With the beginning of the war on March 20, 2003 we joined other Quaker organizations in warning, “This is a choice we know will have enormous and tragic consequences—many as yet unimagined—for the Iraqi people, for our own nation, and for the world. It is a choice we believe was unnecessary, immoral, and unwise, especially since it was taken before all the nonviolent and diplomatic alternatives were exhausted; indeed, before some were even explored.”
AFSC has consistently opposed the use of military force to resolve conflict in Iraq since the 1990s, and we continue to do so this time around.
The current crisis in Iraq is real, but it is a reflection of failed policies inside the country. The current crisis is also a direct result of earlier U.S. military interventions. Since the withdrawal of US forces in 2011, the U.S. continued its intervention in Iraq politically, economically and even militarily by arming and training multiple sides of the civil conflict.
U.S. military strikes against targets in northern Iraq this month represent an escalation of U.S. military engagement that can’t possibly help heal the divides that exist.
Iraq is in a political, military and humanitarian crisis. There are gross human rights’ violations by many parties in Iraq, including the Iraqi government, militias affiliated with it, and extremist groups. Dropping bombs on some of these players will not bring stability or moderation back to Iraq.