I am writing to join European and Middle Eastern leaders in their opposition to any future U.S. military action against Iraq.
President Bush has intimated that he will “punish” Iraq for rejecting calls for international weapons inspection — and off cials within the administration are known to be urging strikes against Iraq.
Yet military action against Iraq will almost certainly backfire: as recent history tragically unde scores, there is no such thing as a ‘surgical air strike’ against select enemies. Innocent civilians are inevitably killed — by the hundreds. If we bomb Iraq, we will certainly horrify and alienate U.S. allies in the Middle East at a time when we need their cooperation more than ever.
And of course we can all too easily imagine what the long term consequences of such attacks might be in the hearts and minds of our enemies.
The war on terrorism will not be won by the continued bombing of destitute populations by a wealthy, powerful U.S. A number of World Trade Center victims — understanding all too well the human cost of “collateral damage” — have begun to articulate this fact in an urgent call for the cessation of violence; one wishes Bush and his advisers would stop and listen.
Sheila S. Newbery