Peace Action Statement on the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks
September 12, 2001
Peace Action, an organization that promotes peaceful, non-violent solutions to conflict, abhors the horrible attacks committed yesterday, and mourns the tragic loss of so many lives. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.
President Bush has said that the United States “will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbored them.” However, such indiscriminate attacks by the U.S. military against ill-defined targets will make ordinary Americans less secure, rather than more, by spilling the innocent blood that feeds already existing fanaticism. Such violence will produce the fear and hate in the terrorists’ homelands that they need to prosper – it enables them to bring ever more violence against those they see as their enemies.
We must bring the perpetrators of this heinous act to justice, but we must do so through international and national legal systems. A great nation does not punish the innocent in order to assuage its anguish.
Further, as a nation, it is in our absolute interest to ensure that no terrorist ever gain a nuclear capability. We must take the lead in building international cooperation for the safeguarding of all nuclear materials, and then for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Lastly, we must not allow these horrifying acts of violence to curtail the civil liberties which are at the heart of democracy. Of particular concern is the protection of all Americans who are Muslim or are of Arab or Middle Eastern descent from racist attacks.
Now, in the face of this lawless act, we must act to end the cycle of violence. We must use restraint, prudence and the rule of law, as we—as a nation—seek justice for the crimes committed on September 11th.