The Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft condemns the
use of all violence whether it takes the form of terrorism or
U.S. military action. While we continue to mourn the death of
so many innocent lives in the September 11th attacks, our grief
has been heightened by the loss of equally innocent Afghani civilians
due to the unwarranted and unjustifiable attacks by the United
States government on Afghanistan.
Many people in the peace and social justice community expected
and predicted a U.S. military response to the terrorist attacks.
History shows us that military force is the preferred U.S. "problem
solving" method, despite the reality that violence only breeds
more violence. Now people in the U.S. are possibly facing additional
terrorist attacks in response to U.S. military action in Afghanistan
and arrogant and ignorant U.S. foreign policy - a policy that
promotes, finances and fosters violence and human rights violations
throughout the world.
So what actions should the U.S. government take? First, the U.S.
should immediately cease its attacks on Afghanistan and allow
the system of international law to bring those responsible for
the September terrorist attacks to justice. Then, the U.S. should
shut down its own terrorist training facility, the Western Hemisphere
Institute for Security Cooperation (formerly the School of the
Americas). This should be followed by the withdrawal of financial
and military support to the Israeli government, as well as all
other oppressive and militaristic governments. The next step would
be to cooperate with the international community to establish
states for the Palestinian people and other oppressed nations,
including the Kurdish people in Turkey (a NATO ally) and Iraq.
Also, the murderous non-military sanctions against Iraq must be
Finally, the U.S., rather than disregarding international laws,
treaties and conventions (except when it's convenient for its
own agenda), must fully comply with international law and work
to strengthen democratic institutions and promote human rights
worldwide. In short, the U.S. must become a responsible member
of the international community.
By taking the steps outlined above, the U.S. can do much to eliminate
many of the root causes of terrorism and erode support for terrorists
within the countries where they base their activities. Only then
will the chances of further terrorist attacks be reduced.
There is no doubt that the U.S. is the most powerful nation in
the world in terms of economic and military power. In the past,
it has willingly used these strengths to needlessly wage war and
destruction in Viet Nam, Grenada, Nicaragua, Panama, Iraq and
Yugoslavia (among others), and now in Afghanistan. Millions have
died due to misguided U.S. military interventions, and many more
will die unless the U.S. government alters its foreign policy.
The enormous amount of anger in the U.S. can be used to further
the cycle of violence or it can be harnessed to make meaningful
changes in the dynamics of U.S. relations with the international
community. Mohandas Gandhi once said, "I have learnt through
bitter experience the one supreme lesson to conserve my anger,
and as heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so our anger
controlled can be transmuted into a power which can move the world."
It is time for the world to be moved.
to Militarism and the Draft
P.O. Box 15195,
San Diego, CA 92175