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[casi] NZ Quakers Statement Regarding Possibilty of a Military Attack on Iraq

Press Statement Regarding the Possibility of a Military Attack on Iraq,
>From the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Quakers in New Zealand strongly call for all nations to step well back from the brink of war to 
which the
United States and United Kingdom governments are attempting to lead us. We do not see any 
conclusive or
convincing evidence that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. In any case we urge our Government 
to state
more clearly and strongly its rejection of war as a solution to the threats posed by such weapons.

We uphold the United Nations and its peace-keeping initiatives. But we insist that military action, 
whether or
not sanctioned by the United Nations, is totally unjustified. 

The United Nations weapons inspectors are calling for more time in which to carry on with their 
work, and
this action must be allowed to continue, without pressure being brought to bear on Security Council
members, by the more powerful states, to decide otherwise.

It is our perception that the main issue for the governments of the U.S.A. and the U.K. is not 
about any
weapons that Iraq might have, but about oil and the control of the Middle East. We fear that the 
States will again attempt to manipulate the United Nations Security Council. Any United States-led 
will again lead to war crimes on a vast scale, to say nothing of the loss of tens or hundreds of 
thousands of
lives, and the further destruction of urban infrastructure.

We urge the New Zealand government to join with the other United Nations states that are calling 
for the
issues to be debated in the General Assembly.

We make this call to the government and people of New Zealand from our belief that international 
with justice will only occur when superpowers and those aspiring to such status become willing to 
talk, listen
and respond to the deepest concerns of other nations and peoples. We are particularly concerned 
that many
hard-won international agreements contributing to increasing world order are being overrun by 
actions of the powerful states, most particularly the U.S.A.

We make this call from our hearts and from our vision of the peaceable kingdom on Earth.
Michael and Merilyn Payne,
Joint Clerks,
The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Aotearoa/New Zealand

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