United for Peace and Justice shares with people around the world a deep sorrow over the recent attacks in Paris, along with the civilian deaths on the downed Russian airplane and in Beirut.
The massive news coverage of Paris brings home to everyone the humanity of these particular victims and the tragedy of innocent lives upended or destroyed. Yet in mourning the deaths in France, we cannot the ignore the reality of fourteen years in which millions of civilians in the Middle East and elsewhere have endured shattering losses, as the harsh and irresponsible American “war on terror” exacts its fearful price.
We recognize there are no simple, easy solutions to the challenge of ISIS and other terrorist formations. But we have had ample opportunity to observe the personal tragedies which ensue when a horrific international crime is transformed into the occasion for war. Bombing the Syrian city of Raqqa may be cathartic for some, but there are innocent people living there, whose lives are as precious as those of Paris or New York. We do not believe that accelerated air-strikes, increased weapons deliveries or expanded “boots on the ground” are a practical or moral answer to the danger of international terrorist plots.
United for Peace and Justice was formed in 2002, in an effort to deter a catastrophic war in Iraq. The emergence of ISIS is dramatic testament to the folly of that governmental decision. The intervening years of suffering and violence have confirmed the necessity for a mobilized, vocal peace movement. We remain determined to oppose US militarism in all its manifestations, to support inclusive diplomacy and to urge a massive redirection of resources to aid the millions of men, women and children rendered homeless by the proliferating wars.
Coordinating Committee of United for Peace and Justice