Excerpts from The Iraq War and Its Consequences: Thoughts of Nobel Peace Laureates and Eminent Scholars

News Abroad

Excerpts from The Iraq War and Its Consequences: Thoughts of Nobel Peace Laureates and Eminent Scholars, ed. by Irwin Abrams, Wang Gungwu (New Jersey, London, Singapore: World Scientific, 2003).

From the Foreword by Wang Gungwu, Director of East Asian Institute, National University of Singapore

The two issues that should now take precedence over others are (a) the credibility of the United States, the world's strongest power, as the leader in a world that still strives for peace, and (b) the viability of the United Nations, especially its Security Council, as the organization that could implement the measures essential to that peace..

From the Introduction by Irwin Abrams, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, Antioch University

The terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, brought expressions of sympathy to the American people from all over the world, which demonstrated a sense of common humanity that was most unusual in it extent and depth. … But the worldwide feeling of unity was dissipated when the United States led a war against Iraq. …. Perhaps some day that unifying moment of sensing our common humanity can be recaptured and will endure.

David Trimble, M.P. , First Minister, North Ireland Assembly, 1998-2000. Nobel 1998

What were we to do when it was obvious that the UN route ended? … . We did not have much of a choice, and that is why I supported the actions of the British and American governments.

Jody Williams, Intl. Ambassador, Intl. Campaign to Ban Landmines, Nobel, 1997

To now find that the evidence used to justify its first preemptive action --- the invasion of Iraq --- was based not just on uncertain intelligence, but on “forward leaning” interpretation of intelligence as well as outright lies to justify policies already in motion puts U.S. credibility further at risk.

Sir Joseph Rotblat, Nobel.1995.

There is a need to keep hammering home the point that America's stand on the Non-Proliferation Treaty is iniquitous. It has signed and ratified an international treaty which commits it to get rid of nuclear weapons, yet it is pursuing a policy which demands the indefinite retention of these weapons.

Mairead Corrigan Maguire, co-founder Peace People, Northern Ireland, Nobel, 1976

I appeal to the people of goodwill from all countries to take part in this offensive of love. I appeal also to those peace-loving people in the United States, whose courage in the face of immense State power I personally witnessed, to redouble their efforts in making their Government conform with international law in its foreign policy, to continue to stand up for the constitutional and human rights of all people and continue to build a nonviolent, truly humane society.

José Ramos-Horta, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Timor-Leste, Nobel, 1996

After September 11 and the Afghan campaign, after the Iraq intervention and the ouster of a brutal and arrogant dictator, the U.S. must also show humility and leadership. It has the resources, the power and ingenuity that no other nation in human history has to effect positive changes in the world. However, leadership must be by inspiration and reason, by building bridges and consensus and not by bullying.

Mary Ellen McNish, Ex.-Secretary, American Friends Service Committee, Nobel, 1947

We need to ask and answer “what are the alternatives to war?” As we know all too well, there are few alternatives once we are already at the brink. Lasting peace depends on the hard and proactive work of prevention. Our work at the American Friends Service Committee is to take away the occasion for war and to examine our own behavior for the seeds of war. But if we are to finally take away the occasion for war, we must lift up an articulate vision of the world we want.

Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics, Mass. Institute of Technology

We basically have two choices. Either history is bunk, including current history, and we can march forwards with confidence that the global enforcer will drive evil from the world much as the President's speech writers declare, plagiarizing ancient epics and children's tales. Or we can subject the doctrines of the proclaimed grand era to scrutiny, drawing rational conclusions, perhaps gaining some sense of the emerging reality.

Robin T, Lakoff, Professor of Linguistics, Univ. of Califorrnia, Berkeley

It is this manufacturing activity --- the use of language to manipulate us into belief and action --- that I want to examine: in particular, the knowing and sophisticated use of language by the Bush administration to induce complicity in beliefs and actions that otherwise citizens of the United States might subject to critical scrutiny.

William D. Hartung with Ceara Donnelly, World Policy Institute, New York

Taking the rebuilding of Iraq out of the hands of the private corporations and putting it back in the hands of the international community; offers the best hope of building a true democracy in Iraq, and of opening the way to a restoration and revitalization of democracy in America. …What follows is a breakdown of the major corporations involved in Iraq ….

Svetlana Broz, cardiologist, Sarajevo, granddaughter of Marshal Tito

Stories of civic courage and kindness restore faith in humanity, remind citizens that in each of us lie seeds of goodness. … By collecting examples of goodness and humanity, societies that have been torn apart by war, places like Bosnia and Herzogovina, Iraq and Afghanistan, have the opportunity to build forward-looking communities with a chance for hope.

Faleh A. Jabar, Iraqi exile, Research Fellow, Birbeck College, London University

That evening we were joined by a dozen or so fellow Iraqis for a mad impromptu party …

I have my own misgivings, worries and angst. I look at the social map of Iraq and reflect on Saddam's legacy: tribalisation of our urban civil space, Islamisation of our secular society. Extremism and violence. Fundamentalism has been creeping from our southern and eastern neighbours. Neither will welcome a secular Iraq. A democratic Iraq is a nuisance to Saudi Arabia. Federalism is suspect in the eyes of the Turks.

I am a born pessimist, but I am hopeful.

Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, Professor of Archeology, University of Cambridge

Members of the archeological community in the U.K. naturally deplore what happened to the Museum in Baghdad. They also feel that the voice of the academic community, which did speak clearly in the months before the conflict began, was not heard by the U.K. Government. … This was a disaster which was foreseen and which could quite readily have been prevented. Many of us who felt that the War had coherent objectives, and indeed who may still believe that to be the case, feel also a sense of shame that our Government and its allies in the Coalition failed to prevent so predictable a catastrophe.

Mahmood Mamdani, , Director of Institute of African Studies, Columbia University

If U.S. attitude to the Iraq-Iran War recalls a time-tested strategy of big powers fuelling and sustaining a local conflict to weaken both sides, the regime of sanctions that followed the Gulf War was a remarkable development; of low intensity conflict: for the first time, the proxy was not bilateral, but multilateral. If the sanctions regime demonstrated the success with which the U.S. turned the UN into a multilateral proxy, the invasion of Iraq demonstrated its limits and, ultimately, failure.

Gunnar Staalsett, Bishop of Oslo, former vice-chair of Norwegian Nobel Committee, conclusion of sermon, at the Cathedral of Oslo for the victims of the bomb attack on the United Nations Headquarters in Baghdad, August 29, 2003

It is now for us, the living, peacemakers one and all, out of our various faith communities, to resolve again to proclaim that there is no God who desires death and there is no God who blesses destruction. There only is a God who desires for us ”to do justice, seek mercy, walk humbly” with our God.

comments powered by Disqus

More Comments:

Josh S Narins - 4/5/2004

SL Anaya

Josh S Narins - 4/5/2004

Those academics will never believe you until you, get this, do an academic study yourself!

Josh S Narins - 4/5/2004

China secretly controls our CIA, and is using the bad intelligence to weaken us.

No, the terrorists, that's it.

By encouraging terrorists to strike America, capitalists hope to keep US wages down.

Shannon L Anaya - 3/28/2004

I've reached the conclusion that the biggest propagators of lies and obfuscation is Academia itself.

Grant W Jones - 3/22/2004

Where is Arafat? How could the editors allow this slur on the "Palistinian" people?