Stop Killing Iraq’s Academics

May 21st, 2006 - by admin

Academics & Artists for Peace – 2006-05-21 22:52:02

History of the Campaign

(November 2, 2005) — In early 2003 “US Academics Against the War,” a delegation comprised of 37 professors from 28 US universities, traveled to Baghdad on a fact-finding mission. We held talks with Iraqi academic colleagues, government officials, and non-governmental actors, six weeks prior to the Bush administration’s attack on Iraq.

This initiative followed a letter ultimately signed by 33,000 US academics urging President Bush not to invade Iraq. Unfortunately, our warnings went unheeded.

In September, 2005, a second “US Academics for Peace” delegation, consisting of 13 university professors, human rights advocates, and peace activists, traveled to Iran and Syria on another fact-finding mission. We met with government officials, political leaders, university administrators, and academics from Tehran University, Shahid Beheshti University, and Damascus University.

In Tehran, US Academics For Peace met with the former President of Iran, Mohammed Khatami, and in Damascus with President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and the First Lady. It was our purpose to initiate dialogue that might further mutual understanding between the United States and Iran and Syria.

We stressed to both governments our concern with their records on civil liberties and human rights. But we remain convinced that the rhetoric of violent “regime change” will only make matters worse. We wish to warn against the use of military force by the United States against Iran and Syria. Such action, we believe, will produce an even bloodier repetition of the tragedy sparked by the invasion of Iraq and create even greater chaos in the region.

US Academics for Peace found that dialogue is possible with the Iranian and Syrian governments. Although we are aware that significant political and cultural differences exist between the United States and these two nations, resolving them will require a serious commitment to conflict resolution by all parties.

Current US policy towards both Iran and Syria has been ineffectual and even counter productive. Economic sanctions imposed by the United States have had detrimental effects on especially the most vulnerable citizens of Iran without producing democratic reform or compliance on the part of the government.

he inflammatory and provocative rhetoric of the Bush Administration that labels Iran and Syria as “rogue states,” supporters of terrorism, and part of an “axis of evil,” has only increased tensions and mistrust.

Human rights violations of a serious nature continue to occur in both Iran and Syria. Our delegation, however, opposes the imposition of double standards on human rights. We firmly support universal standards and the efforts of organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

We also believe that democratic reform must come from within, not be imposed from without, and must be initiated by the citizens of Iran and Syria. Talk of “regime change” by the United States only empowers extremist elements. It works to strengthen repression under the guise of national security. We therefore call upon the United States to stop its rhetoric and, instead, foster academic and cultural exchange programs along with increased trade in order to build trust, improve understanding, and change existing negative perceptions of each other.

With respect to Iran, the decision of its government to build a nuclear reactor has produced fear and the threat of reprisals by the United States. US Academics for Peace is sharply critical of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. We believe in the need for a nuclear free zone for the entire Middle East.

But the right of nations to employ nuclear energy is not precluded by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which was signed by Iran, and there is no evidence to date to suggest that nuclear weapons are being built. Iran has also accepted IAEA inspections. We adamantly oppose attempts based on unproven suspicions, allegations, or prejudices to subject Iran to special evaluative criteria not included in the NPT.

There is no excuse for deplorable statements by Iranian leaders to “wipe out the state of Israel.” Nevertheless, threats to exclude Iran from the United Nations, to engage in a pre-emptive strike, or to bring about “regime change” can only inhibit dialogue and prove counter-productive.

We believe peace in the Middle East cannot be achieved without Syria playing a vital role. Since May 2004, when the United States tightened sanctions, it has become increasingly difficult for Syria to purchase computer parts, radiation equipment for treating cancer patients, and various other products that might improve the lives of Syrian citizens.

The United States has rejected Syrian overtures for dialogue and made diplomatic exchanges extremely difficult. Such tactics obviously tend to strengthen the hand of authoritarian elements in Syria and undermine existing attempts at reform in Syria that should be taken seriously and welcomed. Our delegation also feels that, whatever the results of the UN investigation into the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, they should not be employed as a justification for “regime change” or war.

