Attack on Iraq would endanger whole world
Date: Thursday, September 26 2002
Topic: International News
The following is the statement, entitled 'Time to Move Beyond War,' issued by 100 prominent Canadians, yesterday.
We, the undersigned, are deeply alarmed that the most powerful nations in the world continue to rely on military force to achieve their global political and economic goals -- while eroding the standard of living, the environment, and the security of people throughout the world.
We are united in the belief that a military attack on Iraq at this juncture would be profoundly immoral, and would almost certainly result in a destabilizing repercussions that would endanger the whole world.
Since the 1991 Gulf War, an estimated 1.5 million Iraqis have died as a result of shortages of food and medicine under sanctions. Iraq's water and sewage treatment facilities, destroyed during the Gulf War, have not yet been restored due to sanctions -- resulting in an epidemic of water-borne diseases throughout the country.
In August 1999, UNICEF confirmed 500,000 children, mainly under the age of five years, had died under sanctions, and that a further 25 per cent of all Iraqi children suffer from chronic and acute malnutrition.
Military action would first and foremost affect the long-suffering civilian population of Iraq. It would constitute an unprovoked act of aggression and would present the very real danger of igniting a larger conflict far beyond the borders of Iraq.
No connection has been confirmed between Iraq and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Furthermore, no convincing evidence has been produced that Iraq is in possession of weapons of mass destruction, or that it has plans to threaten to use, or to use, such weapons in the near future.
The world cannot be made safe from weapons of mass destruction by countries that possess vast arsenals of such weaponry, bombing other nations for allegedly pursuing the same weaponry.
Global peace and security can only be achieved by entering into negotiated and verifiable agreements to rid the world of all weapons of mass destruction. Bombing sites that could contain nuclear, chemical or biological weapons should be unthinkable, as it would hold the potential for a global human and environmental catastrophe.
We urge the Canadian government and the people of Canada to do everything in their power to oppose military action against Iraq and to seek peaceful means to resolve outstanding issues.
Peace can only be built upon a foundation of diplomacy and justice. We must work to uphold international law and to safeguard human rights, the environment, and global human security. Then, and only then, can the world move beyond terrorism and war.
Also read the article about 100 prominent Canadians signing a letter deploring possible war, urging peace.