Potential Attack on Iran and Escalation in Afghanistan

To Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio Representatives and Senators,

Ohio Valley Yearly, the regional body of traditional Quakers in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio reaffirms our 348-year-old testimony against war and for peaceful resolution of conflict. We are concerned about our nation’s threats to attack Iran and its plans for expanded war in Afghanistan.

The war in Iraq has lessons for us. Some felt that war could quickly achieve objectives that could not be achieved nonviolently. Not only did this war fail to achieve many of its objectives, but it has worsened our nation’s position in the Middle East. And the costs of war have been high: too many Americans and Iraqis have died; too many Americans and Iraqis have been physically or psychologically wounded; too many persons have responded to a perceived U.S. attack on their lands by joining resistance groups, some of which use terrorist tactics; too many nations in the Middle East and elsewhere have become alienated from the U.S.; and, too many dollars have been spent.

We urge you to work for a more realistic foreign policy that emphasizes multilateral diplomacy and working through international organizations. We urge you to resist the idea that war is an effective strategy for addressing terrorism. Terrorism is a criminal activity that is best addressed by good intelligence and cooperative international police work. War is incredibly expensive, too often produces unforeseen results, and often does not even achieve what was intended. Quakers believe war is wrong, but you need not be a pacifist to see that peaceful approaches are more successful than war at much lower costs. Please work for peaceful alternatives to war in Iran and Afghanistan.