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Date: Wed, 4 Sep 1996 12:48:30 -0400
From: RRGilman@aol.com
Subject: Quaker statement on Iraq
Sender: owner-bpf-ineb@igc.apc.org

AFSC Statement on US military action in Northern Iraq

3 September 1996

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) expresses its deep concern over the US unilateral military action against Iraq following Baghdad's attack on Arbil. AFSC is also deeply concerned that this crisis has resulted in the suspension of the sale of the oil that would have enabled Iraq to purchase needed humanitarian supplies for its population. Once again, innocent people suffer for the actions of governments.

The US cruise missiles were launched in the face of ongoing diplomatic efforts at resolution of the fighting in northern Iraq. Not only did the US intervene militarily, but it has imposed unilaterally new conditions on the government of Iraq, extending the no-fly zone and banning the movement of Iraqi troops in northern Iraq. The continuing interference in the sovereignty of Iraq is likely to provoke continuing confrontations.

The issue of Kurdish nationalism and self-determination is an historic and complex one, and its resolution would involve many countries in the region. There is no chance that a military solution can be imposed. Further, the US itself has contributed much to the destabilization of the region through the long-term covert intelligence and overt diplomatic activity among the Kurds.

Military action is not the solution to the Iraq question. AFSC calls on the US government and its allies to refrain from any further military action, but instead to work through the UN to achieve a peaceful resolution that will reduce tensions and allow the oil sale to move forward and the people of Iraq to be fed.