We urge President Bush to refrain from repeating the appalling mistake he made when he launched the illegal invasion of Iraq. More than 2000 American soldiers and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis have been killed, hundreds of billions of dollars have been wasted, and there is no solution in sight.

We call upon President Bush to follow a different course by initiating diplomatic negotiations with Iran and Syria in order to resolve existing disputes and disagreements. If we wish to avoid another conflict then we need to increase understanding among the peoples and the governments of these two nations and the United States.

War is the worst human rights violation and it must be avoided at all reasonable costs. The alternative is dialogue. It must be unconditional and undertaken in good faith, for — as we have seen — without dialogue conflict is inevitable.

• Contact Information:


• James E. Jennings, Ph.D.
President, Conscience International
Delegation Leader

• Janet Amighi
Professor of Anthropology,
Montgomery Community College, Pennsylvania

• John Amidon
Veterans for Peace, Albany, New York; Interfaith Alliance of New York State

• Stephen Eric Bronner
Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University, New Jersey

• Anne Burns
Publisher, New York and New Jersey.

• Lawrence Davidson
Professor of Middle East History, West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania.

• Carole Ferraro
Instructor in English as a Second Lanaguage, The State University of New York at Albany.

• Kurt Jacobsen
Research Associate in Political Science, University of Chicago

• Bianca Jagger
The Council of Europe’s Goodwill Ambassador; Member, Amnesty International Leadership Council USA; Member, Advisory Board of Human Rights Watch-Americas

• Diane Reiner
Instructor in English and Executive Board Member of the International
Center, Albany, New York.

• Wade Savage
Professor of Philosophy, The University of Minnesota

• Diane Savage
Attorney at Law, Minnesota

• Michael Simmons
Former Medical Research Specialist at the University of California, Los Angeles

Stop the Killing of Iraq’s Academics.

Principal Endorsers of this Campaign:

