Daryn Kobata published Close Guantanamo and Pursue Middle East Diplomacy in ICUJP Policy and Issue Statements 2020-01-03 16:53:53 -0800
Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace
Statement to Elected Officials:
END ENDLESS WAR
Close Guantanamo and Pursue Diplomacy, Not War, in the Middle East
After 9/11, the United States responded to a terrorist attack on our country by retaliating with endless wars in the Middle East and other parts of the world. These wars have caused millions of deaths, displaced tens of millions of refugees, cost trillions of dollars, and made our nation and the world considerably less safe.
As people of faith and conscience, we have not only opposed these endless and futile wars, we have also opposed the indefinite and unwarranted detention and torture of political prisoners at Guantanamo and CIA “black sites.”
Consistent with our belief that “religious communities must stop blessing war and violence,” we stand utterly opposed to political assassination as a tool of foreign policy. Killing foreign leaders doesn’t advance the cause of peace. It has the opposite effect: It provokes retaliation and further violence.
The current violence in Iraq is a result of our misguided decision to use force instead of diplomacy to try to resolve political conflicts in the Middle East.
For this reason, we call upon our elected officials to speak out publicly and pass a resolution opposing the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, a high-ranking Iranian government official. This assassination will further exacerbate tensions in the Middle East and perpetuate the cycle of violence. A breaking news report indicates that 3,000 troops are being sent to the Middle East in response to this threat.
This dangerous escalation of violence can be seen as a direct consequence of abandoning the Iran Nuclear Agreement that negotiated by the Obama administration and supported by the United Kingdom, Russia, France, China, and the European Union. Our withdrawal from this multinational agreement was unwise. We urge our elected officials to resume negotiations with Iran and be open to reducing sanctions and making other concessions as an expression of good faith.
We are concerned that this extrajudicial killing could lead to war between the United States and Iran, and possibly even worldwide. World War I was triggered by political assassination. Assassinating a high-ranking government official can be seen as an act of war – and would be considered as such if a foreign power were to kill a comparable American official. We urge Congress to reaffirm its opposition to war on Iran, and to support repealing the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, which presidents have used as a blank check to justify military intervention.
Daryn Kobata published 18th Anniversary of 9/11 in ICUJP Policy and Issue Statements 2019-09-10 19:43:46 -0700
September 10, 2019
Tomorrow, the 18th anniversary of 9/11, we can anticipate a range of remembrances and commemorations.
At Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace, we remember it as a dreadful and ominous day when the Rev. George Regas awoke fearing the direction the United States would take under President George W. Bush. He immediately convened Dr. Maher Hathout, Rabbi Leonard Beerman, Rev. James Lawson, and others. Together they founded ICUJP and adopted the call that
RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES MUST STOP BLESSING WAR AND VIOLENCE.
Tragically, the group’s worst fears came true as the United States and its allies launched endless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. These wars have spread around the world, accompanied by death, torture, indefinite detention, CIA dark sites, Guantanamo, drone warfare, and widespread violations of human rights and civil liberties.
ICUJP chose to respond by Speaking Truth to Power. For almost 900 Fridays, ICUJP has consistently met and taken action to learn, listen, share, educate, advocate, lobby, march, pray, protest, and organize, organize, organize—all to advance the cause of justice and peace at home and around the world.
The scope of our recent work is reflected in the wide array of statements and calls to action we have issued.
George Regas’s prophetic vision that inspired the creation of ICUJP imagined a world not of war, but peace; not of conflict, but reconciliation; and not of hate, but love.
And we are still at it. The struggle continues. Please join us on Friday mornings from 7:00 to 9:00 AM at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Blvd. (at Berendo St.). Also, please support our work by making a generous donation at www.icujp.org.
And do something TODAY to help make the world a better, safer, more just, peaceful and humane place for every person who shares this fragile planet.