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UCI Faculty say NO to war on Iraq

by UCI Faculty for Peace and Justice Thursday, Oct. 24, 2002 at 1:11 PM

"No" to War in Iraq October 2002

download PDF (22.0 kibibytes)

"No" to War in Iraq

October 2002

In response to the Chancellor's call for positive engagement on world

issues, we write to voice our opposition to war against Iraq. We are

historians, specialists on international politics, humanists, and

social scientists with expertise in Western and non-Western societies

and cultures. We believe such a war is indefensible on moral and

legal grounds. It will have terrible consequences for public safety

and the economy here in the U.S., and even more tragic more outcomes

abroad.

Why War?

* The Bush Administration has consistently failed to demonstrate

that Saddam Hussein is a critical threat to the U.S. and the world.

The U.S. enacts a double standard, supporting anti-democratic regimes

throughout the region, and the Administration's own estimates put

Iraq behind Pakistan, India, North Korea, and other hotspots in the

development and delivery capability of various types of weapons of

mass destruction. Moreover, the CIA states that the Iraqi government

is not likely to strike the U.S. unless it believes a U.S. attack is

imminent (The World Today, 10/11/02).

* War would interrupt a successful UN inspection process. Evidence

shows that the UN inspection program in Iraq resulted in considerable

disarmament from 1992 to 1998. Many experts believe that Iraq's

nuclear, chemical, and biological capabilities are still lower today

than in 1991 because of inspections. Both nuclear and

chemical/biological experts on inspections are confident they can

move disarmament forward through inspections, even if imperfect.

National Insecurity and Global Disorder

* The new, so-called "Bush Doctrine" that attempts to justify

preventive war against any adversary is an extremely dangerous

foreign policy precedent. No previous administration has ignored

history and international law so blatantly as to promulgate such a

destabilizing doctrine.

* Anti-American sentiment on the ground in many parts of the world

(including the Middle East, Indonesia, Jammu and Kashmir) is at

explosive levels, as the tragic bombing in Bali demonstrates. We

ignore this sentiment to our peril. This war and the accompanying

doctrine leave us no moral or legal justification to protest

preventive war by India or Pakistan, Israel or its adversaries, or

China against Taiwan.

Consequences

* A war against Iraq will cause hardship for service families and

take the lives of young American men and women as well as innocent

Iraqi civilians, most of whom do not support Saddam Hussein. The

street-to-street fighting now forecast by our military cannot be

waged without bloodshed on both sides, adding to the anguish of a

people still suffering medical consequences from depleted uranium 238

shells used in the Persian Gulf War (SFChronicle, 10/10/02).

* The estimated economic costs of this war are huge. The

Administration acknowledges a base price of between 0 and 0

billion, without calculating the costs of reconstruction. In the

Persian Gulf War the first Bush Administration traded favors to

obtain financial and military support from wealthy allies including

Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Japan. In contrast, the justifiable

opposition of most of the world to this war means that the current

Administration is attempting to negotiate enormous concessions simply

to get our allies to be quiet. The costs of this war will fall on the

American people, especially the poor and working-class. The costs to

U.S. social service programs, education, and health care are

unacceptable.

* When we invaded Afghanistan we promised its people that we would

ensure its rebuilding, but we are far from attaining this goal.

Attacking Iraq would divert resources from reconstruction in

Afghanistan, not to mention from the Administration's stated goal of

incapacitating the instigators of the 9/11 attacks. The

Administration has failed to explain how, especially given our

flagging economy, we would pay for this venture. Instead, it is

making profligate promises to occupy and reconstruct Iraq, promises

which even Bush supporters like Henry Kissinger oppose (NYTimes,

10/11/02).

The American people are rightly skeptical of an administration whose

war-mongering comes in the midst of its officials' well-known desire

to control the world's second-largest oil reserves. Whether this

Administration wants war against Iraq because of its oil interests,

its anger that Saddam Hussein was not deposed in 1991, its need to

deflect attention from corporate scandals, or a sincere belief that

Saddam Hussein poses a future threat, its current course of action

betrays an imperial arrogance in wielding U.S. power. Statements

from right-wing pundits and even Administration officials making a

favorable comparison between the U.S. and the Roman Empire

demonstrate a chilling neglect of brutal historical realities.

Despite the congressional vote in favor of a resolution granting the

Bush administration the power to use force against Iraq even without

the sanction of the United Nations, a significant minority in both

the House and the Senate, a number of high-ranking military

officials, past administration officials of both major parties, and

substantial numbers of citizens are uneasy about such a war. We

applaud the thousands of people throughout the U.S. and the hundreds

of thousands around the world who have demonstrated peacefully

against this war.

We believe that the Administration's course of action is

unconscionable, and we write in the hope that there is still time to

turn the tide in favor of peace. We support the graduate students'

Teach-In on Iraq: Wednesday, October 23rd, 3-5 p.m. in the Cross

Cultural Center, and urge all members of the UCI/Orange County

community to engage in education and positive debate about this most

serious of public issues

The following is a list of groups through which to learn more and

express opposition:

Americans Against War with Iraq (www.aawi.org)

Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities

MoveOn (www.moveon.org)

Not in Our Name (lanotinourname@hotmail.com)

People for the American Way

OC 911 Peace Coalition (714-637-8647)

Professors for Peace (http://www.action-tank.org/pfp/)

True Majority (www.truemajority.com)

uci-peace-justice@uci.edu

UCI Faculty for Peace and Justice



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