of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy
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More Reactions to September 11
In the present crisis, we
In peace, LCNP Staff
Unleashing vengeance through overwhelming U.S. firepower will prove
an ineffective and counterproductive response to this new scourge of international
terrorism. A crusade , as President Bush terms it, of American bombers and battleships
invading the Islamic world will demonstrate our military might, but it will diminish any
chance of finding, dismantling, and punishing these terrorist networks.
We seek victory over these international terrorists. Part of this victory will be measured by the number of terrorists brought to justice, the number of their financial links severed, and shattering direct or indirect support for terrorist organizations. But the greater part of victory will come through our government addressing the policies, circumstances, and grievances that spark terrorist responses, particularly against America. Otherwise, for every terrorist network broken, another will take its place. Only if our response is shaped by wisdom and conviction, will we be able to claim both victory and peace.
Many of us either lost loved ones or have friends who lost loved ones in the September 11 tragedy. Lydia Robertson, a long-time supporter of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, talks about her mother, Valerie, who was lost, and about her feelings in response. Read article here.
¡I take heart especially at the sight of so many individuals of so many creeds praying side by side in the cause of peace. Heaven knows how much we at the United Nations need the hope and comfort of your prayers. Heaven knows how deeply we wish all of our prayers today may bring some comfort to the people whose lives have been touched by this weeks tragedy. The events of the last two days must have tested the faith of every one of us. At times like this, it is all too tempting to jump to conclusions about the kind of people who must be behind such appalling acts, and to identify them with some faith or community different from our own.
Instead, we should remember that, whoever they are, they must be human beings. We like to think of such acts as inhuman, but the truth is that human nature can sink to the depths of horror, as well as rise to the highest level of nobility. It is up to each of us to cultivate the best in his or her nature, and to struggle against the worst.
¡The perpetrators of such evil acts must be brought to justice. But this must be done in a way that does not compound the violence. The law enforcement agencies must be given the resources they need to carry out their duties in maintaining order and apprehending criminals.
But revenge as an end in itself is unproductive and not worthy of the solemn obligation we have to ensure justice in the world. Rather, we must be motivated by a determination to end violence by getting at the root causes of violence. We must strengthen the international institutions working in the law and economic development fields so that more hope is given to the vulnerable, the oppressed and disposed that they can obtain the social justice that is their due without recourse to violence...
The New York/Washington attacks were attacks against humanity. They require a humanity-centered response.
¡The repeated use of terms such as war, vengeance and Pearl Harbour only serves to increase public acceptance of military strikes. These could well cause untold damage to civilians, provoke more terrorism, and risk spiralling into a dangerous international war. While terrorism must not be tolerated by anyone, anywhere, more violence is never the answer. The justice we rightly seek must be satisfied through the rule of law and international cooperation. This event offers an opportunity to try a different way, rather than resort to the too-frequent formula of more bombings, more grief and more resentment...
Everyone needs to take time to reflect on the root causes of these terrible events, and to find new ways to resolve them. This must involve a new and more equitable partnership between the USA and the rest of the world - dialogue, humility and social justice will make a surer path to improved security than the quick-fix of military force.
¡What does winning a war against terrorism mean? How has hatred of America become a source of meaning for vast numbers whose poverty already amounts to a state of war? Must a massive campaign of unleashed violence become Americas new source of meaning, too? The World Trade Center was a symbol of the social, economic, and political hope Americans treasure, a hope embodied above all in law. To win the struggle against terrorism means inspiring that same hope in the hearts of all who do not have it. How we respond to this catastrophe will define our patriotism, shape the century, and memorialize our beloved dead.
At www.ipb.org, IPB has selected statements from non-governmental organizations and individuals following the terrorist attacks in the US on September 11, 2001. Their purpose is to give inspiration and analysis based on peace movement reactions to this catastrophe - and also to encourage URGENT ACTION to prevent a new spiral of violence and war. Here you will also find links to other useful websites, articles and petitions to the US government. Read more here.¡