[sixties-l] Fwd: Great Vets For Peace Statement

From: PNFPNF@aol.com
Date: Fri Mar 01 2002 - 19:12:13 EST

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    This needs wider distribution.

    attached mail follows:


    A statement by Veterans For Peace, Inc.

    Veterans For Peace, an organization of men and women who have served in the
    armed forces, having collectively experienced combat, imprisonment,
    bombing, shelling, firefights, all the manifestations of war, and its
    after-effects in terms of human suffering and cultural decline, is deeply
    troubled that the United States administration, in violation of our own
    Constitution, has waged an announced, but not legally declared war on a
    sovereign nation in response to a terrorist attack, heinous though it was.

    We believe, our government is setting a dangerous precedent by choosing to
    bypass and avoid compliance with the United Nations Charter, which requires
    member states to refer disputes threatening international peace to the UN
    Security Council for determination of how to deal with such threats. Since
    the United States was one of the original signers to the treaty that
    established the principles of international law embodied by the United
    Nations, it should constitute the law of the land, and we should be it
    strongest champion.

    Further, the United States military, subsequent to its attack on
    Afghanistan, has abducted hundreds of combatants, transporting them
    blindfolded, drugged and in chains to imprisonment at the US Navy base at
    Guantanamo, Cuba, where they are being treated improperly. These persons,
    according to Amnesty International, are being subject to illegal
    interrogation, while suffering the stress of close confinement, isolation
    in a foreign land, lack of access to legal counsel, and deliberately
    humiliating treatment.

    By these acts, the United States Government has abrogated the Geneva
    Convention covering the treatment of Prisoners Of War and weakened the
    influence of the United Nations, thereby jeopardizing the security of our
    nation and the safety of our military men and women.

    The security of our nation is threatened by the fear and resentment
    generated by threats of unrestrained military action against named and
    un-named sovereign states said to harbor terrorists. Even our closest
    allies view the United States as acting in a dangerously provocative
    manner. It should not be surprising, then, that those countries
    specifically threatened by our rhetoric are preparing for conflict. The net
    result is an increase, not a decrease, of the likelihood of terrorist
    attacks upon U.S. citizens, possessions and territory.

    We have grave concerns, too, for the safety of our brothers and sisters
    serving in the US military and being put in harm's way under these most
    unfavorable conditions. In the case of capture, they are likely to be
    subject to unrestrained, debasing treatment, in similar disregard of the
    Geneva Conventions.

    For their safety and in the name of common humanity, Veterans For Peace
    demands that the abductees in Guantanamo Bay, Afghani's and other
    nationalities, be accorded the status of Prisoners of War (POW) with all
    attendant rights under the Geneva Convention and any other Conventions
    governing wartime activities and the treatment of prisoners that the United
    States is party to. This should include access to the International Red
    Cross, access to legal advice, the ability to communicate with families,
    freedom of religious practice, release from close confinement, the ability
    to exercise daily and be accorded proper medial care.

    We also ask the United States government to begin planning for the
    repatriation of these prisoners, and that it be accomplished sooner rather
    than later, as mandated by international law.

    If the United States is, indeed, a Nation of Laws; and if we expect our
    citizens to abide by its laws, then we have the right to expect our
    government to abide by the laws that govern other nations and insist that
    it do so.


    Terri Allred
    Seattle, WA

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