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Guest Commentary: Working to create a different kind of world

By UA Peace Refuge
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday April 10, 2003

The University of Arizona Peace Refuge is the creation of a diverse group of people. We come from many backgrounds and political positions, and are motivated variously by humanitarian principles, religious faith, moral outrage or political conviction. While we have differences, we are united by a profound sense that the war on Iraq is an unjust and criminal act of aggression that must be opposed. We all feel sorrow that, once again, the people of Iraq are facing a horrific and devastating onslaught. We are outraged that their lives, their loved ones, their homes, their country and their cultural heritage are being destroyed in our name.

And we are saddened that U.S. soldiers are dying and participating in an unjust cause.
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We are saddened that U.S. soldiers are dying and participating in an unjust cause.
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This war is not in the interests of the people of Iraq; it will not liberate them, but only push them further into misery and subjugate their country to the interests of U.S. corporations. It is not in the interests of the people of the world especially not those in countries already being targeted for future wars. It is not even in the interests of the people of the United States. Americans will pay the financial cost, while a handful of well-connected corporations reap huge benefits. They will suffer the consequences of the outrage and hatred this war is producing around the world. And it is their civil liberties being destroyed under the cover of this war.

This war only serves the interests of a very small group of arrogant bullies who are acting in defiance of the majority of the world's population and of every form and process of democracy. It is a crime against humanity, and the people responsible are simply war criminals.

We feel that as people in whose name this is being done, we have a special responsibility to make common cause with the people of Iraq and to raise our voices and commit our bodies in resistance to this war. We believe that people of conscience must take responsibility for what their own governments do.

When such a crime is being done in our name, what could we claim of our own humanity if we were to turn aside and do nothing, say nothing? When human beings are being destroyed by daisy cutters, tomahawk missiles, massive ordnance air blast bombs and other terrible weapons, how could we fail to act and simply take refuge in the privilege that excuses us from experiencing such horrors?

We will not let it not be said that people in the United States did nothing when their government launched a war of aggression against an already brutalized and tremendously out-gunned people. We refuse to be party to this war, and we repudiate any inference that it is being waged in our name or for our welfare.

Our original intent was to establish an anti-war tent city on the Mall, but this has been blocked by the administration. We are working through various means to convince the administration to respect our freedom of speech. In the meantime, we are running a 24-hour information and organizing center out of study rooms on the southeast corner of the fourth floor of the Main Library.

Since this space does not allow for systematically refuting all of the apologetics put forward that might justify this war, we encourage anyone, regardless of their position, to come to the info-center. If you are interested in discussing the war, getting information from outside the government/corporate media propaganda system, or are simply curious, we will welcome you. Unlike those carrying out this war, we celebrate debate and dissent. We invite everyone to find out for themselves what Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the other Asses of Evil are so afraid of you knowing. We are confident that those who take the time to look honestly at all the available information will see that this is an unjust war.

UAPR will last as long as the war. It is an open and democratic space, and everyone who takes a principled and progressive stand against the war is welcome and encouraged to participate.

We will not allow the world to despair because of our silence and our failure to act. Instead, we will join with millions of others around the world to resist this war and to rally others to do everything possible to stop it. The only good thing that will come out of this war is a newly invigorated and diverse opposition to the machinery of war, the abuse of power and the myriad oppressions that feed war, and which are in turn fed by war.

Another world is possible, and we pledge to make it happen.

The guest commentary is a collaborative stance of the UA Peace Refuge.

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