As more people sent me bright ideas for dealing with the Iraq crisis, I noticed a pattern of possibility emerging. It offers a realistic opportunity to avert war, if we act fast enough, given that war could be right around the corner.
Here are the highlights of this new set of possibilities:
** FIRST, IMMEDIATELY INVOLVE THE POPE:
To make an attack virtually impossible have Pope John Paul II go to Baghdad (as Helen Caldicott has suggested). It is highly unlikely that Bush would bomb the Pope. If he can be joined by the many major anti-war religious leaders and/or by other global religious leaders like the Dalai Lama (as James Twyman has suggested: see his new petition at the top of http://www.emissaryoflight.com -- he's seeking a million signatures FAST) and/or by Nobel Peace Prize winners like Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter and Mikhail Gorbachev (as Gar Smith has suggested), all the better. But the Pope, who has said this war would be "a defeat for Humanity," is essential. ACTION: Contact the Vatican: Email <email@example.com> // FAX [from USA] 011-39-06698-85378 [from other countries replace the 011 prefix with your appropriate international prefix] // phone [from USA] dial 011-39-06-69-82 [from other countries replace the 011 prefix with your appropriate international prefix]. Contact info for Nobel Peace Laureates are given below. For more info on this approach, see <http://www.co-intelligence.org/CIPol_IraqCrisisCaldicott.html>.
At the same time that we citizens worldwide are engaging the Pope in a holding action, we need to also engage the U.N., as follows:
** SECOND, INVOLVE THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
It turns out there is a UN Resolution 377 -- aptly titled "Uniting for Peace" -- that makes it possible for the UN General Assembly to take collective security or peacekeeping action when the UN Security Council is too divided to deal with urgent threats. The U.S. has invoked Resolution 377 a number of times since it was passed in 1950. Any member of the U.N. can call for an emergency session under Resolution 377. If either seven Members of the Security Council or a majority of the General Assembly agree, then such a General Assembly session MUST be held, and can be held on 24-hour notice. Excellent homework has been done on developing this option by the Center for Constitutional Rights. They have drafted a letter that UN Representatives can send to the UN Secretary General requesting such a session, and a Resolution that the General Assembly could then consider, allowing quick stop-gap action. ACTION: Citizens could demand this, writing to as many UN Representatives as possible. More information about this approach and how to contact UN Representatives is given below. For full information, see <http://www.co-intelligence.org/CIPol_UNRes377-CCR.html>
** THIRD, DEVELOP PEACE PLANS THAT CREATIVELY ADDRESS THE CONCERNS OF U.S. AND ISLAMIC PUBLICS.
The two steps above would make it extremely difficult, but not impossible, for the U.S. to wage a major attack on Bagdad. To make a U.S. attack even more unlikely -- and to reduce the instability in the Middle East and the expansion of terrorism -- the peace movement might develop alternatives to a U.S. invasion that will seem credible both to the Muslim world suspicious of American motives and domination and to the large body of Americans who don't think the current inspection regime is sufficient and who have been led to hate, fear and suspect Saddam Hussein. Many of these Americans do not want a war, but feel there may be no alternative. "Let the Inspections Work" is a good slogan for people already against the war, but for those more worried about Hussein, it isn't strong enough.
I've been told about three solid plans (there are undoubtedly
Jimmy Carter's <http://www.cartercenter.org/viewdoc.asp?docID=1165&submenu=news>,
Sojourner's <http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=action.home> and
Elias Amadon's <http://www.co-intelligence.org/CIPol_IraqCrisis_Amidon.html>.
Central to all of them is expanded, toughened UN inspections and shifting the strategic center of action on Iraq from the U.S. to the UN.
Piecing them all together produces a plan something like this:
1. Keep the pressure on. Maintain but restructure the existing U.S. MILITARY DEPLOYMENT as a multinational force.
2. Conduct broader, TOUGHER INSPECTIONS that can inspect anything, backed by UN troops -- and keep them inspecting at least as long as Saddam Hussein and his party are in power.
3. Strengthen the ARMS EMBARGO but LIFT SANCTIONS on all food, medical supplies and civilian materials.
4. Institute a Marshall Plan to REBUILD IRAQ, including massive humanitarian aid managed by the UN and funded through UN-controlled increased oil production. Negotiate the safe return of exiled professionals. All this will help strengthen an independent middle-class that can build democracy.
