Wage Peace, Not War

[email protected]

From: A proud patriotic American peace activistPart-time studentClass of [email protected](610)527-3988________________________________________________ “Wage Peace, Not War”Dear Ms. Lobb-

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimate that by the end of this war, there will be 600,000 Iraqi refugees and internally displaced persons. Already there has been an outbreak of deadly endemic diseases such as cholera, polio,malaria, and hepatitis in Iraq . Malnutrition is already widespread, especially among women and children. Iraq’s economy is a disaster, not to mention that only 46 percent of homes have piped water, and water and sanitation systems are on the verge of collapse as seventy percent don’t work. To bring things up to speed, Baghdad’s only museum in the world, the “Palace of Wisdom,” built in 1961 which contains Iraq’s most precious history and the ancient heritage of Mesopatamia for the people, has been literally destroyed by bandits and looters, of which during the war the US was obligated to protect. With these humanitarian crises in mind, what is the logical answer to all this? Umm…War? (pause) It is difficult to understand how the US-led invasion and military strike in Iraq can be fought in the name of freedom without violating international law, of which the US has successfully managed to do. While I admire your commitment to the ideals of freedom, I would also like to point out that the fight or struggle for freedom, of which everyone deserves, should not be at the expense of others if it will be of greater cost and greater suffering to the people, in this case the Iraqi civilians. And didn’t you say that this is what the war is about, liberation of the Iraqi people? If you mean liberation, I am assuming you mean liberation from the despotic rule of Saddam Hussein. If we are serious about giving the Iraqi people their freedom and instituting a democratic form of government, then 1) we should isolate Saddam Hussein and use the civil, diplomatic, and peaceful means of international law to try him for what he is- a war criminal – in the International Criminal Court. We must let the law decide. Have we forgotten that? 2) the United States is obligated to use its status as a global leader wisely and must learn to work with the international community to help the Iraqi economy and its civilians on the road to recovery from thirteen years of US-led and UN imposed sanctions. Rebuild the schools and hospitals, rebuild the roads and homes that have been bombed, provide the children with food and medicine. Do this and the civilians will begin to live. Their lives will become somewhat more bearable and more normal. Perhaps then there won’t be so much anti-American sentiments in Iraq and the Arab world. If we see ourselves as equal partners and allies working together with a common vision for both peoples, we can accomplish much together. When we do this we will “win” or achieve “victory.” There is a lot of fear that exists right now. The Americans are afraid of another terrorist attack, and the Arabs are afraid of another occupation. I do not believe that striking out in fear before an incident could occur ( and it might not occur either) will bring relief or peace of mind or security to this country. Ms. Lobb, each time a life is lost, whether it is an American troop or an Iraqi civilian, I am deeply saddened. Waging war will bring suffering, anguish, pain and mistrust, continuing the cycle of violence. We must break the cycle of violence and heal these wounds by waging peace. This is true freedom.