FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2011
2:40 PM

United for Peace and Justice on the U.S. Killing of Osama bin Laden

WASHINGTON - May 17 - In the wake of the U.S. government’s decision to launch the Global War on Terror, local and national organizations across the country banded together to form United for Peace and Justice in 2003. We continue to call for an end to U.S. wars and believe now more strongly than ever that these wars manifest the ongoing horror and depravity that started on September 11, 2001. With the killing of Osama bin Laden, President Obama claims that justice has been done.  But there is no justice in the millions of people displaced and hundreds of thousands of civilian lives lost due to U.S. wars. The continued bombings and military operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and now Libya ensure more innocent people will be killed. The tragedy will not come to an end until the wars are put to an end.

Here’s a sampling of the responses to the killing of bin Laden shared by member groups and distinguished peace/anti-war activists. We will continue to add pieces as we come across them.

September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows Urge President Obama To Lead the Nation on a Path to Peace

September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows has always believed violence should be met with nonviolence, terror should be confronted with courage, and grief could be fashioned into action for peace. We said this in the days and months after 9-11, and we stand by our convictions today. http://www.peacefultomorrows.org/article.php?id=1029

American Muslim Voices’ statement on Osma Bin Laden’s killing

American Muslim Voice Foundation has been committed to build an inclusive, peaceful and beloved nation since its inception. September 11th 2001 was one of the worst tragedies of our nation, that tragedy was used to create a culture of despair, division, hate and violence around the world. Let us hope that we can all focus on healing and building a culture of hope, inclusion, love and peace. http://www.amuslimvoice.org/html/body_amv_statement_on_osama.html

Iraq Veterans Against the War: Bin Laden Dead, What Next?

Sunday night IVAW learned with the rest of the nation that Osama Bin Laden was killed and his body captured by a team of U.S. Special Forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  In light of our resolution condemning the occupation of Afghanistan adopted in 2009, we have followed this important news closely and want to share our perspective with supporters, elected officials, policymakers, the press, and the public at large. http://www.ivaw.org/blog/bin-laden-dead-what-next

Military Families Speak Out: Some deaths can’t be assuaged by this one… (By Dante Zappala)

The demise of bin Laden does little to undo the countless mistakes we’ve made in his name.

Amid the requisite flag-waving, chanting, and nationalistic fervor over the death of Osama bin Laden, I will not be rejoicing myself. There will be no vindication for me as I remember the sacrifice of my brother, a soldier killed in Iraq in 2004.

Code Pink: Enough — Let the Peace Begin

For us, the death of Osama Bin Laden is a time of profound reflection. With his death, we remember and mourn all the lives lost on September 11. We remember and mourn all the lives lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan. We remember and mourn the death of our soldiers. And we say, as we have been saying for the past nine years, “Enough.”http://codepink.org/blog/2011/05/osama-bin-laden-is-dead-let-the-peace-begin/

 

Dallas Peace Center hopes bin Laden death is turning point

On May 1, President Barack Obama announced was made that Osama Bin Laden was killed in a military operation.  He declared that “justice has been served.”  If this is so, then we need to reflect on the price of that justice, and our opportunities for going forward. The death of Osama Bin Laden should be used as a turning point at which we can put away our instruments of war in Afghanistan and use diplomacy to further address concerns and grievances.
http://www.dallaspeacecenter.org/?id=1

Friends Committee on National Legislation: Take Action: Responding to the Death of Osama bin Laden

The U.S. assassination of Osama bin Laden announced on Sunday night continues the violence initiated by al Qaeda’s attacks on the United States and the reciprocation of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. While many people in the United States may feel closure or vindication in the death of the man who claimed to be the intellectual author of the September 11 attacks, for many others it is a failure of imagination and of political will that led to answering violence with more violence. http://fcnl.org/action/alert/2011/lam0502/

Green Party of the United States: After the death of Osama bin Laden, the next step must be peace, including rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders on Monday expressed hope that news of the killing of Osama bin Laden marks a new stage, in which US troops are withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan; air assaults on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya are halted; the US presses Israel to observe full human rights and justice for the Palestinian people; and violations of domestic civil liberties are overturned. http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=419

Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education and Action: Alternative Voices to Triumphal Celebration: On the announced killing of Osama bin Laden

It Was Vengeance, Not Justice. Shot In Cold Blood. Bin Laden ‘Was Not Armed and Did Not Use Wife as Human Shield. U.S. Sinks Deeper into a Moral Abyss.

