If Not Military Force and War,
Then What?

Friends Committee on National Legislation Newsletter, October 2000


The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) opposes the use of U.S. military force in response to the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Instead of military force we recommend that the U.S. government take the following steps.

1. Mobilize and lead law enforcement agencies around the world to investigate, apprehend, and bring to justice those responsible, to the full extent of U.S. and international law, as was done in response to earlier attacks against Pan Am flight 103, U.S. embassies in Africa, and the World Trade Center. To advance international cooperation to reduce terrorism, the U.S. Senate should immediately ratify and implement the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombing.

2. Preserve civil liberties, maintain full public accountability of U.S. governing institutions, and protect vulnerable minorities in the U.S. from hate crimes and harassment, particularly against Arab-Americans, Muslims, and others.

3. Lead the United Nations in cooperative action to interrupt and seize the financial resources that support these criminal terror networks. To support this effort, the U.S. Senate should promptly ratify and implement the International Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.

4. Lead the United Nations in bringing diplomatic, political, and economic pressure to bear against the governing regimes of nations that give support or shelter to terror networks. International sanctions, if applied, should be focused narrowly on those in political power.

5. Respond with compassion and generous aid to the suffering of the innocent peoples in Iraq, the Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other countries, even if their governments are found to support terror networks.

6. Resume and intensify U.S. efforts to secure a just and lasting peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a major source of deep anti-U.S. sentiment throughout the Arab world.

7. Lead the international community in cooperative efforts to reduce stockpiles of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons and materials in the U.S., Russia, and elsewhere and to guard against unauthorized use. Support increased funding for the "Nunn-Lugar" threat reduction initiative.

8. Support an international ban on the sale and transfer of weapons to zones of conflict. Weapons sales and transfers increase acts of violence, suffering, and the collapse of civil society institutions. The U.S. is the world's largest exporter of weapons. It should not export weapons to regimes that are undemocratic and violate human rights.

9. Dramatically increase U.S. humanitarian aid to the millions of refugees in zones of conflict. War orphans, refugee children, and youth are especially vulnerable to recruitment by terrorist organizations. This is of special concern today in Afghanistan and Central Asia;

10. Assist individuals and families in the U.S. who have lost wage earners or jobs as a result of the attack and its economic aftermath.

September 11th, 2001 - New York City

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