A crime against humanity in the making

 

Barring a miracle it is now almost certain that the war in Iraq will happen.  It has been obvious for a very long time that George W. Bush and Tony Blair have decided, long ago, that they need and want a war, whatever happens or does not happen, whatever is found or not found by the inspector.

 

As a citizen, as a human being, as a Christian and a monk, my conscience obliges me to denounce this war that will be in many and every respect a crime against humanity.  I accuse Bush, Blair and the members of their coalition of the coerced of committing a crime against humanity.

 

The sheer number of innocent civilians (certainly tens of thousands) and of as innocent young Iraqi soldiers enrolled to defend their country, added to the utter destruction not only of buildings but of every means of living that will be caused by the dropping of tens of thousands tons of bombs in a few hours cannot be morally justified in any way.

 

The war has already started a long time ago.  The first phase, consisting of a huge campaign of disinformation has been extremely successful.  The second phase, consisting of creating a coalition of the coerced through economic help or threats of withdrawing economic help has also been successful.  The total defeat of the Iraqi army is certain.  It could be realized in one day with a fraction of the forces amassed in the region.

 

            Many independent analysts have demonstrated that the aim of the war is not removing Saddam but the control of the reserves of petrol.  The language of the US administration during the last few days makes it very clear that the goal is an occupation of the country.  This, in conjunction with the incredibly arrogant and often offensive way in which Bush talks down to the United Nations and the world community as a führer threatening his recalcitrant troops, frighteningly gives right to those who see beyond the case of Iraq a plan of global world domination with a readiness to attack, down the road, any -- yes, any -- nation that will not comply. "Those who are not with us are against us", as we were told over and over again for more than a year.

 

            This situation requires us intensely to pray to God for a change of heart in all the persons involved, beginning with each one of us.  Prayer, however, does not dispense us from speaking up.  With no other authority than that I have as a human being, a citizen of the United States, and a citizen of the world, I accuse the planners of this war of committing a crime against humanity and I beg them not to launch each one of us with them in this spiral of evil.

 

February 14, 2003

Armand VEILLEUX, ocso