1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, etc. 5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world. http://malu-aina.org/

Mid-Missouri Peaceworks: Prospects for Peace, Post-Osama bin Laden

While many of our fellow Americans are celebrating the fact that U.S. forces have killed Osama bin Laden, we at Peaceworks, while eager to see all who’ve committed heinous crimes brought to justice, will only celebrate steps taken to end the violence that 9/11 has been used to justify.

http://blog.midmopeaceworks.org/2011/05/prospects-for-peace-post-osama-bin.html

Pax Christi USA official statement on the death of Osama bin Laden

The killing of Osama bin Laden is an occasion for deep reflection. It must become a turning point in our nation’s nearly decade-long wars in response to the tragedy of 9/11.  As people of faith, and as Catholics who, only days ago, celebrated Christ’s victory over condemnation, torture and death, we pause in this moment in a posture of prayer and repentance.
http://paxchristiusa.org/2011/05/04/statement-pax-christi-usa-official-statement-on-the-death-of-osama-bin-laden/

Tikkun’s Spiritual Response to the Assassination of Osama bin Laden
by Peter Gabel and Michael Lerner

There is no question that Osama bin Laden, as the leader of al-Qaida, was implicated in or directly responsible for the deaths of many, many people, most likely including the more than 3,000 American and, women, and children who were killed in the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001. But it was nevertheless upsetting and shocking to witness the exultation in the media last night when bin Laden’s killing was announced. Never should the killing of a human being be an occasion for such celebration — even in circumstances that involve actual self-defense against mortal danger.
http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/tikkuns-spiritual-response-to-the-assassination-of-osama-bin-laden

U.S. Labor Against the War: Osama bin Laden is dead. Let’s bring all our troops home!

Bin Laden’s death is a moment for remembrance and reflection about all the innocent lives lost NY, DC and PA on 9/11.  For the thousands of grieving families, perhaps his death will provide a step toward closure.

It is also a moment to reflect on the cost in lives – both civilian and military – and treasure sacrificed in Afghanistan over the course of nearly ten years.
http://hq-salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2488/t/0/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=1213303

Veterans For Peace: Justice Has Been Done?

“Justice has been done,” said President Obama.

“Justice has been done.”

“Justice has been done.”

Justice has been done!?  Justice?  Justice??  For the last ten years, we’ve been engaged in an exercise of justice?  That’s what you call what we’ve been doing?  http://www.veteransforpeace.org/news_detail.php?idx=64

War Resisters League: Bringing Osama bin Laden to Justice? Not Justice, Not Victory: Just Another Murder in the Name of Peace

“I keep thinking of how awful it was to hear that there were people actually celebrating on 9-11. Now I look at the TV and see the same thing.” -Family member of a man killed in the World Trade Center of September 11, 2001.

The reported killing of Osama bin Laden by a CIA operation in Pakistan represents neither justice nor victory, and should be no cause for celebration. http://www.warresisters.org/node/1166

Washington Peace Center: WPC Response to bin Laden’s Death

In response to Osama bin Laden’s death, Phyllis Bennis writes, “Regardless of bin Laden’s death, as long as those deadly U.S. wars continue in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and beyond, justice has not been done.”  We at the Washington Peace Center know that violence cannot bring lasting justice and peace. http://washingtonpeacecenter.net/node/5183

Commentary:

Justice or Vengeance?
By Phyllis Bennis

In the midst of the Arab Spring, which directly rejects al-Qaeda-style small-group violence in favor of mass-based, society-wide mobilization and non-violent protest to challenge dictatorship and corruption, does the killing of Osama bin Laden represent ultimate justice, or even an end to the “unfinished business” of 9/11? http://www.ips-dc.org/articles/bin_laden_justice_or_vengeance

