Statement of Purpose for Alternatives to War
Alternatives to War supports peaceful dissent from government policies leading to war. We vigorously object to war as a response to acts of terrorism. We seek to define and promote policies alternative to war for our elected representatives and fellow citizens. We will promote these policies by suitable, nonviolent activities in the Willamette Valley and beyond.
Discussion: Alternatives to War is a loosely organized group of people in the Corvallis, Oregon, area formed in late September 2001 to question the path chosen by the United States government as a response to the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001. We agreed that the rush to war in Afghanistan was hasty and ill conceived. We believe acts of terrorism are criminal offenses, however terrible, and should be handled accordingly by internationally approved, multilateral institutions. We believe that wars in which the United States seeks revenge or attempts to impose U.S. political will on sovereign nations that have not threatened nor attacked the United States will deepen hatred of the United States and its citizens. We expect and deplore an eventual cost to our nation and the rest of the world in renewed terrorism. Our initial activities have been daily street vigils, participation in local parades, assistance to the Hiroshima Peace Walk and letters to government officials and newspapers. We worked to inform the public in our vicinity that there are principled objections to the national military undertaking to avenge the terrorist crimes in New York and Washington, DC. We have added our voices to the defense of civil liberties threatened by government investigations of terrorism. As the U.S. government has extended its “war on terrorism” beyond bombing and troop deployment in Afghanistan, our purpose has expanded. We object to further American military action undertaken in the guise of a “war on terrorism.” We object to unbalanced dealing by the United States in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We are concerned about the extension of U.S. military basing across central Asia and elsewhere. We are unconvinced the United States government has just cause for greater belligerence towards Iraq. We will remain informed about the military plans and actions of the United States, and we will respond to those actions in appropriate, nonviolent ways. We intend to participate in efforts to bring humanitarian relief to innocent victims of American military activity
Summary: As our name implies, we aim to discover, promote and see the adoption of nonmilitary responses to terrorist acts in the United States and elsewhere in the world. We will continue to defend civil liberties, especially the right to dissent about government actions.