• Noam Chomsky, Professor of Linguistics, Philosophy of Language, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Linguistics & Philosophy, USA
• Tony Benn, President of the STOP THE WAR COALITION, Former MP, Cabinet Minister and Chairman of the British Labour Party, UK
• Dario Fo, Nobel Prize in Literature 1997, Italy
José Saramago, Nobel Prize in Literature 1998, Portugal
• John M. Coetzee, Nobel Prize in Literature 2003, South Africa
• Harold Pinter, Nobel Prize in Literature 2005, UK
• Eduardo Galeano, essayist, journalist, historian, and activist, Uruguay.
• Denis J. Halliday, former UN Assistant Secretary-General 1994-98
• Hans von Sponeck, former UN Assistant Secretary General, U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq 1998-2000, Germany
• Ken Coates and Tony Simpson, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, UK
• Howard Zinn, professor, writer, educator, and leader in nonviolent social protest, USA
• John Pilger, journalist and documentary film-maker, UK/Australia
Michael Parenti, author, USA
• Antonio Negri, moral and political philosopher, Italy
• Robert A. Dahl, Political Theorist, Yale University
• Curtis F.J. Doebbler, Dr., International Human Rights Lawyer.
• François Houtart, Prof. Em., Director of the Tricontinental Center – Cetri, Belgium, executive committee BRussells Tribunal
• Samir Amin, author, director of the Third World Forum in Dakar – Senegal / Egypt
Immanuel Wallerstein, Prof. Yale University, USA.
• Richard Falk, Prof. Em. of International Law and Practice at Princeton University and Visiting Distinguished Professor of Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Chair of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, recipient of the UNESCO Peace Education Prize, USA
• Craig Calhoun, president of the Social Science Research Council and university professor of social sciences, New York University, USA
• Cornel West, professor of Religion at Princeton University, USA
• Stanley Hoffmann, Buttenwieser University Professor, Harvard University, USA
• Naomi Klein, award-winning journalist and author, Canada
• Susan George, author of A Fate Worse Than Debt and Another World Is Possible If …, France
• Bianca Jagger, Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador and member of the Executive Director’s Leadership Council of Amnesty International, USA
• Margarita Papandreou, former first lady of Greece, peace activist, Center for Research and Action on Peace
• Anahí Fernández, profesora de Derecho, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, y secretaria general de la Federación Nacional de Docentes Universita (Argentina)
Franca Rame, writer, playwright, actress, Italy
• Gabriel Kolko, author and historian.
• Dennis Brutus, professor emeritus dept of africana studies univ of pittsburgh, USA
• Norman Paech, Prof. Dr., Professor für öffentliches Recht an der Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Politik, member Deutscher Bundestag, Germany
• Juan R. I. Cole, Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History at the History Department of the University of Michigan, USA
• Michael Mann, Professor of Sociology, UCLA, USA
• Jean Bricmont, scientist, Prof. specialist in theoretical physics, U.C. Louvain-La-Neuve, author of Imperialisme Humanitaire and Intellectual Imposters, executive committee BRussells Tribunal, Belgium
Lieven De Cauter, philosopher, Prof. Dr. • K.U. Leuven / Rits, initiator of the BRussells Tribunal, author of a.o. The Capsular Civilization. The city in the age of fear
• Dirk Adriaensens, coordinator SOS Iraq, executive committee BRussells Tribunal
• Hana Al-Bayaty, filmmaker / journalist – Iraq / Egypt / France, executive committee BRussells Tribunal
• Patrick Deboosere, demographer, VUB, Belgium, executive committee BRussells Tribunal
• Pierre Klein, Professor International Law, U.L. Bruxelles, Belgium, executive committee BRussells Tribunal
• Pierre Galand, Senator Belgian Parliament, university lecturer, ex Secretary General Oxfam-Belgium, Président de l’Association belgo-palestinienne, Président de l’Organisation mondiale contre la Torture – Europe, Président de l’association belge des Amis du Monde diplomatique, Président de la commission interparlementaire – commission spéciale « Mondialisation », Belgium
• Inge Van De Merlen, executive committee BRussells Tribunal, Belgium
• Rosa Regàs Pagés, escritora, directora de la Biblioteca Nacional de España
• Richard J. Bernstein, professor of philosophy, New School University
• Paul Kennedy, professor of history, Yale University, author of The Rise and Decline of Great Powers, USA
• Saskia Sassen, Professor of Sociology, The University of Chicago, USA
