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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 26, 2003
1:55 PM
CONTACT: Faculty and Staff Against War (FASAW) 
Polly Mclean: (303) 492-5007
Email: mcleanp@spot.colorado.edu
CU Faculty And Staff Organize Anti-War "Teach-In" March 5
 
WASHINGTON - 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.

Many FASAW 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.

Following the 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.

FASAW believes 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:

1) Deterrence, 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.

2) Despite 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.

3) Thousands 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?"

The March 5 all-day teach-in will bring together students, academics, and the public to explore a peaceful resolution to the crisis over Iraq.

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