Posted by AssyrianVoices4Peace from dialup-126.96.36.199.Dial1.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (188.8.131.52) on Sunday, October 13, 2002 at 3:01AM :
US War Against Iraq
International Physicians and Health Professionals
Petition to Oppose War Against Iraq
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The undersigned physicians and health professionals and their supporters worldwide register our opposition to the Bush administration's plans for a pre-emptive first strike on the government and people of Iraq.
The 1991 Gulf War took the lives of 111,000 civilians, 70,000 of them children under 15 years of age. These deaths were caused not only by the conflict itself, but by outbreaks of infectious diseases such as cholera, typhoid, malaria, polio, and hepatitis resulting from the destruction of Iraq's infrastructure. UNICEF has reported that the combined effects of the Gulf War and over a decade of economic sanctions have resulted in the deaths of 500,000 children due to malnutrition, diarrhea, and other preventable diseases.
We are deeply concerned that war on Iraq could escalate into a wider regional conflict involving Israel and neighboring countries, threatening the use of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction (WMD). If Iraq does have a residual WMD capacity, a direct attack on that country with the object of changing the regime by force would be the most likely way of ensuring that Iraq would use weapons of mass destruction either against allied forces or against Israel, possibly resulting in nuclear retaliation.
There is every reason to believe that a new war against Iraq would cause heavy casualties, both civilian and military. A war against Iraq would destabilize the Middle East, strengthen the growing polarity between the West and Islamic nations, stimulate the further growth of terrorist elements, and risk future retaliation against innocent civilians in the United States and other countries that support such an action.
We support the following course of action as an alternative to war:
We believe that non-military measures can effectively address the military threat from Iraq, alleviate the humanitarian disaster afflicting its people, and will best serve the security interests of the US and the international community.
We therefore support a reinstatement of the rule of law and the primacy of the UN Charter and we oppose any unilateral, illegal military action against Iraq on clear moral grounds.
We support the redeployment of UN weapons inspectors into Iraq, who must be given unfettered access to do their work and report back to the Security Council.
To prevent a recurrence of similar threats from weapons of mass destruction, the UN should initiate an international commission on the elimination of WMD that, in particular, would hold all of the nuclear weapon states accountable to their disarmament obligations under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.
We ask the UN Security Council to remain committed to non-violent, diplomatic means in order to remove any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and to resist the calls from the US for a new UN resolution that would threaten Iraq with an unprovoked war.
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