ow is the time to create a future free of terrorism. There is absolutely no justification for the attacks on New York and Washington. Neither is there justification for U.S. violence, direct or indirect, against civilians. Killing civilians is unjustifiable!
Our governments violent response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, is having the exact opposite of its intended effect. Instead of eliminating resentment against the U.S. government, the continued use of violence is creating more anger, giving rise to a new generation of terrorists. Rather than making us safer, the U.S. response puts all of us at grave risk, and erodes our civil liberties. Violence begets only endless violence and retribution. Witness the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Roots of Terror
Whether we like it or not, the Taliban and Bin Laden have millions of sympathizers in the Arab and Muslim world. It is essential that we find out why.
The sad truth is that, for many years, our leaders have pursued our national security through the use of violence and unscrupulous tactics. Our government has bombed cities, overthrown elected governments and supported dictators. We have trained and supported torturers and assassins. For example:
In 1953, the CIA overthrew Prime Minister Mossadegh of Iran, who had been elected and mandated by the parliament to nationalize oil. The CIA then installed the brutal Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, who tortured and murdered thousands. After the Shah was overthrown by a popular rebellion in 1979, the U.S. aided Saddam Hussein in his war against the new government of Iran, which resulted in one million casualties.
In 1965, the CIA helped to overthrow the popular Indonesian President Sukarno and install a dictator who murdered a million civilians, mostly Muslims.
UNICEF reports that U.S.-led economic sanctions against Iraq have caused the deaths of yet another million people.
The U.S. supports undemocratic regimes in Egypt and Algeria which oppress and torture dissidents. The United States has turned the Muslim holy land of Arabia into a military base from which we continue to bomb Muslims in Iraq. Muslims around the world see daily news coverage of the Israeli military (massively funded by the U.S.) beating and shooting Palestinian civilians and bulldozing their homes. Such flawed policies cry out for a brand new approach.
International Truth Commission
Long and bloody civil wars have recently been ended in South Africa and Central America by means of Commissions of Truth and Reconciliation. Such commissions painstakingly investigated and thoroughly exposed past crimes and injustices on all sides. Perpetrators who confessed, cooperated and ceased criminal activity were granted amnesty. The truth was fully told. Retributive violence stopped.
Likewise, we need to investigate the causes, heal the rifts and deter the ongoing violence between the U.S. and other peoples. Lets create a program of reconciliation to allow us to learn, understand and start the healing.
How We Can Prevent Terrorism
- 1. End U.S. acts of war and violence, end the sanctions;
2. Immediately provide massive humanitarian aid and economic development to Afghanistan & Palestine;
3. Establish an International Truth Commission;
4. Stop arming oppressive Arab regimes;
5. Stop arming Israel until it its illegal settlements are abandoned and a Palestinian state is formed.
6. Withdraw the U.S. military from Saudi Arabia;
7. Reduce oil dependency by increasing energy efficiency and using renewable sources of energy;
8. Send a U.S. citizens delegation to dialogue with mullahs abroad. Urge them to preach against the killing of innocent civilians - anywhere by anybody.
9. Restore complete civil liberties in the U.S.
The ending of terrorism must not be entrusted to the leaders and interests who have put us at risk.
What You Can Do
- 1. Ask your Representatives to support these 9 Points.
2. Join local peace demonstrations, campus teach-ins.
3. Send this document to everyone you know.
Sponsored by the Baltimore Peace Network and Baltimore Emergency Response Network.
Pat Birnie, Betty Schroeder, Max Obuszewski, Susan DeFrancesco, Richard Ochs, Margie Roswell, Mike Bardoff, Marilyn Carlisle, David Goldsmith, Bob Brown, Lynn Kramer, Bill Berry, Badri Maliwal, Rev. John Oliver, Vicky Pennacchia, Linda K. Brown, Leslie Salgado, William Hughes, Esq., Dr. Larry Egbert, Ellen Barfield, Doris Rausch, Dr. Richard Humphery, Lauralee Humphery, Harold Burns, Myles Honig, John-Hans Melcher, Brian Barrett, Carol Solomon, Ron Solomon, Ted Klitzke, Kathy Schaafsma, Marian Gillis, Mike Stahl, John Lawrence, Ronda Cooperstein, Joan Parr, Ruth Kim, Pam Acher, Chuck D'Adamo, Lynn Robinson, Lisa Runion, Rupert Wondolowski.