Bin Laden is Dead. Can We Go Home Now?
By Rebecca Gordon War Times

Osama bin Laden is dead. The desire to “capture or kill” this man provided the pretext for two wars and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of Afghans and U.S. soldiers. The institutions and infrastructure of a modern developed state were all but destroyed in one country. In the other, a vile, murderous and misogynist regime was replaced with a vile, corrupt, and less overtly, but equally misogynist regime.
http://war-times.org/can_we_go_home

Beyond Retaliation
by Kathy Kelly Voice For Creative Nonviolence

This morning, a reporter called to talk about the news that the U.S. has killed Osama bin Laden. Referring to throngs of young people celebrating outside the White House, the reporter asked what Voices would say if we had a chance to speak with those young people.
http://vcnv.org/beyond-retaliation

No tears for bin Laden, but no champagne toasts either, except for Pete Seeger’s 92nd birthday!
Kevin Martin Executive Director Peace Action

Osama bin Laden’s actions were heinous, so the death of this mass murderer is understandably a welcome relief for some. The endless wars, killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis and Americans, draining of our treasury on same while human needs go begging, torture and “extraordinary rendition,” shredding of the Bill of Rights – that’s all on us.
http://peaceblog.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/no-tears-for-bin-laden-but-no-champagne-toasts-either-except-for-pete-seegers-92nd-birthday/

The War Is Over. Kiss a Nurse and Start Packing
Robert Naiman Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy

We got our man. Wave the flag, kiss a nurse, and start packing the equipment. It’s time to plan to bring all our boys and girls home from Afghanistan. When the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks rolls around, let the world see that we are on a clear path to bringing home our troops from Afghanistan and handing back sovereignty to the Afghan people.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/afghanistan-war-end_b_856322.html

International law and the killing of Osama bin Laden
By Jonathan Evans Friends Committee on National Legislation

When I first heard President Obama’s announcement that Osama bin Laden had been killed in a U.S. military operation inside Pakistan, I immediately began to wonder about the relationship between international law and the U.S. operation. Questions began to arise in my mind. Questions such as: Did the U.S. have approval from the Pakistani government for the operation? Did the Pakistani military or intelligence agencies participate in the operation? How will this affect U.S. relations with the governments and the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan? And, ultimately, has the U.S. violated international law? I know that I was not alone in my questioning.
http://fcnl.org/blog/2c/International_Law_and_The_Killing_of_Osama_bin_Laden/

What do we mean by “justice”?
By Ethan Vesely-Flad Fellowship Of Reconciliation

This week’s news of the death of Osama bin Laden has provoked a deep mixture of emotions throughout the world, and for those of us in the self-defined peace and justice community, it feels there are additional layers that are especially difficult to navigate.
http://forusa.org/blogs/ethan-vesely-flad/what-do-we-mean-justice/8721

The US Needs to Focus on Not Creating Any More bin Ladens :
American Muslim Voice founder Samina Sundas on her reactions to the killing of Osama bin Laden

May 3, 2011 – The following is an interview with Samina Sundas, a Pakistani-American activist who founded American Muslim Voice in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. CODEPINK organizer Rae Abileah interviewed Samina on May 2, the morning after President Obama’s announcement that Osama Bin Laden was assassinated by US forces in Pakistan. http://www.alternet.org/story/150821/the_us_needs_to_focus_on_not_creati...

Death of Osama bin Laden Makes Peace Groups Ask: “What’s Next?”
by: James Russell  – Thursday 5 May 2011,Truthout

For Gizella Czene of Van Nuys, California, the celebratory tone surrounding Osama bin Laden’s death was eerily reminiscent of the immediate days following 9/11, when, as she put it, “nationalistic belligerent fervor overtook our nation.”

http://www.truthout.org/death-osama-bin-laden-makes-peace-groups-ask-whats-next/1304613893

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United for Peace and Justice is a coalition of more than 1400 local and national groups throughout the United States who have joined together to protest the immoral and disastrous Iraq War and oppose our government's policy of permanent warfare and empire-building.


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