[pjw] INFO: Peace for Beirut, Paris and the World (NPP, AFSC, Stop the War)
Peace and Justice Works
pjw at pjw.info
Wed Nov 18 18:14:02 EST 2015
I've been pondering ways to frame the attacks that happened in Lebanon and
France in a sensitive enough way while also making sure to encourage you
all to contact the powers that be to say "NO MORE WAR." A number of things
have come our way, three of them today, which I'm sharing below; the first
is from the National Priorities Project, which mostly focuses on military
budget issues; the second from the national American Friends Service
Committee, and the third from the Stop the War Coalition in London.
On Monday night there was a good story on KGW news about a vigil held at
the Bethel Congregational UCC in Beaverton; the 11 PM story included
quotes about how responding with more warfare would not benefit anybody.
Unfortunately the only story posted on their site seems to be from their
Anyway, feel free to share these bits of info with others and try to
reverse the drums of war, as well as stemming the tide of anti-immigrant
(and anti-Muslim, anti-Syrian) rhetoric.
peace and justice works iraq affinity group
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2015 07:06:39 -0600
From: Lindsay Koshgarian <communications at nationalpriorities.org>
Subject: Peace for Beirut, Paris and the World
We at NPP join the world in mourning and solidarity with the people of
Beirut and Paris who suffered unconscionable attacks last week. These
heartbreaking acts of random violence are intolerable.
At times like this, we may feel anger and fear along with compassion for
the innocent victims. The temptation to react swiftly and forcefully in
response to such violence is understandable.
In the face of calls for an immediate military response, it is
heartening that President Obama has rejected calls for a knee-jerk
military action. If we are to break the spell that terrorism casts on
our world, calmer heads must prevail. We **must** be deliberate in our
Americans want our federal government to provide safety from harm,
perhaps above all else. But Americans do not need or want false
security, and our government should not respond with empty, expensive,
and potentially endless military campaigns that cost human lives and
countless dollars - especially if they don't make us any safer. The
hard truth is that our military campaigns can lead to more harm and
suffering around the world, and make us less safe at home.
There is little room for error. As we reach out to Beirut and Paris with
full hearts, we must also hold our leaders accountable to guide a
deliberate U.S. response with steady hands.
National Priorities Project
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2015 16:38:52 -0500 (EST)
From: American Friends Service Committee <actioncenter at afsc.org>
Subject: Responding to ISIS attacks: AFSC calls for no more victims
Responding to ISIS attacks: AFSC calls for no more victims
On November 11, an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) attack in Beirut
killed at least 43 people. The following day an ISIS bombing in Baghdad
killed 18 and a more publicized attack in Paris killed at least 129
people. Hundreds more were wounded in these attacks. It is believed that
ISIS also recently bombed a Russian plane, Metrojet Flight 9268, after it
took flight from Sharm-al-Sheik, Egypt, killing all 224 people aboard.
The American Friends Service Committee grieves for these victims of wanton
violence, and our hearts and prayers go out to the families whose loved
ones have died or been injured in these calamities. As a Quaker
organization that works to build lasting peace and justice in communities
worldwide, we extend deep sympathy to the communities now coping with the
aftermath of these unconscionable attacks.
We call for an end to violence so there will be no more victims. We oppose
all violence, regardless of source or target, and know from our work that
to end violence we must address its root causes. Responding with more
violence will not earn back what was lost by violence.
These are only the latest in a long line of attacks on civilians carried
out by both state and non-state actors in recent years. Those killed and
wounded in Beirut, Baghdad, Egypt, and Paris add to the millions of people
who have suffered over the last decade as a result of wars and violence in
Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Israel and the occupied Palestinian
territories, Libya, Kenya, and elsewhere.
In the wake of the attacks in Paris, the United States and European
governments have committed to increasing military actions to destroy ISIS.
France has bombed locations in Syria and the United States has vowed to
increase its attacks on ISIS and other armed groups in Iraq, Syria, and
However, before taking steps that escalate violence, we ask the United
States and others to step back and consider their possible responses to
violence. We need to learn from the failures in recent history.
