- February 26 - A group of University of Colorado faculty and
staff who are opposed to a preventive war in Iraq is coordinating
a "teach-in" to coincide with a planned March 5 student moratorium.
The goal of the all-day public event on the CU Boulder campus
is to encourage a more thoughtful and peaceful solution to the
Iraq crisis. At an organizational meeting on February 18, CU Regent
Jim Martin spoke in support of the efforts of the 98 faculty and
staff who gathered to form Faculty and Staff Against War (FASAW).
Addressing the overflow gathering, which included members of 32
different departments and units at the Boulder campus plus faculty
from Naropa University, Martin called university campuses "the
moral conscience of the nation."
FASAW is promoting
March 5 as a "Day of Discussion" about the proposed war, to include
the teach-in on the University campus. Members of the public are
encouraged to attend and participate. The teach-in, titled "Books,
Not Bombs" is planned for the full school day, from 8AM to 5PM
on March 5. CU Boulder faculty and other speakers will educate
and lead discussions on many issues regarding the proposed war
that have been ignored by much of the media. These include the
history of Iraq and US foreign policy, the consequences of war,
and alternatives to war. The teach-in will also include a poetry
reading, which will feature the works of local and internationally
known poets who are opposed to war as a solution to human problems.
faculty members will be bringing their classes to the teach-in
to support the day of discussion. "We find ourselves at a historic
moment, which may change the course of human history," said FASAW
member Dylan Clark, a CU geographer. "We are asking people to
take a break from their normal routine long enough to reflect,
think, and discuss the options that lie before us." Part of the
role of a University is to foster discussion of the issues relevant
to our society in the media, in the classrooms, and in the community.
For more information on "Books, Not Bombs", contact Professor
Tom Mayer or visit www.fasaw.net.
teach-in, Flemish Anthropologist and Internationally Acclaimed
Nonviolence Expert Dr. Pat Patfoort will speak on the topic "There
ARE Alternatives To War" at 7PM in the Glenn Miller Ballroom in
the University Memorial Center, on the CU Boulder Campus. Dr.
Patfoort has worked to resolve conflicts among Rwandan refugees,
as well as Kosovar Albanians and Serbs. The Rocky Mountain Peace
and Justice Center and the International Women's Week Committee
are sponsoring her talk.
Since the February
18 meeting, 213 people have joined FASAW's membership list, and
have been actively planning for the teach-in and related anti-war
activities. FASAW invites all concerned members of the University
community, as well as those from other academic institutions,
to attend the next meeting of FASAW AT 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March
3 in UMC room 247.
that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein must be contained through
deterrence and inspections, not a preventive war. FASAW will promote
discussion of the following issues, seldom noted in the mass media,
in support of this position:
sanctions, and international monitoring have been highly effective.
Fear for his own survival prevented Hussein from using chemical
and biological weapons against US troops and Israel during the
Gulf War, and in the 12 years since. International monitoring
of Iraq's military strengths and strategies makes any belligerent
move on Iraq's part suicidal. Hussein has never gone to war in
the face of a clear deterrent threat. "FASAW supports enlarged,
permanent UN weapons inspection teams, as called for by Nobel
Peace Laureate Jimmy Carter and others, to disarm Iraq." said
FASAW member Vicky Sama, a CU journalism instructor.
tremendous pressure from the Bush Administration, US intelligence
has failed to provide any evidence of cooperation between the
Iraqi regime and terrorists. The threat of U.S. retaliation is
very effective in keeping Iraq from supporting terrorists.
of innocent Iraqi civilians will be killed, and thousands more
will suffer grave injury because of this war. The Pentagon strategy
called "shock and awe" will rain more cruise missiles on Baghdad
in each of the first two days of war than were fired in the entire
1991 Gulf War. One Pentagon official who has been briefed on the
plan told CBS News, "There will not be a safe place in Baghdad."
One of the authors of this strategy likened its effects to the
atomic bombing of Hiroshima. After the bombing ceases, the lack
of safe drinking water, electricity, communication, bridges, and
infrastructure, will lead to disease, death, and tremendous further
suffering. "Americans, who suffered needless killing of innocents
on September 11, 2001, do not wish to inflict the same on another
country." said FASAW member Aaron Miller, a CU biochemist.
4) An American-led
war effort that causes much suffering and destruction will create
more reason for terrorists to commit acts of terrorism against
US citizens, cities and military bases around the world. "I believe
an attack on Iraq increases the likelihood for terrorist attacks
here," worries FASAW member Alex Stemm-Wolf, a CU biologist.
5) The preventive
strike strategy sets a dangerous precedent that will undoubtedly
haunt us in the future when other countries follow our lead. The
potential for proliferation of war on this basis is grave.
6) The costs
of war and of rebuilding Iraq will be staggering. While our allies
financed the majority of the costs of the 1991 Gulf War, our share
nonetheless dragged the US economy into recession. Now, many of
those same allies are unwilling to finance a new war, which would
likely be even more expensive.
7) The commitment
and ability of the U.S. to building a peaceful, democratic, and
free society in a post-Hussein Iraq is questionable. The U.S.
failed to bring democracy and freedom to Kuwait. The Bush administration
is little focused on the widespread warlordism, drug trafficking,
terrorism, and attacks on foreign troops in Afghanistan. Whether
the US is seen as liberator or conqueror of Iraq will depend less
on the courageous men and women fighting against Saddam's troops
than on political and economic decisions made in Washington. "Afghanistan
has faded so quickly from our radar screen, and democracy is faltering
there," said FASAW member Michael Mills, a CU atmospheric scientist.
"How long will U.S. commitment to democracy in Iraq last before
we move on to the next war?"
5 all-day teach-in will bring together students, academics,
and the public to explore a peaceful resolution to the crisis