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Letter to Helen Clark
15 September 2001
We are writing to express our profound concern about the events that have been unfolding in the United States and the path of military retaliation which, it seems, the administration and many of the American people are set on following. We hold grave fears for the future of our planet and its people, if that path is followed.
The horrendous attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon must provoke an international response but it should be one that is based on international law and not on military might. The lessons of the past show us that, as with the US attack on the Sudan, the wrong targets are often selected and, in the Sudan, thousands of innocent people, probably more than have died in the US, die as a result. They also show us that the military might is ineffective. It does not bring back the dead, it simply produces more, mainly innocent dead, entrenches the conflict and escalates the degree of violence being used. In this case, that may even be one of the desired results on the part of the terrorists.
A great deal has been said in the last two days about the affront the attack has caused to ≥civilization≤ and ≥civilized nations≤. Those nations must now prove just how civilized they are by selecting an appropriately civilized response to this crisis. We are therefore urging our government to call for an international response to this tragedy which sees the guilty parties sought and brought to justice and the world veering away from the brink. To borrow the words of Martin Luther King, it is time to end the insanity. It is also time to look hard at why some people feel justified in taking such inhuman action.
Marion Hancock (Co-ordinator, Peace Foundation)
cc Jim Anderton, Phil Goff, Matt Robson, Keith Locke, Jenny Shipley, Richard Prebble, Winston Peters, Cabinet Office.