[Last update: 6 September 2002]

Statement of Opposition to War on Iraq

by Robert Jensen

We stand opposed to the use of violence or threat of violence against civilians for political purposes. We stand against those who abandon law and attempt to rule by force. We are Americans who stand against terrorism, theirs and ours.

Terrorism is a real threat, and after September 11 a strong response was necessary. But the attack on Afghanistan and a possible attack on Iraq have done, and will do, little to curb terrorism, which cannot be eliminated through conventional warfare. A real solution has to involve a sustained, vigorous police effort and significant changes to create a more just U.S. foreign policy.

Instead, the Bush administration has offered an endless war against unlimited enemies that does little or nothing to make U.S. citizens secure. The so-called "war on terrorism" being pursued by the Bush administration, and supported by most politicians in both major parties, uses terrorism as a pretext to pursue reckless, dangerous conflicts aimed at extending and deepening U.S. control over much of the world, especially the energy resources of the Middle East and Central Asia. Influence over governments in that region is a source of great strategic power, and it is that power that the United States seeks in this war -- a power that benefits a wealthy elite, not ordinary people.

People around the world see this as the real reason for this war, which is why the United States has so few allies as it plans to attack Iraq. The United States has made it clear it will not take its case against Iraq to the U.N. Security Council; so, any U.S. attack will be a direct violation of international law. Given U.S. strategies in recent wars, an attack will almost certainly kill large numbers of civilians. And in the end, a war will not bring freedom or democracy to the people of Iraq. A U.S. war would be illegal, immoral, and ineffective.

Resistance to the Bush war plans is spreading, in the United States and abroad. Now is the time to raise our voices in protest, calling for an end to wars for the U.S. empire and a commitment to international law and basic moral principles.

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