Last Reviewed: 1/24/02
promote the peaceful prevention of armed conflict
Not War, Then What?
to the "War Against Terror"
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) opposes the use of U.S.
military force in response to the September 11th attacks. War is not the
continue to grieve for the many unique, precious and irreplaceable people
who were murdered in the September 11 attacks. Our outrage at those terrible
acts of violence is rooted in our profound belief that every human being
is a creature of God and has been put here for a very special purpose.
Those who helped in planning and carrying out the attacks have violated
the most fundamental laws of a civil society. They should be held accountable
under those laws.
the terror and grief have not ended with the September 11 atrocities. While
the full civilian death toll in Afghanistan has yet to be compiled, it
is virtually certain that hundreds, if not thousands, of civilians have
been killed or maimed directly by the war, and that hundreds, if not thousands
more, refugees from the U.S. bombing have died from hidden landmines, hunger,
or exposure to the elements. We cannot simply consign these innocent victims
to the category of "collateral damage" or an "accident of war." They, too,
were unique and precious human beings who will never be replaced. The U.S.
government had no right to sacrifice their lives in its pursuit of justice.
call upon the United States government to end the downward spiral of attacks
and reprisals, a spiral begun long before September 11, but propelled by
those attacks. Terrorism is not a person, place, or thing. You cannot blast
it out of this world. Violent retaliation by the U.S. will sow more seeds
of hatred and reap a new harvest of terror. Instead, we call upon the President
and Congress to help lead the world out of the wilderness of war and terror
and into a new world where people exercise reverence for life and nations
respect the international rule of law.
ask: If not war, then what should the U.S. do instead to respond to the
horrific attacks of September 11? As an alternative to war, we believe
the U.S. should:
IS NOT THE ANSWER
with law enforcement agencies around the world in bringing to justice those
involved in international terrorism to the full extent of U.S. and international
law. Toward that end, the U.S. Senate should ratify and implement the International
Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombing and assist and encourage
other countries in doing so. In response to earlier bombing attacks against
Pan Am flight 103, the World Trade Center, and the U.S. embassies in Africa,
U.S. officials worked successfully with law enforcement agencies around
the world to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators of those attacks.
the international community in cooperative action to stop the flow of financial
resources that support violent terror networks. Toward that end, the U.S.
Senate should ratify and implement the International Convention on the
Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.
the UN Security Council, call for the establishment of a special international
tribunal (or authorize an existing tribunal) to investigate and prosecute
the September 11 attacks as crimes against humanity. To have legitimacy
and to receive full cooperation from other countries, these cases should
be tried before an international tribunal rather than before a U.S. court
or military tribunal. To help deter and prosecute future crimes against
humanity, the U.S. Senate should join the world community by ratifying
the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court.
civil liberties for U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike; maintain full
public accountability of U.S. governing institutions; and protect vulnerable
groups in the U.S. from racial profiling, hate crimes, and harassment.
The U.S. must not and need not sacrifice its core values in the process
of defending them from acts of terror. Rather, the U.S. should demonstrate
its enduring commitment to freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule
of law in the way it pursues justice.
the UN Security Council, lead the international community in bringing diplomatic,
political, and economic pressure and incentives to bear on governments
that give support or shelter to terror networks. If international sanctions
are applied, they should be focused narrowly so as to isolate and limit
the capacities of those in political power while avoiding harm to civilian
with compassion and generous, sustained humanitarian and development assistance
to the suffering of the innocent peoples in Afghanistan, Colombia, Somalia,
the Congo, Iraq, the Sudan, Pakistan, and other zones of conflict. War
orphans, refugee children, and youth without hope, today numbering in the
millions, are especially vulnerable to recruitment by terrorist organizations.
U.S. efforts to secure a just and lasting peace in the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict, a major source of deep anti-U.S. sentiment throughout the Arab
the international community in cooperative efforts to dealert, reduce,
and eliminate existing stockpiles of nuclear, chemical, and biological
weapons in the U.S., Russia, and elsewhere. This includes increasing substantially
U.S. funding for the "Nunn-Lugar" cooperative threat reduction programs
with Russia. To reduce the threat from weapons of mass destruction further,
the Bush Administration and Congress should support the pending protocol
to the Biological Weapons Convention, ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban
Treaty, and preserve the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. If the U.S. does
not lead, the danger from these weapons will continue to grow.
an international code of conduct on arms transfers and a ban on the sale
and transfer of weapons to zones of conflict. Weapons sales and transfers
increase acts of violence, suffering, and the collapse of civil society
institutions. The U.S. is the world's largest exporter of weapons. It should
not export weapons to regimes that are undemocratic and violate human rights.
environmentally sound energy and transportation policies to reduce U.S.
dependence on oil, a driving factor behind U.S. military intervention and
violent conflicts in the Persian Gulf region.
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