News Release - Thursday, September 20, 2001

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The Green Party of the United States Contacts:
Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator 207-326-4576, nallen@acadia.net 
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, scottmclarty@yahoo.com 

'Blank Check' Power to Wage War Will Result in More Innocent Blood -- But No Justice for the Victims.

Greens urge international cooperation in bringing the terrorists to justice and resolution of conflict in the Middle East.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Green Party of the United States urges President Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and other American leaders to take seriously the plea from European heads of state and other leaders around the world not to launch a massive, indiscriminate strike against Afghanistan and perhaps other countries that will cause civilian deaths in vengeance for the terrible  attacks launched against the United States on September 11. Instead, the U.S. must seek international cooperation in bringing those who incited and abetted this atrocity to justice and punishment according to international law. 

"The Green Party supports our nation's right to defend itself and its people," said Robert Franklin, Treasurer of the Green Party of the United States and a Texas Green. "But a massacre of civilians, in  vengeful retaliation, will put us at the same level as the terrorists, will not eliminate the threat of the international network that perpetrated the attacks, will erode international sympathy for the U.S., and will encourage more people in Middle Eastern nations to join or support violent extremists. The best way to convert people to terrorism is to drop bombs on their families." 

Greens have condemned the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and U.S. airlines, mourned with other Americans over the tragic loss of life, and called for justice for the victims and punishment for the terrorists and those who support them. But Greens oppose the 'blank check'  Congress gave President Bush to wage war at his administration's sole discretion.

"Comparisons to the attack on Pearl Harbor are valid only to a point," said Sarah Davidson, secretary  of the Peace Issues Committee of the Iowa Green Party. "Japan, as a nation state, was an obvious, geographically defined enemy. The September 11 terrorists apparently work as a secretive international network. France could not defeat the Algerian guerrillas who fought for independence; the United States'  wrongful war in Vietnam caused millions of civilian deaths but failed against the Viet Cong. Last week's attackers represent a movement that will be even harder to crush, with its secret operatives dispersed internationally. Bombs and other technological warfare will slaughter the innocent, \ but will not defeat these criminals. International investigation and cooperation will." 

"There's a tendency, promoted by some warmongering op-ed columnists and irresponsible national officials, to call the terrorists 'religious fanatics,' 'evil,' with an unmotivated 'pathological hatred for  American freedom and prosperity' without further context, as if the terrorists' attitudes and actions occurred in a historical vacuum," added Scott McLarty, a member of the D.C. Statehood Green Party and one of two national media coordinators for the Greens. "Bin Laden and his sympathizers don't call  the U.S. 'Satan' because they're insane, but because they believe that Islamic society is already under attack by the U.S., and this is their fanatical response."  

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Greens warn that rash military strikes and a protracted war will result in thousands, perhaps millions more civilian casualties, including many Americans, leading to further attacks against the U.S. and other nations and to possible destabilization of a region that includes Pakistan, which owns nuclear weapons. The goal of U.S. policy, say Greens, must be peace with justice: peace which preserves the  human rights and stability for all people in the Middle East, the U.S., and the rest of the world, and justice for those who have suffered death, injury, and loss. 

Punishment for the terrorists and their supporters must be waged within the Realpolitik of the Middle East: an ongoing 'war' and U.S.-imposed sanctions that have led to the deaths of hundreds of  thousands of Iraqis (perhaps a half million children); the need for an engaged U.S.-sponsored peace policy aimed at resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict in a way that's perceived as fair to both sides and that sets out a 'road to peace' which recognizes both Israeli security and Palestinian human rights and self-determination; and broad, popular opposition in the Middle East to repressive regimes and transnational corporate interests that violate fundamental norms of international law and basic human  rights.

This will take enormous political and moral courage," said Nancy Allen, a member of the Maine Green Independent Party and also a national media coordinator for the Greens. "But it's the only way we'll  achieve a resolution. The alternative is too horrible to imagine."

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News Release - Thursday, September 20, 2001

Home | Press