WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 -- The UPI Think Tank Wrap-Up is a daily digest covering brief opinion pieces, reactions to recent news events, and position statements released by various think tanks.
Institute for Public Accuracy
WASHINGTON -- IPA Comments from Opponents of Terrorism and War
Thomas Gumbleton, Catholic bishop from Detroit.
"The Pope has called for 'peaceful negotiations and dialogue' in the current crisis. ... Some have rushed to portray us who are opposed to the Bush administration's plans as nave and lacking realism. But if you look at the facts, it is clear that it is we who are the realists and those who would rush to war and escalate the cycle of violence are completely out of touch with reality and with lessons of history. Our administration is warning us that the next attack might be in the form of germ warfare. What kind of insanity is it to pursue a course of action that might escalate into biological warfare? The only way to peace is to talk, to negotiate and to build understanding. Yet, President Bush has flatly ruled out the possibility of negotiations and dialogue. What does he hope to gain by issuing ultimatum after ultimatum and refusing to negotiate?"
Kevin Danaher, co-founder of Global Exchange and author of "Globalize This" (from comments in a Washington Post op-ed article).
"As citizens, we cannot sit back and assume that our current policies and our current leaders will rectify the problem. We are now in uncharted waters, and the ship of state is being steered by some of the same people who got us into this mess in the first place." Danaher, who is in Washington, until Thursday, said: "We should demand that everyone who is involved in aiding and abetting acts of terrorism should be put on trial before the public. We should demand the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Such a course of action would receive widespread global support and would make it impossible for any country to shelter perpetrators of mass violence."
Rahul Mahajan, national board member of Peace Action and a specialist on South and Central Asian affairs.
"Declaring an unlimited war on an ill-defined enemy is going to produce neither justice nor peace. Rather than promising a war to end all wars, President Bush seems to be promising perpetual war. The refusal to negotiate or provide evidence violates international law, especially since the administration is claiming the right to engage in actions that will result in civilian deaths. Indeed, civilians are likely already dying in Afghanistan as a result of U.S. threats. This approach has already destabilized Pakistan, with a real danger of political collapse. Though the effects have been less severe in India, there is a resurgence of religious hatred within the country and saber rattling across the border. Since both states have nuclear arms, the potential effects are incalculable, especially given the volatility in Kashmir. The only wise and legitimate course is for the United States to submit its evidence to a competent body like the International Court of Justice at The Hague."