Action to Prevent War:
Statement on the September 11 Attacks
|October 9, 2001
1. The September 11 terrorist attacks constitute a crime against humanity. Their perpetrators must be brought to justice and prosecuted for these crimes. In pursuing this objective, the gathering anti-terrorist coalition of countries joining with the United States should work within the framework of the United Nations and international law.
2. The priority task must be to bring the perpetrators of these horrifying acts of violence to justice. Holding the perpetrators accountable and bringing them to public trial, preferably before an international tribunal, will inform the entire world on the nature of these atrocities and the lessons to be drawn from them, acting as a deterrent for the future.
3. If it is demonstrated that governments as well as terrorist groups are implicated, then responsible persons in those governments should be named and their delivery to a tribunal demanded, as we have done with Osama bin Laden and his co-conspirators.
4. All anti-terrorist actions of the United States and others should clearly show that specific individuals are being held accountable for specific reasons. Governments should avoid blanket accusations and indiscriminate death and injury. They should not create future terrorists. We will apply these standards to all actions by the United States and coalition members.
5. The UN Security Council resolution of September 12, 2001, proposed by the United States and passed with its vote, makes explicit the point of bringing individuals to justice. In Paragraph 3 of the resolution, the UN Security Council "calls on all States to work together urgently to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these terrorist attacks and stresses that those responsible for aiding, supporting or harbouring the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these acts will be held accountable."
6. We must devote serious, ongoing study to the root causes of terrorism and act systematically over a long period to diminish the intensity of its motivations. Unless we can do this, suicidal terrorist attacks will take place again and again, with increasing ingenuity and fatalities in each cycle.
7. In this study, we must be as balanced as possible, including in the scope of the study actions and policies of the U.S. and other countries that might have contributed to the problem, but also considering all other pertinent sources of motivation.
8. Because it is already widely known that one important source of Muslim resentment against the USA is U.S. support for Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation, we should urge the administration to develop an equitable and practical plan for resolving this confrontation, and to press this plan systematically on both Israelis and Palestinians. In the interest of world security and their own security, the time has come for both sides, to agree to a plan for reconciling their differences.
9. We also need an administration action plan to alleviate the plight of the Iraqi civilian population under UN sanctions.
10. Poverty and gross inequalities in economic, social, cultural and political freedoms contribute to the motivations for terrorism. Stepped up, sustained development and economic assistance, including debt forgiveness, increased efforts at controlling the proliferation of weapons of all kinds, as well as the promotion of human rights and democracy, will help to decrease the appeal and capability of terrorism.
11. We must urge repressive Middle Eastern governments to progressively loosen controls and promote sustainable social and economic development. Dialogue with Muslim clerics should encourage them to emphasize the more liberal traditions of Islam and to show how terrorist extremism distorts Islam's best traditions.
12. By doing these things, we can minimize the impact of the awful September 11 events and even draw from them some positive direction for the future.