NEW YORK CITY– Family members of September 11th victims from the Pentagon, the World Trade Center and Flight 93 asked members of the UN Security Council to “stop the rush to war in Iraq” and to “utilize their collective experience, skills and imagination to find a peaceful solution to the threats posed by the regime of Saddam Hussein.”
Members of the group, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, traveled to Iraq in January, 2003, to call attention to the ongoing plight of civilians who have suffered under a brutal dictatorship and a decade of sanctions, only to find themselves today threatened by military intervention. The group believes that war “will likely kill thousands of civilians and military service people, further impoverish a beleaguered nation, and plant seeds for increased terrorism and violence around the world.”
Peaceful Tomorrows (www.peacefultomorrows.org) advocates for effective, non-violent solutions to terrorism while identifying a commonality with all people similarly affected by violence throughout the world. The group was founded in February, 2002, and represents 65 family members directly affected by the events of 9/11, along with more than 2,000 supporters. The full text of the open letter appears below.
An Open Letter to UN Security Council Members
As family members of September 11th victims, no one desires security and an end to violence more than we do. As United Nations Security Council members, you have been charged with ensuring the security of the people of this world. We write to you now to urge you to take action to stop the rush to war in Iraq.
We remain profoundly moved by the depth of compassion and sympathy that the world community extended to our families and to our country following the tragedy of September 11. We ask you to extend this same spirit to the people of Iraq, innocent civilians who have suffered under a brutal dictatorship and a decade of sanctions, only to find themselves today threatened by military intervention.
In January, four of us who lost loved ones on September 11th traveled to Iraq to meet with ordinary Iraqi citizens. Our experiences in Iraq lead us to conclude that war is likely to kill thousands of civilians and military service people, further impoverish a beleaguered nation, destabilize the Middle East region, and plant the seeds for increased terrorism and violence around the world.
But this war is not inevitable.
Weapons inspections are working and we ask that they be allowed to continue. We believe that through diplomatic action the members of the United Nations can utilize their collective experience, skills and imagination to find a peaceful solution to the threats posed by the regime of Saddam Hussein.
We respectfully implore the members of the Security Council to reject war and stand for peace. Let us make the 21st century an era in which the power of the United Nations is used to pursue justice, freedom and security through peaceful means. Doing so would be the most fitting way to honor the victims of September 11 and victims of war, terrorism and violence throughout the world.
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows