WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Green Party of the United
States participated in various rallies and other events this past
weekend urging the U.S. to avoid military strikes and incursions in
retaliation for the September 11 attacks. Greens call for an
international response based on justice instead of vengeance, a response
that avoids further shedding of innocent blood -- including more
American casualties -- and which does everything possible to avert war.
"The Green Party opposes military strikes," said Anita Rios,
an Ohio Green and member of the party's national steering committee.
"The only truly patriotic strategy is one in which peace is the
outcome. Peace is the only outcome that can guarantee the safety
of all Americans, justice for the victims of the terrible attacks and
their survivors, and relief for Afghanis suffering an economic disaster
under a repressive regime."
Party organizers held a national Green forum on a democratic response to
the current crisis on Saturday, at the University of the District of
Sam Smith, author, journalist, and editor of The Progressive Review (http://prorev.com)
and a guest speaker at the forum, said, "We will not accept
lectures about patriotism from those who have spent the last decade
undermining American democracy and sovereignty in the name of free
Greens note that a schism has grown within the Bush Administration on
how the U.S. will deal with terrorism and the recent attacks. On one
side, Secretary of State Colin Powell counsels a NATO-based policy, with
international cooperation and a temporary delay of counterstrikes.
President Bush himself expressed this approach in his address to the
nation on September 20.
Green Party 2
The other side of the schism is reflected in the recommendations of
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz to treat the September 11
attacks as a conventional war and commence retaliatory assaults as soon
as possible. This view is supported by bloodthirsty calls for war from
some op-ed pages, and by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, who
said on September 23 that the U.S. wouldn't rule out a nuclear strike
(CBS Face the Nation). Worlfowitz has urged strikes against Iraq,
despite the lack of evidence of Iraq's complicity in the September 11
"The Green Party calls for a response that will prevent war and
will promote justice," said Jane Hunter, Vice-Chair of the Green
Party of New Jersey. "We caution against strikes, regardless of
which body undertakes them. These will inevitably lead to more deaths of
civilians, as in the U.S. and NATO raids against Iraq and the Balkans
during the 1990s. The U.S. definition of terrorism is likely to include
acts committed against the U.S. and its close allies (such as western
Europe and Israel), but not attacks for which the U.S. and its close
allies bear some responsibility."
"If bin Laden masterminded the September 11 attacks, he should be
tried for crimes against humanity by an international tribunal. It is
sad and ironic that the U.S. has been reluctant in the past to support
such a body. Greens call for immediate support for a tribunal such as
the International Criminal Court. Treating the attacks as international
crimes against humanity instead of acts of war will ensure us the
cooperation of Muslim states and the rest of the world."
Greens insist that the U.S. and international community must apply the
definition of terrorism and the rule of international law consistently
around the globe.
"The U.S. should take the lead by being responsible for our own
policies," said Starlene Rankin, Illinois Green Party Media
Coordinator. "And let's work to create a non-violent,
non-militarist society where we make the effort to resolve conflicts
The Green Party of the United States http://gpus.org
International Criminal Court (questions and answers) http://www.cunr.org/ICC%20Q&A.htm
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