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Say no to war! Join us in a vigil!

Say no to war! Join us in a vigil!

When: Thursday, 27th Sept. 2001 at 6:30PM
Where: The Dail, Dublin

All are welcome! Call 672 7803/087 2225742 for more details
Please pass on this email to others.

Statement from the Campaign to End the Iraq Sanctions.

Justice not retribution is the only way forward for humanity.

The Campaign to End Iraq Sanctions extends our deepest sympathies and 
condolences to the families and friends of the innocent civilians who were 
killed in the United Sates on the 11th September in the World Trade Centre, 
the Pentagon and in Pensyliviana. The sudden and arbitrary taking of life 
by an individual, government or group is immoral and wrong whether it be in 
America, Iraq, Sudan or Yugoslavia.

Since Tuesday the 11th September we have seen images of the carnage and the 
faces of human misery and loss from America. We have witnessed the 
magnitude of the waste and destruction. And we have shared their pain, 
confusion and fear. The coverage was however, in stark contrast to the 
media's past coverage of the Gulf War, when, instead of real buildings 
exploding over and over again, we saw only sterile views of concrete 
targets -- there and then gone. We did not see the destruction and carnage 
nor the misery on the faces of people whose loved ones were killed and 
buried under the rubble and whose lives had been changed terribly and 
unrecognisable in a matter of seconds.

Yet, whilst thousands of American families mourned for the dead and injured 
the Bush administration took advantage of the tragic human toll to 
strengthen and intensify the Pentagon's war machine. Not two days after 
this attack, whilst the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre were still 
burning, President Bush, talked of how America was at War. This was before 
any group had taken responsibility or before any concrete facts were 
established  who were America at war with? The Middle East was put centre 
stage backed up by irresponsible media coverage. A whole culture was held 
accountable and guilty. The backlash of anti- Muslim and Islamic feeling 
has had consequences for the innocent throughout the World, sadly from 
America to Ireland. Innocent people are being targeted with hatred and 
violence as a result of the naked racism expressed, condoned and encouraged 
by World leaders such as Tony Blair and President Bush.

Throughout the week what has been glaringly absent and in fact has been 
repressed by the media, has been any attempt to explore, discuss or 
understand possible motives of the terrorists, why would they do it? What 
was their political agenda? At a time when the World is in shock we have 
seen Bush calling for retribution, revenge and war. Afghanistan, where an 
estimated 5.5 million people will be totally dependent on food aid this 
coming winter as a result of a three year drought, and the ravaging of 
their country by the repressive Taliban regime, is the prime target of 
American and NATO's vengeance. Poverty is already so severe that hundreds 
of thousands can not afford to travel to food distribution centres, and 
thus face certain starvation. The majority of the population have not even 
heard about the events in America.

Yet, their fragile existence is the target of the most powerful and 
supposed democratic countries in the world. Pakistan has been handed an 
ultimatum by President Bush that either they assist in the destruction of 
Afghanistan or they will also be viewed as an enemy. The Campaign is 
calling on the Irish government and World leaders to truly live up to the 
values of humanity and halt the impeding human carnage that now faces our 
world. The potential destruction and decimation of a poor, oppressed and 
innocent people will not only result in the escalation of civilian deaths 
both in the Middle East and in the West, but will also result in the death 
of the spirit of humanity. It is a time for true democratic leadership 
based on the values of justice, peace and the equal value of life whether 
it be an American or Afghani life. It is a time for world reflection and 
not blind retribution. It is a time to truly invoke the values of peace and 
justice that reflects the values of humanity as we recognise the 
vulnerability and the fragility of all human life. No amount of body bags 
be they Irish, English, American, Afghan or Pakistani will bring the 
innocent victims of violence back to their grieving families. Justice not 
retribution is the only way forward for humanity.

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