The Reconstruction of Iraq Must Be Led By the United Nations, Not the United States
 By: Laurie Manis



George W. Bush has taken the United States to war in contempt of the U.S. Constitution and in criminal defiance of the UN Charter. As a result, a horrifying majority of the world's population now views America as the single greatest threat to world peace.
"To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."
-- International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, 1946
We disregard this world-view at our peril. Might not a preemptive, unilateral attack be launched against this country, including a "regime change", in order to safeguard peace and preserve the sovereignty of nations?
After all, we set the precedent.
We may never know how many scores of civilians were killed or maimed by our invasion of Iraq. Nevertheless, Saddam Hussein has shown remarkable restraint in the use of his fabled weapons of mass destruction, leading one to wonder if he, in fact, truly did not have them at his disposal.
Thus, the Administration's latest spin is that we are fighting for Iraqi freedom, despite a dearth of Iraqi citizens greeting our troops with kisses and flowers. Rather, they are showing outright hostility to their liberators.  It would seem that as much as they may hate Saddam, they love their homeland more.
Nevertheless, Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon continue to press for a U.S. occupation of Iraq. In short, they want to win the peace the way the U.S. pushed for war: alone.
Not including the United Nations in post-war planning only will further enflame anti-American hatred in the Arab world, which will breed more terrorism. The exclusion of the United Nations also will further alienate estranged allies, creating a permanent rift between us and the countries upon which we rely for cooperation in the war on terrorism.
The decision on how post-war Iraq is to be managed will be made in the next several days. Please contact your elected representatives and urge them to oppose the unilateralism that already has done so much damage.
It is time for America to mend her fences and mend them fast; we must never forget what was achieved with a few box cutters.
Laurie Manis
Military Families Speak Out
Rock Island, IL

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the
country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag
the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a
parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can
always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have
to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for
lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials
Bio: Laurie Manis is the daughter of a WWII veteran, the widow of a Viet Nam veteran and the mother of a Navy Reservist. She was a plaintiff in the anti-war lawsuit against President Bush and is a member of Military Families Speak Out.


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