An Appeal to Global Conscience

We appeal to all peace and justice movements to stand together as a conscience of the world against the Bush administration’s bloody occupation of Iraq and drive towards an American Empire. We may be in for a long war.

We who stand for democracy in the United States should continue and widen our protests especially at local community levels to:

  • oppose further Congressional funding for war and occupation;

  • develop public support for military withdrawal;

  • support local referendums on withdrawal and peace candidates in 2006 and 2008;

  • build non-partisan peace alliances across all party lines, from left to right;

  • support dissenting combat veterans, reservists and their families;

  • call for boycotts and termination of profiteering from war and occupation by American corporations in Iraq;

  • transition from fossil fuel dependency to renewable resources, conservation and energy efficiency.

A global behemoth can only be fought through global resistance, locally based. We express gratitude to the global peace movement for activating world opinion against collaboration with the U.S. occupation, and call for further efforts, including:

  • support for asylum in Canada and other nations for U.S. soldiers who refuse for reasons of conscience to fight in occupied Iraq;

  • demonstrations and political mobilizations in Europe and Latin America against President Bush’s frustrated search for “willing” allies;

  • continued efforts to force the withdrawal of British, Italian and other foreign troops from the occupation;

  • opposition to European participation in military training of Iraqi troops for an illegitimate U.S.-dominated regime.

Together we can undermine the foundations of war and occupation, make it impossible for the American government to continue its course, and begin to plant the pillars of peace.

The time has come to recognize that the U.S. occupation is the principal cause of the violent insurgency and growing civil war. We disagree with those who, while admitting that that the war was a mistake based on fabricated evidence, nevertheless claim it would be a bigger mistake to end the occupation and withdraw. We ask the question raised decades ago during another unwinnable war: who can justify sending more Americans to be the last to die for a mistake?

Over 40 million Americans already say we should withdraw from this war. These are not uncaring isolationists, but Americans who know better than to kill and die for a mistake, to throw good money after bad, and to ruin what is left of our good name in the world.

These tens of millions of Americans are completely unrepresented in the political process and media discussion. It is time that their frustration, and that of the majority who consider the war a mistake, be met with more than cowardly silence in the halls of power.

To those who say the war must continue three, five or 10 more years, we demand to know what will be left of the Iraq they claim to be saving? What loss in American and Iraqi lives, what cost in dollars wasted, what level of anti-American hatred in the world, are they willing to bear?

To those who consider the war a mistake but still fear the consequences of military withdrawal, we ask these questions: when will enough be enough? If not now, when?

We further believe the struggle to stop the occupation of Iraq is a first and essential step to unite forces against the U.S. government’s current political designs for global dominance. We oppose any ambitions to create an empire dominated by the United States or global networks of capitalism. Nor do we believe that the issue of terrorism can be addressed by permanent war, increased secrecy and suspensions of democratic liberties, but principally through an all-out effort to bring hope to two billion people now festering in humiliation and poverty.

We stand with those who believe in the reality of a multi-polar and multi-cultural world, and especially with those who believe "another world is possible" through social movements fighting for enforceable standards of human rights, fair trade, social justice and environmental protection, and for new institutions that foster a just distribution of global wealth and power and respect for the dignity of the human spirit. The challenge for us all is to imagine, strive for, and begin to live a better life beyond Empire altogether.

TOM HAYDEN (drafter)
REV. ED BACON, rector, All Saints Church, Pasadena
GIOCONDA BELLI, poet and author
MEDEA BENJAMIN, Global Exchange
LARRY BENSKY, Pacifica Radio
REV. RICHARD BUNCE, Progressive Christians Uniting
LESLIE CAGAN, United for Peace and Justice
TIM CARPENTER, Progressive Democrats of America
JEFF COHEN, media critic
REV. JAMES CONN, United Methodist Urban Ministry
HARVEY COX, professor, Harvard Divinity School
PETER DREIER, professor, director, Urban and Environmental Studies, Occidental College
CHELLIS GLENDENNING, psychologist, author
ROBERT GOTTLIEB, professor, UEPI, Occidental College
RICHARD FALK, professor, global studies, UC Santa Barbara
REV. PETER LAARMAN, director, Progressive Christians Uniting
SAUL LANDAU, author, professor, CSU Pomona
ROBERT J. LIFTON, Harvard Seminar on Mass Violence
ANURADHA MITTAL, founder, Oakland Institute
JOAN SEKLER, filmmaker
HOWARD ZINN, historian

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