Statement on attacls by McReynolds, War Resisters League leaders

Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Wed Sep 12 10:54:23 MDT 2001

Via NY Transfer News * All the News That Doesn't Fit


[I'm writing this from home - the WRL office email is down, but I was
when this statement was drafted and said I'd take the text home to transmit
at once. David McReynolds]

 As we write, Manhattan feels under seige, with all bridges, tunnels, and
subways closed, and tens of thousands of people walking slowly north from
Lower Manhattan. As we sit in our offices here at War Resisters League, our
most immediate thoughts are of the hundreds, if not thousands, of New
who have lost their lives in the collapse of the World Trade Center. The day
is clear, the sky is blue, but vast clouds billow over the ruins where so
many have died, including a great many rescue workers who were there when
final collapse occured.

 Of course we know our friends and co-workers in Washington D.C. have
thoughts about the ordinary people who have been trapped in the parts of the
Pentagon which were also struck by a jet. And we think of the innocent
passengers on the hi-jacked jets who were carried to their doom on this day.

 We do not know at this time from what source the attack came. We do know
that Yasser Arafat has condemned the bombing. We hesitate to make an
analysis until more information is available but some things are clear. For
the Bush Administration to talk of spending hundreds of billions on Star
is clearly the sham it was from the beginning, when terrorism can so easily
strike through more routine means.

 We urge Congress and George Bush that whatever response or policy the U.S.
develops it will be clear that this nation will no longer target civilians,
or accept any policy by any nation which targets civilians. This would mean
an end to the sanctions against Iraq, which have caused the deaths of
hundreds of thousands of civilians. It would mean not only a condemnation of
terrorism by Palestinians but also the policy of assassination against the
Palestinian leadership by Israel, and the ruthless repression of the
Palestinian population and the continuing occupation by Israel of the West
Bank and Gaza.

 The policies of militarism pursued by the United States have resulted in
millions of deaths, from the historic tragedy of the Indochina war, through
the funding of death squads in Central America and Colombia, to the
and air strikes against Iraq. This nation is the largest supplier of
"conventional weapons" in the world - and those weapons fuel the starkest
kind of terrorism from Indonesia to Africa. The early policy of support for
armed resistance in Afghanistan resulted in the victory of the Taliban - and
the creation of Osama Bin Laden.

 Other nations have also engaged in these policies. We have, in years past,
condemned the actions of the Russian government in areas such as Chechnya,
the violence on both sides in the Middle East, and in the Balkans. But our
nation must take responsibility for its own actions. Up until now we have
felt safe within our borders. To wake on a clear cool day to find our
city under seige reminds us that in a violent world, none are safe.

 Let us seek an end of the militarism which has characterized this nation
decades. Let us seek a world in which security is gained through
international cooperation, and social justice - not through escalation and
retaliation. We condemn without reservation attacks such as those which
occured today, which strike at thousands of civilians - may these profound
tragedies remind us of the impact U.S. policies have had on other civilians
in other lands. We are particularly aware of the fear which many people of
Middle Eastern descent, living in this country, may feel at this time and
urge special consideration for this community.

 We are one world. We shall live in a state of fear and terror or we shall
move toward a future in which we seek peaceful alternatives to conflict and
more just distribution of the world's resources. As we mourn the many lives
lost, our hearts call out for reconciliation, not revenge.

 This is not an official statement of the War Resisters League but was
drafted immediately after the tragic events occured. Signed and issued by
staff and Executive Committee of War Resisters Leauge in the national
September 11, 2001.

 Contact calls: WRL - 212 / 228.0450 also David McReynolds, 212 / 674.7268

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