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http://www.jordantimes.com/Tue/opinion/opinion3.htm The Jordan Times January 1, 2002 Avoiding wars needs courage and responsibility By Dr Jamal A. Shurdom A GLANCE at the seriousness of the outcome of the first round of bloody žwar against terrorismÓ, compels us all, as responsible human beings, to do the impossible, before it is too late, for the sake of alleviating human suffering and to prevent the expansion of the war into other areas, notably Iraq. A paramount objective should be to save human lives and to avoid catastrophes. Humanely, no one can justify a war. Wars, under any circumstances and for whatever reasons, are unacceptable human behaviour. It is an uncivilised demeanour where the rule of the jungle applies: the strong savages the weak. Humanity is facing the possibility of extinction because of the accumulation of ever more sophisticated, deadly weapons and technology. To end the žwar-makingÓ psychology certainly takes courage and responsibility. It takes new thinking and devoted peace-loving leaders who have to act before it is too late. Political leaders should understand the cost and the price of wars. In logical terms, wars and violence should not and cannot serve to resolve political conflicts that might arise among governments and nations. The lives of peoples should matter more than those of self-centred political leaders, interested in elections, military industry contractors, political lobbyists, or the dominating superpowers' views of national security and interests. Conflict of interest is a common phenomenon in human relations, but it should not make people pay the price and become the only victims of initiating wars. Peoples should urge their leaders to seriously start rethinking of wars in terms of tools for political gains. The young American soldiers, the people of the Middle East and any other people on this planet have the God given right to live and survive in a decent, peaceful environment. Peoples also have the right to fight terrorism, resist the policies of wars, and get rid of foreign occupation, control, exploitation and domination. Leaders should realise that a new national and international consciousness is powerfully developing among the masses of the peoples of the world against the investors and the beneficiaries of bloody wars. At this crucial moment of the post-Taleban era, serious and honest American-Iraqi, face-to-face negotiations could, if successful, save the region from indescribable catastrophe, notably saving the children and people of Iraq from starvation and death brought about by unjustified UN sanctions. Leaders should wholeheartedly attempt to ease tensions by mutual understanding and respect for the other's interests and security. Relations should be based on common interest and human principles of justice and fairness. Both the Iraqi and the American leaders, for the sake of saving human lives, should compromise in negotiating an acceptable political settlement based on mutual interest. President George W. Bush should seriously rethink his decision, in dealing with Iraq. America shouldn't fight the wars of others. War against Iraq is not justified. Iraq has nothing to do with terrorism and never supported, financed or harboured a terrorist group. Iraq is not a fundamentalist or unreasonably fanatic state. Iraq is a secular state defending its views of sovereignty and independence. Fighting Iraq now is not fighting the Taleban or Osama Ben Laden, or even the Gulf War for the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait. For the Iraqis, a war now would be a matter of life and death. It is a war of survival and existence. The price paid in the event of a war is too high. Political leaders should responsibly understand that saving human lives is more important than saving political lives and faces. The conflict should not be personalised. For the sake of the basic principles of human decency, dignity and civilisation, it is hoped that the American and Iraqi leaderships will endeavour to end the human sufferings of the children and people of Iraq and open a new chapter of American-Iraqi mutual understanding and peace. The writer is an expert consultant in international affairs, national security, terrorism, American government and strategic studies. He is the chief editor of MECRA International Journal in Orlando, Florida, and adjunct professor of international affairs and politics. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times. __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Send your FREE holiday greetings online! http://greetings.yahoo.com -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.