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Fight Fire With Water! A Notice to the US Government

30 November 2001

Today marks the deadline for submissions on the Terrorism (Bombings and Financing) Bill. The Bill criminalises the use or threat of terrorism to intimidate a population of a country (s5(2)(a)) and criminalises any act which causes death or serious harm to one or more persons (s5(3)), a serious risk to health and safety and any serious damage to property of great value or importance or serious disruption to an infrastructure facility in any country (s5(3)).

Terrorism is attacking and terrifying civilian populations in order to force the civilians' governments to comply with demands.

Today, New Zealand citizens are giving notice to the US consulate to pass on the message to their government that they must cease their terrorist military campaigns against civilian populations. Such campaigns of terror have included:

  1. Training, financing and arming the Contras. In the 1980's the US paid, trained and armed a group of terrorists (the Contras) in Nicaragua to undermine a democratically elected government. Over 30 000 civilians were murdered.

  2. The orphaning of children. The US military have orphaned many children with taxpayer funded terrorism in Chile, Vietnam, Gaza, and El Salvador.

  3. Imposing a food and drug embargo on Iraq, with the intention of making conditions so difficult for the population that they will rebel against the government. 1.5 million people have died as a result of the war ag ainst Iraq and the sanctions imposed.

  4. Bombing civilian centres and the society's public infrastructure in Kosovo and Serbia with the intent of coercing political outcomes.

  5. Attacking Afghanistan (one of the world's poorest countries) and hugely aggravating starvation dangers for its population (3-7 million people at risk of starvation) with the possible loss of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of lives.

The September 11th attacks were heinous crimes and we mourn, with the US people, the loss of lives. The US government, by deciding not to present evidence, by deciding guilt rather than respecting the institutions of international law, by prosecuting not only presumed culprits but a whole population suffering terror and starvation, violates international law. The response by the US, with the support of New Zealand, is vigilantism, not justice. The mechanism for attaining illegal vigilante prosecution has been a policy which knowingly and predictably will kill many innocent civilians. The bombings have taken access of food away from millions and have created a climate of panic and dissolution.

Progress against terrorism cannot be achieved with further acts of terror. Progress can only be made by escalating dialogue, entering a political process, acknowledging and beginning to address the causes of retail terror.

We, the citizen's of New Zealand, demand the US government refrain from further acts of terrorism or it too, will be liable for crimes against humanity under international and domestic law along with former ally, Osama bin Laden.

Catholic Worker.
Media release.

Index page on Response to attacks in US


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