• Prof. José Barata-Moura (Rector of the Lisbon University – Portugal).
• Raymond William Baker, President of IAMES (International Association of Middle East Studies) and President of the Administrative Board of a transnational initiative to build an international university in Iraq, Global Partners for the International University of Iraq GP-IUI).
• Guenter Meyer, Prof. Dr., Centre for Research on the Arab World (CERAW), University of Mainz , Germany
• Helen Caldicott, president, Nuclear Policy Research Institute
• Francis A. Boyle, professor of law, University of Illinois
• Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor of Theology & Culture, Princeton Theological Seminary, USA
• Dr. Roger Dittmann, Professor of Physics Emeritus, US Federation of Scholars and Scientists, Scientists without Borders, US
• David Cromwell, editor Medialens, researcher University of Southampton UK
• David Krieger, President Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, USA
• Michel Chossudovsky, Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa, director Centre for Research on Globalization, Canada
• Jean Leca, Professor (emeritus) at the Institut d’ Etudes Politiques de Paris
• Dahr Jamail, independent journalist, USA.
Universitat Internacional de la Pau, Foment de Cultura de Pau, Catalunya, Spain
Anthony Arnove, editor, writer, USA
• Jim Harding, Dr., Past Director and retired Professor, School of Human Justice, University of Regina, Canada
• John Saxe-Fernández, Professor, National Autonomous University of México
• Azmi Ashour, managing editor of Al Ahram Al Democratia magazine in Egypt
• Michael J. Shapiro, political theorist, University of Hawai’i, USA
• May Jayyusi, Executive Director Muwatin, the Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy, Palestine
• Paul Patton, professor of philosophy, University of New South Wales
Haitham Alnahi, Professor in AI, professor in Protein Engineering, Academic Chancellor for Omani Government in London and Dean of Oxford Research Institiute for Cultural and Technology, Chairman of War Victim Relief Association, UK
• Korkut Boratav, Professor, President, Turkish Social Science Association
• Stephen Eric Bronner, professor of political science, Rutgers University
• Nancy Fraser, professor of philosophy & politics, New School for Social Research, USA
• Harry Cleaver, professor of economics, University of Texas at Austin, USA
• Raymond Bradley, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, New Zealand
• Ian Douglas, Dr., Visiting Professor Political Science Department An-Najah National University Nablus, Palestine
• Leslie Sklair, emeritus professor of sociology, London School of Economics, UK
• Olle Josephson, Professor in Scandinavian Languages, Director of Swedish language Council, Co-editor of the Swedish socialist quarterly Clarté
• Dirk Berg-Schlosser, Ph.D., Prof. Dr., Institute of Political Science, Philipps-University, Marburg/Germany
• Herman De Ley, Prof. Em. Rijksuniversiteit Gent, Belgium
• Bert Beyens, dean RITS, Brussels
• Niloufer Bhagwat (Vice President of Indian Lawyers Association – Mumbai / India)
• Karen Parker (Attorney , Association of Humanitarian Lawyers, partners of the BRussells Tribunal – USA)
• Thomas McCarthy, professor of philosophy, Northwestern University, USA
• Haideh Moghissi, Ph.D, Professor, Director, MCRI Diaspora, Islam, Gender Project, Atkinson Faculty, York University, UK
• Jan Fermon (Lawyer of Court case against • General Tommy Franks in Brussels, Progress Lawyers Network – Belgium)
Amy Bartholomew (Law professor – Canada)
• James C. Faris, Prof., Director Emeritus, University of Connecticut Program in Middle East Languages and Area Studies, USA
• Rev. Michael Sweeney, O.P., President Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, USA
• Maurice Godelier, anthropologue, Ecole des Hautes Etudes de Paris, ex-directeur du CNRS, médaille d’or de la Recherche
azza madian, staff member, musicologist, Cairo Conservatoire, Head of Arts and Multimedia Section- Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt
• Marion Kuepker, International Coordinator on (against) Nuclear- and Uranium Weapons of GAAA and DFG-VK, Germany
• Dr. Lorraine Code, Distinguished Research Professor, Philosophy, York University, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
• Roger W. Bowen, General Secretary, American Association of University Professors, USA
• Susan Blackwell, Lecturer in English Language, Association of University Teachers, United Kingdom
• Mark Shotter, Teacher, National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education, UK
