre-emptive war. Also, UN inspectors should be involved in the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, as well as in legal proceedings for crimes against humanity committed there.

2. The right of the peoples of Iraq freely to determine their own political future. The United States does not possess the moral authority to dictate to Iraq the proper form of its government. We call for the rapid appointment of the Special Representative to oversee the UN relief and reconstruction efforts that is called for by the resolution voted by the Security Council today, and we urge our government to endorse and enhance the role of this UN Special Representative in the political transition to an Iraqi government.

3. Temporary administration of Iraqi resources only for the benefit of the population of Iraq. While UN Resolution 1483 recognizes the right of "the Authority" to "promote the welfare of the Iraqi people through the effective administration of the territory," the UN retains for six months control over the $13 billion accumulated during the years of the Oil-for-Food program. We call for a strict accounting of the disposition of Iraqi resources to responsible international agencies.

4. Rejection of legitimizing the war itself. Resolution 1483 is prospective, not retroactive. It does not legitimize actions that were taken outside of the Security Council. This point is important if wars of a similar nature are to be avoided in the future.

All of these points UFPPC maintains in accord with its

NEW MISSION STATEMENT, adopted on April 10:

"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions

rather than cooperative diplomacy."