Since 2001, the U.S. and its allies' first response to violent attacks has
been to declare war in the name of creating security. Wars have been
fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. Drones have bombed targets throughout the
Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa. Military forces have been deployed
around the globe. Local groups seen as allies of the U.S. have been
provided with weapons and training.
And as a result everyone became less secure.
In the U.S., we remain blind to the true human and strategic cost of war.
The lives lost in Arab countries are not valued or counted. But the
reality is that as a result of U.S. and European actions in the Middle
East, hundreds of thousands of people have died, millions have been
injured, and millions have been displaced from their homes.
As families, communities, and whole societies have been fractured, we have
created the conditions that perpetuate the cycle of violence and feed
decades-long unresolved conflicts. Despair, fear, and hopelessness about
the prospects for a just and secure future all contribute to ongoing
violence and to the biggest refugee crisis since World War II.
Throughout this period as the U.S. and allies waged a "Global War on
Terror," attacks by non-state actors have continued. Military actions have
not brought stability or ended violence. Rather, they are a key
contributing factor to ongoing violence. London, Madrid, Beirut, Amman,
Baghdad, Istanbul, Islamabad, Bali, and Paris have all been targets of
attacks. Al-Qaeda and other similar groups, far from being pacified
through violence, have gained strength. Now ISIS has emerged with
surprising speed and power, using U.S. and Western military operations as
an effective tool to recruit disaffected and marginalized youth in
impoverished European communities and Islamic militants hardened in other
violent attacks elsewhere.
ISIS is responsible for its horrific actions and their tragic
consequences, as was Al Qaeda in 2001. Yet the U.S. and Europe cannot
afford to repeat the mistake of responding to violence with more violence,
as we did with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Instead, we must break
the cycle of violence. We must analyze and address the root causes. If we
can see ISIS in the context of its place and time, the international
community can pursue alternatives and collaborative responses, overcoming
sectarian and geopolitical interests and engagements to reduce, rather
than escalate, future bloodshed.
The rise of ISIS draws on the instability and sectarian divisions fueled
by the unnecessary and catastrophic war in Iraq and ongoing U.S. military
support for violence in other areas of the Middle East. Violence by
non-state actors in the Middle East cannot be separated from civil wars
and repressive governments in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere or from the
impasse in reaching a just settlement between Israel and Palestine. Yet
continuing to respond to violence with violence will not bring new and
To stop this cycle, we must change direction and focus on ensuring
justice, freedom, and prosperity. For AFSC, this means promoting what we
call shared security. Shared security rejects policies based on narratives
of fear and military domination, instead recognizing that in this
interconnected world, our security depends on ensuring that others also
feel secure. By creating the conditions where people can enjoy their human
rights and meet their basic needs, we can stop nourishing the roots of
violence and instead promote resilient, nonviolent responses to the
disputes and challenges that will inevitably arise in our all too human
Based on our experience working in conflict zones for almost 100 years,
AFSC recommends listening to local communities as they express their
needs, supporting them to find political solutions, and investing in
strengthening civil institutions that help them build futures free of
conflict and violence. As the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates
recently urged, the nations of the world can take a first step in
addressing the root causes of violent conflict by fully funding the
implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals--a feat that could be
accomplished by cutting the worldwide military expenditure of $1.8
trillion dollars by just 10 percent.
All religious faiths value human life and dignity. Quakers express that
value in the idea that there is "that of God" in every individual. That
deeply held belief compels us to speak out for policies and practices that
respect the human dignity of all. In the wake of these attacks, we must
not allow our brothers and sisters in Muslim and Arab communities to
become scapegoats. When we vilify a group, it becomes easy to justify
violence and exploitation against them. Syrians fleeing the destruction in
their home country must not be received with fear and hatred. Rather they
must be welcomed with a helping hand. Only by respecting all of God's
children and working for the safety of all people everywhere can we stop
the cycle of violence.
When governments invest more in igniting human potential than they do in
weapons and war, then it will be possible to build lasting peace, justice,
and security for all.
