Originally issued March 21, 2003.

Pax Christi USA mourns the failure of U.S. policy and unequivocally condemns the illegal and immoral war on Iraq. No nation, regardless of its power or privilege, has the right to disregard the United Nations’ charter. The policy of “preemptive war” has been condemned by the Vatican, rejected by the United Nations Security Council and opposed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Pax Christi USA rejects war, preparations for war, and every form of violence and domination.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Iraq as they endure the violence, chaos and uncertainty of war. We are inspired by the commitment of our bothers and sisters on the Iraq Peace Team who have remained with the people of Iraq to share in their suffering and we pray for their safety and serenity as war unfolds around them.

We continue to stand in solidarity with the peoples of Palestine and Israel, of Pakistan, Jordan and all those places that will be impacted by violence and strife as a result of this war, and we specifically call upon the Sharon Government in Israel not to escalate its violence against Palestinian civilians while the world’s attention is focused on Iraq.

Even as this war begins, the news media have failed to offer any reporting on the use of depleted uranium munitions. Moreover, Pax Christi USA challenges the media to report on the war’s immediate and widespread effects on the civilian population of Iraq: those killed by “precision” bombs; those without access to food and water; those without access to medical support.

Here at home, Pax Christi USA condemns the ongoing racial and ethnic profiling and violations of civil liberties of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals living in the U.S. which are today facing interrogation and ongoing confinement by federal law enforcement offices.

Finally, Pax Christi USA rejects the cynical manipulation of the US public’s heartfelt concern for our troops’ lives. Opposition to this war does not amount to opposition to the troops and any such accusations must be unmasked for what they are: propaganda intended to stifle dissent. Pax Christi USA deeply believes that the best way to truly support our troops is to bring them home rather than place them in the physical and moral jeopardy involved in carrying out an illegal and immoral military action on behalf of powerful but narrow interests.

True peace is the fruit of just relationships and is never achieved though violence. True security will come only when our nation is able to fulfill its role as the most powerful nation on earth with humility, compassion, reciprocity and solidarity with the community of nations. As disciples of the Nonviolent Christ, we recommit ourselves to the pursuit of justice and development of lasting peace.

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