• Karen Halttunen, Professor of History and the Program in American Studies and Ethnicity University of Southern California, President American Studies Association
• Nicolle Singer, Research Training Program Specialist, American Psychological Association, USA
• Robert A. Mitchell, AIA, Architect/Activist, American Institute of Architects, USA
• Michael Zryd, Assistant Professor, President, Film Studies Association of Canada
• Kevin P Clements, Professor and Director, Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
• Javier Couso Permuy, Brother of Jose Couso journalist murdered in Iraq by US ARMY, Spain
• Ayse Gul Altinay , Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Sabanci University, Turkey
• Dr Martha Mundy, Reader in Anthropology, London School of Economics
• Michael Hardt, Professor of Literature, Duke University, USA, co-author of Empire
• Arturo Escobar, Professor of Anthropology, University of North Carolina, USA
• Thomas Fasy, Associate Professor of Pathology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA
• R.B.J. Walker, political theorist, University of Victoria, Canada
• William E. Connolly, Political Theorist and Krieger-Eisenhower Professor, Johns Hopkins University, USA
• Mark Poster, Professor of History/Film and Media Studies United States University of California, Irvine, USA
• Andrew Ross, professor of American Studies, New York University, USA
• Diana Judit Milstein . Universidad Nacional del Comahue. Argentina
The Turkish Social Science Association
• Habib Ajroud, University of Manouba, Tunesia
• Gabriele Zamparini (independent filmmaker, journalist – Italy/UK)
• Paola Pisi, professor religious sciences, Italy
• Jeffrey Blankfort (Former editor of the Middle East Labor Bulletin and currently hosts radio programs – USA)
• Jeff Archer / Malcom Lagauche (Journalist – USA)
• Corinne Kumar (Secretary General of El Taller International – Tunesia / India)
• Lindsey German, Stop The War Coalition, chair, UK
• Andrew Murray, chair of Stop the War Coalition and author, UK
Justice not Vengeance, Activists, UK
• John Sloboda FBA, Professor of Psychology, Keele University, co-founder Iraq Body Count project, UK, England
• Brendan Smith (editor, writer, co-founder of War Crimes Watch – USA)
• Carlos Varea (coordinator of SCOSI – Spanish Campaign against Occupation and for the Sovereignty of Iraq – Spain)
• Joachim Guilliard (Journalist, Anti-war movement – Germany)
• Sigyn Meder (Anti-war movement – Sweden)
• Manuel Raposo (Anti-war movement – Portugal)
• John Catalinotto (International Action Center – USA)
• Charles Jenks (Chair of Advisory Board and Web Manager, Traprock Peace Center, USA)
• Larry Everest (Author / Journalist – USA)
• Anne Provoost, writer, Belgium
• Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, artist – dancer, Belgium
• DAVID Catherine, curator Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, France/Germany
• Anne Morelli, professeur de critique historique à l’ULB, Belgium
• Nadia McCaffrey (Gold Star Families Speak Out / Military Families Speak Out – USA)
• Bernard Genet (Comaguer, Anti-war Committee Marseille – France)
• Bert De Belder M.D. (Coordinator Intal & Medical Aid For The Third World – Belgium)
• Geert Van Moorter, M.D., witness of US-crimes (during and after the war) in Iraq, Medical Aid for the Third World – Belgium
• Pol De Vos (Stop USA – Belgium)
• Ludo De Brabander (Vrede – Belgium)
• Katharine Gun, Iraq war whistleblower, UK
• Dr. Nada M. Shabout, Assistant Professor of Art History, School of Visual Arts, University of North Texas, USA
• Paola Manduca, Prof. Genetics, University of Genua, Italy
• Ayse Berktay, World Tribunal Organiser, Turkey
• Hani Shukrallah, Research Consultant, Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, Egypt
• Talaat Ahmed Mosallam, retired officer, Arab National Conference, National – Islamic Conference, Egypt
• Dr Abdulgawad Elnady, Associate Professor of English Literature, Deptment of English, Faculty of Arts, Tanta Univ., Egypt
• Lori R. Price, journalist and managing editor, Citizens For Legitimate Government, USA
• Hashim Al-Tawil, Ph.D. Art History, Henry Ford Community College, Dearborn, MI, USA
• Andy Griggs, Board Member, United Teachers Los Angeles; Steering Committee Member, US Labor Against the War; Executive Ctte Member, National Education, Association Peace and Justice Caucus, USA
• Dan Kaplan, Executive Secretary San Mateo (CA) Community College Federation of Teachers, USA
• Richard Plunz, prof of urban design, Columbia University, New York
• Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D., Lecturer in Literary and Cultural Studies, CLG ( Founder and Chair, USA

Partial list. For the complete list of endorsers, go to:>