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[casi] Iraq War 'Unjustifiable', says Bush's Church Head

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Published on Sunday, October 20, 2002 by the <A HREF="">Observer/UK</A>

Iraq War 'Unjustifiable', says Bush's Church Head

by Ed Vulliamy in New York

President George Bush's own Methodist church has launched a scathing attack
on his preparations for war against Iraq, saying they are 'without any
justification according to the teachings of Christ'. Jim Winkler, head of
social policy for United Methodists, added that all attempts at a 'dialogue'
between the President and his own church over the war had fallen on deaf ears
at the White House. His remarks came as the US continued its efforts to
achieve agreement on a UN resolution that would open the way for a tough
program of weapons inspections in Iraq. France is believed to be concerned
that the current draft resolution might still act as a trigger for military
intervention without a full Security Council debate if Iraq fails to comply.
Winkler is general secretary of the Board of Church and Society for the
United Methodist church, which counts the President and the Vice-President,
Dick Cheney, among its members. The church represents eight to nine million
regular churchgoers and is the third biggest in America. The Methodist
Church, he says, is not pacifist, but 'rejects war as a usual means of
national policy'. Methodist scriptural doctrine, he added, specifies 'war as
a last resort, primarily a defensive thing. And so far as I know, Saddam
Hussein has not mobilized military forces along the borders of the United
States, nor along his own border to invade a neighboring country, nor have
any of these countries pleaded for our assistance, not does he have weapons
of mass destruction targeted at the United States'. Winkler said his church
was 'keenly aware' that it counted the President and his deputy among its
members, and that he was therefore 'frequently encouraged by others to be
very careful about how I say things'.© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2002

Roger Stroope
"Ideas are more powerful than weapons"
Austin College

"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national
obligations of obedience…Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to
violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from
occurring" -- Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal, 1950

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