5. Build pressure for REGIME CHANGE. Give Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi leaders a choice of exile or retirement from politics outside of Baghdad, with strict controls on their involvements, or else prosecution for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
6. BUILD IRAQI DEMOCRACY. Identify and develop a truly democratic opposition to assist Iraqis in initiating a constitutional process leading to democratic elections. Have return of Iraqi control of oil profits conditional on specific democratic reforms. Institute "human rights inspections" or "truth commissions" to review claims of human rights violations.
7. Renew commitment to RESOLVE THE ISRAELI/PALESTINIAN CONFLICT, establishing a Palestinian state and guaranteed Israeli security within a few years.
I list these points not so much to constitute a new proposal, but to move along the inquiry about what the elements of a satisfactory proposal might be. I will leave it to those more expert than I to move the dialogue further and to appropriately pressure relevant authorities. It would be good, however, to develop some simple demands or slogans along these lines for demonstrations.
Should anyone wish to convene some adequately intensive and extensive dialogue among different parties in the peace movement to work through their disagreements about the content of such proposals, I'd be happy to recommend some processes. In the meantime, I think diverse approaches to this are fine and something workable will emerge through the rough-and-tumble if enough people take the need for creative proposals seriously.
I suggest we keep in mind that the primary purpose of this is not to further any of our many agendas, but to collectively pull back from the brink of cataclysm so that we have more time for our other transformational and humanitarian efforts to succeed. We are trying to save our collective future as well as innocent Iraqi lives.
At the very least, people can publicize and advocate any or all of the three proposals above.
Beyond this there is a lot of collective learning to do about what policies nurture dictatorships and war and which nurture the emergence of peaceful democracy. As we get more time to breathe and think, we may want to explore articles like these <http://www.co-intelligence.org/CIPol_NVRegimeChange.html> and <http://www.co-intelligence.org/CIPol_PeaceDemocCommons.html>.
In the meantime, let's see if we can move ahead quickly on the first two steps and keep this devastating war from happening.
Please forward this as widely and quickly as you think appropriate, especially to groups organizing peace activities.
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CONTACT INFORMATION FOR NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNERS
John Paul II
00120 Vatican City State
FAX (011- 39-06698-85378
(Note: Nelson Mandela has stated that he is prepared to go and stand with
the human shields but only if he receives an invitation from the United
The Hon. Kofi Annan
United Nations Secretary-General
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
The Carter Center
453 Freedom Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30307
Green Cross International
160a, rte de Florissant,
(fax) +41 22 789 1695,
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MORE INFORMATION ON THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY (RESOLUTION 377) APPROACH
There is a Way to Stop the War
The Center for Constitutional Rights recently called upon member states of the General Assembly of the United Nations to act to avert an aggressive war with Iraq. Under a little-discussed resolution, aptly titled Uniting for Peace, when there is a stalemate among members of the Security Council regarding the use of force, the General Assembly can be convened to consider the threat to international peace and recommend collective measures to maintain or restore peace.
Description and Status
The Charter gives the UN Security Council "the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security." But long ago, the members of the United Nations recognized that due to the permanent members veto powers, impasses would occur within the Security Council. They set up a procedure for insuring that such stalemates would not prevent the UN from carrying out its mission to "maintain international peace and security." The aptly titled "Uniting for Peace" Resolution 377 was the solution to this problem. The resolution provides that, if because of the lack unanimity among permanent members of the Security Council, the Council cannot maintain international peace, the General Assembly "shall consider the matter immediately" The General Assembly can meet within 24 hours to consider such a matter and can recommend collective measures to "maintain or restore international peace and security."
CCR believes that due to the current impasse in the Security Council, Resolution 377 "Uniting for Peace" should be used to require that no military action be taken against Iraq without the explicit authority of the Security Council. It could also mandate that the inspection regime be permitted to complete its inspections. We believe it unlikely that the United States and Britain would ignore such a measure. A vote by the majority of countries in the world, particularly if it were unanimous, would make the unilateral rush to war more difficult. A letter has been circulated to activists around the world to encourage them to contact their UN representatives to call for a special session under the "Uniting For Peace" resolution.
UNITING FOR PEACE LETTER TO ACTIVISTS
From the Center for Constitutional Rights
666 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 U.S.A.
Tel 212.614.6464 Fax 212.614.6499
Re: UNITED NATIONS UNITING FOR PEACE RESOLUTION ON IRAQ
We are writing you to ask for your help in a very important action. We hope to create a movement in support of the adoption of a Uniting for Peace Resolution by the United Nations General Assembly to prevent an attack on Iraq by the United States, the United Kingdom and other nations. If even one country requests such a meeting, that alone can trigger this procedure.