*American Friends Service Committee*
1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
AFSC.org [ http://afsc.org ]
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2015 18:46:29 +0000
From: Stop the War Coalition <office at stopwar.org.uk>
Subject: No to more war and a new bombing campaign in Syria
Stop the War Coalition
*Newsletter 18 November 2015
*No to more war and a new bombing campaign in Syria*
David Cameron is once again trying to get sufficient parliamentary support
for the UK bombing of Syria. He wants to bomb as soon as possible. He
announced in parliament yesterday that he will make the case for such
bombing, possibly leading to a vote before Xmas. This would further fan the
flames of an already disastrous war.
The terrible attacks in Paris have led some people to say that something
must be done to stop terrorism. But the 'war on terror' launched 14 years
ago has resulted in failure, *as Chris Nineham explained
-to-break-the-cycle-of-violence>* at last week's Stop the War steering
committee meeting. And the wars continue in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya,
while terrorism has grown.
A decade and a half of pitiless "war on terror" in the Middle East and in
Northern Africa has resulted in the *death of millions of people
ions-of-civilians-in-iraq-and-afghanistan>*. The "shock and awe" bombing of
Baghdad in 2003 unleashed an explosion of fundamentalism in the entire
region. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen are all still in flames.
The idea that more bombing is going to produce peace is *intellectually and
Jeremy Corbyn was right to warn that UK military intervention in Syria would
"feed a cycle of violence and hatred", *increasing insecurity at home and
ll-unfold-without-a-rethink-by-western-leaders>*. Humanity can be more
creative than that. There is no military solution to the crisis in the
Our lobbying tool has been highly effective in contacting MPs and urging
them to oppose bombing. We must step up efforts to lobby every MP and make
the views of their constituents known. *A poll today shows
icture/>* only limited support for immediate bombing, and we need to build
*Stop the War statement on the Paris attacks*
/Stop the War steering committee met last Saturday. This was the statement
which it agreed in response to the terrorist attacks:/
We wish to express our condemnation at the terrorist attacks in Paris on
Friday. There can be absolutely no justification for the horrific shooting
and bombing of very large numbers of innocent people, in concerts, bars and
cafes. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families.
Terrorism attributed to IS is growing around the world. The main victims of
such attacks are the people of the countries wracked by wars. Bombings and
shootings of these kinds are all too frequent in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan
and Libya. Just this week, a major bombing in Lebanon killed dozens of
people, although this was little reported in the West. The refugees now
coming to Europe will be all too familiar with such attacks.
The response of the Western governments and other major powers has been for
more war. President Hollande of France has talked of a 'pitiless' war
against terrorism. The idea that bombing will end terrorism is refuted by
the history of the last 14 years. It has already led to an increase in
Islamophobia and to attacks on civil liberties which will likely target
Muslims above all.
The British government has been campaigning for a vote in parliament to be
able to officially bomb Syria. There is absolutely no evidence that this
will do anything but make the situation worse. We should remember that ISIS
was created in Iraq, during the U.S. occupation there. The disastrous civil
war in Libya followed the bombing of that country by the West, which began
with a no fly zone. The only solution can lie in political and negotiated
The urgent task is how we end these killings, defeat the reactionary force
of ISIS and other similar groups, and begin to see the prospect of peace in
the Middle East. This can only be done by the Iraqi, Syrian and other
peoples of the region themselves. Western military intervention has not only
killed or displaced millions, it has also contributed to the endless
mutation of terrorist groups like IS while destroying the capacity of the
people's of the region to confront such organisations themselves.
Defeating ISIS means firstly cutting its support from some of the most
reactionary regimes in the region, including Saudi Arabia. Secondly it means
not creating further grievances which help to fuel its support. That means
rejecting the idea that bombing and intervention can make things better. We
are told that we need to be 'doing something' in the face of these attacks.
It is precisely because of what we have been doing in the region that we
face this threat.
Stop the War works for a world without terrorism and imperialism, and will
continue to campaign for a peaceful solution to the crises in the Middle
Stop the War Coalition | office at stopwar.org.uk | 020 7561 4830
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