May. 29  2023
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A solidarity message from No War Peace Action Korea

We, civic group network of more than 700 South Korean NGOs, No War Peace Action, launched our activity on the 8th of October 2001 right after 9.11 terror to ask the George W. Bush Administration for stopping its war on Afghanistan. Today, we are voicing up a strong objection again, with the peace-loving friends of the world, in opposition to US unilateral militarism against Iraq and threat to North Korea.

The U.S., having zoomed in on Iraq as a threat against its security since the ravaging of Afghanistan, is now adding finishing touches to its war preparation, counting down days towards the eventual launch of the attack. It is bent on embarking on a unilateral invasion regardless of the absence of the consensus of the world community, against the world-wide opposition to war, and against the counsel of the major allies, such as, France, Germany, and Belgium, and other permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, such as Russia and China.

Lacking minimum criteria of evidence, rationale, or persuasion, the war on Iraq by the U.S., if it happens, will mark one of the most shameful acts of betrayal of our shared belief in humanity

The development of weapons of mass destruction by the Hussein regime of Iraq or its support for terrorism, presented by the U.S. as the reasons for its planned invasion, have not been verified in any acceptable form. And the Iraqi facility, which the U.S. recently alleged as a chemical weapons factory, has turned out to be an abandoned concrete build left in ruins. Far-fetched claims and manipulations exploiting the media's eagerness have become the currency of the disinformation campaign. Not bothered by the need to present substantial evidence in justification, the U.S. is now even touting the possibility of using nuclear weapons.

The tragedy of the situation lies in that the entire war-drumming is taking place without any ethical reflection that would be expected of any self-regarding democratic state. The issues of civilian deaths and injuries from any attack, the questions of legitimacy of the use of nuclear weapons which are viewed in the international law as illegal weapons, the issue of indiscriminate killing that would arise from the use of nuclear weapons, the issue of legitimacy of total control of oil resources by the U.S. in the aftermath of the war- all these and other humanitarian and ethical issues are left out of consideration.

A greater tragedy lies in that the vast majority of democratic nations of the global village nor the major allies of the U.S. are incapable of criticising or correcting the undemocratic hegemonic intent of the U.S. All, apart of a handful of governments and statesmen, like Germany and France and Nelson Mandela, have been able to come forward to stand against the U.S. The attitude of the majority of democratic nations toward the American unilateralism has been close to total powerlessness and abandonment. What could be more tragic for a global community purportedly built on consensus and cooperation?

The American military hegemony is also leaving its marks in the Korean peninsula. The U.S. has suspended the provision of heavy fuel oil to North Korea, followed by the suspension of food aid, in the course of interaction with north Korea over the disagreement on the implementation of the Agreed Framework. In total disregard to the demands of the Korean people to bring the current problem through peaceful manner, the U.S. has stepped up military tension over the Korean peninsula by pushing ahead with additional military deployment.

The international society is deeply concerned at the unilateral militarism of the U.S. government. The war launched by the U.S. will bring about a catastrophe far greater than any that can be triggered rudimentary weapons development by some so-called "questionable" countries. The military-hegemonic project of the U.S. will drive the entire achievement of the 20th century in terms of democracy and international relations based on consensus and cooperation that have been obtained from the madness of wars and massacres into a crisis. This is one of the primary reasons why we need to prevent the dawning of a new era of brute force that would be ushered in with the American war against Iraq before it is too late.

Signs of Hope: the global people's movement against war

As we were able to note in the recent Korea Social Forum, attended by hundreds of civil and social movement activists from throughout the country, the candle-light vigils that started last year and still continue till today without interruption are part of this global awakening in opposition to war, and the beacon of democracy and conscience in our society. The people who have awaken to a new awareness of the American military hegemonic project in the course of learning the ills of the U.S. troops and bases are beginning to join the global multitude of people standing up for democracy and peace.

The peace movement throughout the world is joining together to hold the greatest ever international day of action for peace and against war on February 15, building on the momentum of the rallies on January 18. In Korea, peace rallies are being organised in a number of major cities, including Seoul, Pusan, and Wonju, joining those in more than 100 major cities of the world. The action is aimed at opposing the American hegemonic pursuit and to prevent its war against Iraq. It represents the common action of the people transcending national borders and cultures. A Korean Iraq Peace Team has joined the Human Shield, spirited by the candle-light vigils in the aftermath of the death of two school girls to prevent the deaths of thousands of Iraqi children and people by putting themselves in the line of American bombings. The Korean Iraq Peace Team brings to the international effort the aspiration of the Korean people lighted by the candles, building a link between the tragedy suffered by the Korean people and the pain delivered on the people of Iraq, to be subsumed in a common flame of struggle for hope. While our numbers may not be great, we will form the barricade that block the march of inhuman pursuit of hegemony, following the proud footsteps of human progress.

In opposing the American war against Iraq, we oppose any plan of the Korean government to join the American campaign or any form of support. The international society should categorically refuse to be a part of, or to cooperate with, the war against humanity being fabricated by the U.S. government. Participation in any form in the act of mass killings that the war against Iraq promises to be will disqualify Korea from a place in the international community. Korean government entertains a plan to set Korea as hub-nation of northeast Asia. How can a nation whose military joins a colonial occupation policy of a powerful nation as a mercenary underling claim itself to be coordinating centre. The support of the American war against Iraq is nothing more than kowtowing to the American unilateralism. It will open the doors for stepped-up intervention in domestic affairs, culminating in a serious threat to the hard-fought democratic achievements. We will address the international society to oppose the America's war against Iraq and face the Korean government to prevent its participation in the America's war game.

The February 15 global day of action against the war is an opportunity to bring the American war drive to a halt. On February 15, we shall highlight the lesson of history that all the empires which flaunted military might fell by the side in utter disgrace, and lift high the beacon of truth that people can overcome violence with the strength of peace.

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BASE21 News Desk

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