|Sign This Letter.||View the Signatures.|
We the undersigned reject President Bush's argument for the necessity of a preemptive military strike against Iraq. We contend that the proposed war against Iraq is unwise, illegitimate, and unjust for the following reasons:
Military action to depose Saddam Hussein is not in the best interests of the United States, the Middle East, or the world.
An invasion of Iraq will likely lead to political instability in Iraq and the wider Middle East region. Iraq's neighbors such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Jordan and even Kuwait have opposed a U.S. invasion. Were the U.S. to invade Iraq, we would likely see intensified conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, increased popular appeal of radical Islamic movements, and growing anti-Americanism worldwide. Far from insuring international security, a U.S. invasion of Iraq promises to make both the region and the world much less safe for the foreseeable future.
The Bush administration has not produced credible evidence that the Iraqi government has any links with Al Qaeda or international terrorism.
Osama Bin Laden himself has derisively called Saddam Hussein "an apostate and an infidel." It is highly unlikely that Hussein's secular Baathist regime, which has suppressed radical Islamist groups in Iraq, would maintain ties with Osama Bin Laden or Al Qaeda. The U.S. State Department's annual study found no act of international terrorism connected to the government of Iraq.
There is no credible evidence that Iraq poses a significant nuclear or biochemical weapons threat.
In 1998 the International Atomic Energy Agency declared Iraq's nuclear program completely dismantled. Iraq's military forces have been severely reduced since the Gulf War. The recently published report by the British Joint Intelligence Agency concluded that "while sanctions remain effective, Iraq would not be able to produce a nuclear weapon." And, even if sanctions were ended immediately "it would take Iraq at least five years to produce sufficient fissile material for a weapon."
The US insistence on the right to a preemptive, unilateral attack is in clear violation of international legal agreements and undermines the principle of collective international security.
International law expressly prohibits military action that is not undertaken in self-defense or in response to a clearly imminent attack. The Iraqi case does not meet either condition. A preemptive U.S. invasion of Iraq, then, goes against the core principles of international law and sets a dangerous precedent for future conflicts.
War against Iraq will exact enormous human costs.
Invasion means US forces would march on Baghdad, a city of 5 million people, and face bitter house-to-house fighting. Bombing such a densely populated area will likely result in horrifying numbers of civilian casualties.
A war against Iraq may advance the interests of U.S. oil companies and distract the American public from the economic and social ills that beset the nation, but it will not produce security for the people of the United States, the Middle East, and the world. Patriotism requires us to hold our government accountable, to stand up, speak out, and voice our opposition.
We call on all members of the community to make their voices heard and join us in opposing war against Iraq.
|Richard Alba, Department of Sociology |
|Donna Armstrong, Department of Epidemiology |
|Judith E. Barlow,Department of English |
|G.J. Barker-Benfield, Department of History |
|Sylvia Barnard, Department of Classics|
|Iris Berger, Department of History |
|Ronald Berger, Department of History |
|Bret Benjamin, Department of English |
|Jim Bilik |
|Christine Bose, Department of Sociology |
|Peter D. Breiner, Department of Political Science|
|Angie Chung, Department of Sociology |
|Jim Collins, Department of Anthropology |
|François Cooren, Department of Communications |
|Nancy Denton, Department of Sociology|
|Helen R. Desfosses, Department of Public Administration and Social Policy |
|Julie Elson |
|Judith Fetterley, Department of English |
|Helen Ghiradella, Department of Biology|
|Liliana R. Goldin, Department of Anthropology |
|Richard Hamm, Department of History|
|Rosemary Hennessy, Department of English |
|David Hess, Social Scientist|
|Janell C. Hobson, Women's Studies|
|Shirley J. Jones, School of Social Welfare|
|Brian Keough, Department of Special Collections and Archives |
|Richard W. Lachmann, Department of Sociology|
|John Logan, Department of Sociology|
|Scott M. Lyon|
|Bruce L. Miroff, Department of Political Science|
|Vivien W. Ng, Women's Studies |
|John Pipkin, Department of Geography and Planning|
|Lawrence Raffalovich, Department of Sociolgy|
|Lou Rose |
|Morton Schoolman, Department of Political Science|
|Steven Seidman, Department of Sociology |
|Glenna Spitze, Department of Sociology|
|Leon Van Dyke, Africana Studies|
|James Wessman, Latin American and Caribbean Studies|
|Lawrence S. Wittner, Department of History|
|Gerald Zahavi, Department of History |
|James Zetka, Department of Sociology|