MAP Member Opinion "Peace"  

Response to Senator Coleman on Iraq Protesters
written by John Maus - Twin Cities Campaign to Lift Sanctions
Letter to the Editor, Star Tribune, sent 5-31-03

Senator Coleman stated that those of us who protested the war and were arrested at his office were "simply wrong". I feel strongly that we were as correct about our opposition to the war as we were in our opposition to the US-led UN sanctions which were responsible for the death of over a million Iraqis while creating a dependancy that strengthened Saddam Hussein's hold on power.

The reasons why we should not invade Iraq that we circulated are as valid today as they were before the war started.

  • Iraq was not a threat to the US and the CIA confirmed that there was no connection to Al-Qaida or 9/11.
  • According to a Christian Science Monitor report between 5,000 and 10,000 Iraqi civilians may have died during the war and it will cost U.S. taxpayers many billions.
  • Both Iraqi civilians and US troops are at risk of serious illness and/or birth defects because of the depleted uranium that was used. Eleven Americans died this week and U.S. troops are targets of anger and ambushes instead of being greeted as liberators.
  • Anti-American feeling has resulted in terrorist attacks since the war. Jason Burke, author of a forthcoming book on al Qaeda, has written "That the conflict in Iraq led to a rise in recruitment for radical groups is now so clear that even US officials admit it. This is a huge setback in the 'war on terror.'"
  • The doctrine of premption has set a dangerous precedent and the attack was a breach of international law and undermines the UN charter.
  • It is quite possible that North Korea and Iran will now acquire nuclear weapons for protection from U.S. aggression.

Ironically, the mass graves that Coleman mentions were created when the U.S. betrayed the Shia and Kurdish uprising at the end of Desert Storm because the U.S. was afraid that the new government would not be friendly to U.S. interests. By protecting only the Oil Ministry and oil wells the US provided good reason for the Iraqi mistrust of US intentions. One Iraqi citizen said."The only thing they liberated us from was the idea that they came to save us".

The people of Iraq, living under Saddam's repression, were not his co-conspirators. They did not deserve the death and destruction of an invasion after twelve years of an inhumane embargo. The decision about who should govern Iraq is one for the people of Iraq to make, not foreign governments. Pinochet, Marcos, Ceausescu, Suharto, Milosevic, the Shah of Iran are just a few examples of dictators that were overthrown by their own people without an invasion by a foreign country.

John Maus
Twin Cities Campaign to Lift Sanctions

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