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United Methodist Church Calls for End to Occupation

The General Board of Church And Society of the United Methodist Church issued a statement on October 16th, calling for an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Read more to view the entire statement.

As followers of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, we pray for peace, stability and freedom in Iraq. We believe the Iraqi peoples can and should ultimately determine how it will be achieved. It is time for the United States to appeal for international cooperation, not in waging war but in working with Iraqis of good will to set their nation on the course toward peace and prosperity.

As people of faith we raise our voices in protest against the tragedy of the unjust war in Iraq. We urge the United States government to develop and implement a plan for the withdrawal of its troops. The U.S. invasion has set in motion a sequence of events which may plunge Iraq into civil war.

Every war is a tragedy that wounds the heart of God. This particular war is especially tragic in that a bi-partisan U.S. commission appointed by President Bush and chaired by former Governor Tom Keane and former Representative Lee Hamilton has established that:

· No weapons of mass destruction were stored in Iraq;

· There was no attempt on the part of the government of Saddam Hussein to purchase uranium from the nation of Niger;

· There were no ties between Saddam Hussein and the events of September 11, 2001;

· There were no ties between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.

Thousands of lives have been lost and hundreds of billions of dollars wasted in a war the United States initiated and never should have fought. The United States is now morally obligated to provide the vast economic resources needed to aid in the post-war reconstruction of Iraq. The ongoing cost of the war continues to drain public resources that are desperately needed in Iraq as well as in the United States. We grieve for all those whose lives have been lost or destroyed in this needless and avoidable tragedy. Military families have suffered undue hardship from prolonged troop rotations in Iraq and loss of loved ones. It is time to bring them home.

Our opposition to the war in no way diminishes democratic ideals, traditions or the very freedoms the men and women of the military defend. Opposition to war is not unpatriotic. We honor those who serve the common good and owe them a commitment to pursue the peaceable path that they may not be put in harm’s way again.

We call upon the U.S. Congress to adopt legislation such as the “Homeward Bound Act” (H. J. Res. 55), the first bipartisan effort to bring home U.S. troops. We encourage them to make a full investigation and hold accountable those responsible for the misleading ‘intelligence’ and disastrous decisions that fueled this war.

We call upon the U.S. government to fully cooperate with the United Nations and its envoy and special representative in Iraq to bring about a peaceful, long-term resolution to the conflict and to rebuild Iraq.

Finally, we call upon all people of faith to pray for a just, equitable peace for the beleaguered people of Iraq and all those whose lives have been damaged by the consequences of this war.

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