Posted by Jeff from pcp02828637pcs.roylok01.mi.comcast.net (220.127.116.11) on Thursday, October 24, 2002 at 10:50PM :
This message was forwarded to me and I must pass it along to all of you:
I am feeling really inspired ( the church was filled with people of all ages) and very disturbed after last nights talk held at St James Church in Ferndale. You might have gotten the email I sent about it earlier (Thanks to Mary McElroy and John Clark for passing on the information). The speakers were Bishop Gumbleton and [Congressman] David Bonior. They both outlined why we should not be going to war with Iraq. I could probably talk on it for days now, having been to this but I don’t have time to type everything here.
I did want to give you some ideas of things that were mentioned and I wanted to let you know that now would be a great time to take action on this issue.
First of all the night was put on by the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights…an interfaith multiracial network for humanitarian rights.
Joining them would be a great way to show support for all Human Rights causes but to sign up they will help to keep you appraised of certain educational opportunities in the area. Their address is 1641 Webb, Detroit, MI 48206 (313) 869-8835 Fax (313) 869-8266
They have many activities on the calendar and they are coordinating a petition of civil disobedience which Bishop Gumbleton asked that everyone sign. This is being sent to President Bush informing him that there are Americans who do not agree with war in Iraq and who will protest if we attack Iraq.
They are also providing a bus to Washington DC for the antiwar protest in Washington DC this coming weekend.
I was very happy to see Mary and Eryn Marie at the meeting. They were 2002 JPI participants. Eryn felt very moved to attend the DC protest and is even thinking of taking off work to attend.
You might feel free to email them if you have questions about their insights on last night’s events.
Other opportunities upcoming are a Talk on Voters Rights and how they are violated (in the USA) is being held this Sunday by someone who was present for the Florida Elections in 2000. That talk is at 5 pm Sunday October 27 5 pm at Cathedral Church of St Paul 4800 Woodward (At Warren)
Now for a summary of the nights lessons…
Bishop Gumbleton outlined of course why the Attack on Iraq does not meet the standard of a Just war. He barely even got off of the first reason. He stated (and listed) the many Christian Religions, which have all condemned the idea and stated it would not be a Just war.
He also highlighted how we already bombed Iraq into the stone age and took out basic services like sewage treatment and water supply. He highlighted how living in Iraq right now is a tradegy from the 6 weeks of endless bombing every thirty seconds that was undertaken in the last war with Iraq. He highlighted how already we have dropped more bombs than the combined allies in World War II dropped. He highlighted the term "Iraqi roulette" which is a term used by those describing the situation in Iraq, meaning that in Iraq it’s a life threatening thing to take a drink of water. The medical supplies are not there and 5000 children per day die from things like dehydration and illnesses. Cancers like lymphoma took a huge leap due to our uranium coated bomb tips. And malformed babies are a norm now because of the uranium exposure. Uranium is used on the tips of warheads to make them penetrate armor. It vaporizes on impact and gets inhaled.
He asked that we implement monitors and that we try to help resolve the crisis so that aid can begin to the people of Iraq. Bishop Gumbleton gave an excellent faith based example of what our response should be with Iraq.
David Bonior was even more compelling in his arguments and very frank in his assessments of Congress, the President, and why we are where we are at this time. He also gave some ideas about what might work and what is being formulated as potential solutions.
Some of his thoughts were
1) Iraq was formed in 1921 after WWI by Great Britian with little thought about the people that would make up Iraq.
2) In the North are the Kurds who are not liked or represented in the Iraq government. They will likely seek indepence if we bomb Iraq. There are numberous Kurds in Turkey that are being repressed too who would likely join their friends and family….a war with Iraq will affect Turkey.
3) In the south were all the second richest oil deposit in the world is located, the area is controlled by Sheite (spelling) Muslims who are also not represented in Saddams government and they are more fundamentally like Iran…they would very likely join forces with Iran if we over throw Saddam and join a war with Iraq. To maintain the oil control the US would have to place an occupying force in the region for a long term commitment. There is no way a simple war with Iraq will protect US Oil interests which is David Boniors belief to be the main reason for having a war with Iraq. A war does not make sense for any reason in his mind.
4) It would be very dangerous to break the unwritten rule of non aggression. By attacking first we would be giving unrighten license to any country to attack another currently the world is a volatile place and he believes this is the most compelling reason not to initiate an attack. This could give India permisson to bomb Pakistan, N Korea bomb S Korea, etc)
5) The President’s administration is trying to show connection between Saddam and Osama as a way of justifying the war. Historically in the international community they have been enemies. Saddam is against all fundamentalists and although rumors and stories have surfaced about connections all have been later proven false. Intelligence sources are going to continue to search vigorously for this connect but David doesn’t believe it will be found. It could be dangerous if information is acted on too quickly as well.
6) He read from and brought an ad put in the NY times last week by TomPayne.com It was a great ad stating why Osama Bin Laden would want to draw us into a war with Iraq because of the new recruits he’d get for terrorism, the fracturing of our focus against Al Kaeda operatives and many more.
7) David Bonior is concerned about the "war on Terrorism" because all wars whether we are after Saddam or Libya or N Korea etc…is going to continue to divide out resources and he says that we can’t fight on so many fronts…there is no clear end in sight.
8) He believes that we disabled more weapons of mass destruction with our inspectors than we did with all of our bombs. He says that inspections failed because we reached an impasse, failed to push forward and instead started beating out war drums and rattling our fists. He believes that inspections can work if redone with more emphasis and if done right.
9) He says that he spoke to Jimmy Carter on the night before he received the Nobel Peace Prize and there is an initiative forming to try and have inspections and a peace/humanitarian effort that might be overseen by Jimmy Carter and other world peace leaders like Nelson Mandella, etc. This has been discussed and is thought to be a possible solution.
There were some questions and answers. There were some good hard questions about why the democrats voted to support the war effort. The reply was that there are mixed/individual reasons. He says that unfortunately even some of the Democratic Hopefuls for President voted in favor. He says he is afraid this will come back to bite them later. John Conyers who also spoke later said the same thing.
There was a plea at the end of the night to please join an association and to make your voices heard. There are many Americans that are opposed to the war but unfortunately the Media is reporting polls that show favor toward the war. It is very critical to make sure that leaders hear from us that are opposed to the War. They are especially asking that we right letters to our congress people, the president, and minimally to the local newspapers. The leader of the MCHR said that the local papers have been very hard on David Bonior and the letters printed are mostly in favor of the war effort. He asked us to specifically write with the opposing view points to help raise the general publics awareness that there are people opposed to the war and why war is a bad idea.
The addresses were given with paper envelopes and pencils.
If you wish to right here are the addresses:
The Detroit News
615 W. Lafayette Blvd
Detroit, MI 48226 (include work and home number and city of residence)
Detroit Free Press
600 W. Fort
Detroit, MI 48226
(all writers must provide full name and home address plus day and evening phone)
The Macomb Daily
100 Macomb Daily Drive
Mount Clemens, MI 48043
The Oakland Press
48 W. Huron
Pontiac, MI 48343
I hope you all take an interest in the topic and do something to get enlightened and take and enlighted action on this topic now before a decision is made without your voice being heard.
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