[Blueboard] Statement on the Threat of a US-Led War Against Iraq

Ma. Luz C.Vilches mvilches at ateneo.edu
Tue Feb 18 15:16:43 PHT 2003

This is a statement written by Dr. Benjamin Tolosa, Jr, Chair of the 
Department of Political Science.  Copies of this are being circulated among 
members of the Loyola Schools faculty and staff for the signature of those 
who feel that it represents their sentiments.


We, concerned faculty and staff of the Loyola Schools at Ateneo de Manila 
University, join the millions of people around the world who have 
demonstrated their opposition to the looming US-led war on Iraq.

We are against weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and oppressive 
regimes. But the use of military force to solve these problems is much too 
laden with human costs, political risks and moral contradictions that it 
should only be employed as a last resort. Moreover, when a unilateral 
"preemptive" war is unleashed by a superpower, the consequences can be far 
worse. War and military occupation in this context lead not only to the 
killing and displacement of people, but more so to deepening the very 
wounds of injustice, anger and hopelessness that breed and sustain 
terrorists and dictators.

Thus we strongly protest President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's openly vocal 
and unqualified endorsement of the Bush administration's policy on Iraq. We 
call on the Philippine government to stand instead with the United Nations 
in exhausting all peaceful means of effecting compliance with international 
law, including the strengthening and expansion of the weapons inspections 
regime. In a world where there is a need to build more effective and 
democratic institutions of global governance, the Philippine government 
must dissociate itself from any war on Iraq made outside the authority of 
the UN.

We urge the Arroyo government to consider foremost in its foreign policy 
positions, the safety and well-being of overseas Filipino workers and their 
families.  Furthermore, in our ethnically diverse country and region, the 
government must take more closely to heart the sensitivities and historical 
grievances of various cultural communities, particularly in the present 
context, the millions of Muslims in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. The 
government cannot ignore their concerns in its pronouncements and 
decisions, and worse, resort to a dominantly military solution to an 
essentially political and economic problem.

We live in a poverty-stricken, divided and precarious world.  In many 
instances, globalization has only deepened inequities, marginalization and 
violence.  But as we have witnessed this past weekend, it can also make 
possible global movements and mechanisms for peace, justice and human 
solidarity.  It is to the imagining and construction of such institutions 
of global democracy and governance that we commit ourselves.

Concerned Faculty Members and Staff
Loyola Schools
Ateneo de Manila University

February 17, 2003
Loyola Heights, Quezon City

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