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Re-think Iraq ..

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

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

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

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

Political leaders should responsibly understand that
saving human lives is more important than saving
political lives and faces. The conflict should not be

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.

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