While in the U.N. system the Security Council has the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security throughout the world, another procedure exists to ensure peace when the Council fails to do so. That procedure, the Uniting for Peace resolution, allows the General Assembly to meet to consider the threat to international peace and it can then recommend collective measures to U.N. Members to maintain or restore peace.
If one U.N. Member State requests that a meeting be convened to consider adoption of such a resolution and either seven Members of the Security Council or a majority of the Members of the General Assembly agree, an emergency special session will be called and the GA will come together to discuss the threat to international peace. We are hoping to find the requisite support for the convening of such a session.
The United States and the United Kingdom have become increasingly vocal about their willingness to use force against Iraq without explicit Security Council authorization. Because of the veto power of these two countries, the Security Council will be stymied in its responsibility to maintain international peace and security in the Persian Gulf. In these circumstances, the General Assembly has the right and indeed the responsibility to assume this duty.
For your information and use, please see the following materials:
(1) A U.N. Alternative to War: "Uniting for Peace", an Op-Ed written by Michael Ratner and Jules Lobel <http://www.ccr-ny.org/v2/reports/docs/UnitingforPeaceViewpoint.pdf> and in html at <http://www.zmag.org/sustainers/content/2003-02/08ratner.cfm>,
(2) a draft of a possible General Assembly "Uniting for Peace" resolution <http://www.ccr-ny.org/v2/reports/docs/Draft_Uniting_For_Peace_Resolution.pdf>, and
(3) a draft of a possible letter that a Permanent Representative from any U.N. Member State could send to the Secretary-General to initiate the process <http://www.ccr-ny.org/v2/reports/docs/Draft_Letter_to_Secretary_General.pdf>.
We urge you to contact your U.N. representative (see contact information below), other members of your government, and other governments to request that they write to the Secretary-General to call for an emergency special session under the Uniting for Peace Resolution.
Please also circulate these materials to other groups and individuals and encourage them to do the same.
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OTHER USEFUL DOCUMENTS
1) Another article in support of this action:
CounterPunch - March 5, 2003
What Can the World Do if the US Attacks Iraq?
by Jeremy Brecher -
2) UN General Assembly Resolution 377 "Uniting for Peace" Full Official Text- <http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/85255a0a0010ae82852555340060479d/55c2b84da9e0052b05256554005726c6%21OpenDocument>
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UN REPRESENTATIVE CONTACT INFORMATION
A center of this campaign, based on activist John Leonard's organizing work <http://www.co-intelligence.org/CIPol_UNRes377.html>, includes a list of 200 addresses of UN Missions in New York. Faxes are probably even more effective, and Leonard provides a list of fax numbers of UN missions at <http://www.waronfreedom.org/activists/gafaxlist.csv>. On <http://www.co-intelligence.org/CIPol_UNRes377.html> he even explains clearly how to "broadcast" a one-page fax to every country's UN representative for about $11 (or personalize it for about $22) via Efax Broadcast at <http://www.efax.com/products/broadcast/> .
If you can only do a few messages, probably France, Russia and China are good prospects. Here is contact information for all the members of the Security Council.
UN SECURITY COUNCIL
5 Members with VETO Power
USA Phone: (212) 415-4000 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (212) 415-4443
France Phone: (212) 308-5700 E-Mail: email@example.com Fax:
or (212) 207-9765
Britain Phone: (212) 745-9250 E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (212) 745-9316
China Phone: (212) 655-6100 E-Mail email@example.com
Russia Phone: (212) 861-4900 E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (212) 628-0252
"The Middle Six," votes undecided, countries under
to comply with the USA.
Cameroon Phone: (212) 794-2296 E-Mail email@example.com
Guinea Phone: (212) 687-8115 E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (212) 687-8248
Mexico Phone: (212) 752-0220 E-Mail email@example.com Fax: (212) 688-8862
Angola Phone: (212) 861-5656 E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Chile Phone: (212) 832-3323 E-Mail email@example.com Fax: (212) 832-0236
Pakistan Phone: (212) 879-8600 E-Mail Pakistan@un.int Fax: (212) 744-7348
Against USA resolution:
Germany Phone: (212) 940-0400 E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Syria Phone: (212) 661-1313 E-Mail email@example.com Fax: (212) 983-4439
For USA resolution:
Bulgaria Phone: (212) 737-4790 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (212) 472-9865
Spain Phone: (212) 661-1050 E-Mail email@example.com Fax: (212)