Position on Iraq

The Board of Trustees of the New York Society for Ethical Culture approves the Iraq resolution passed by the American Ethical Union at the Chicago Assembly, July, 2006, as stated below. Ethics in the News, (which transitioned into Public Issues Committee-PIC) was cited as a contributor. The underlined points were contributed by our committee members.

1. Treat any enemy combatants in full accord with the Geneva Conventions;

2. Renounce any intention of establishing permanent U.S. bases in Iraq;

3. Draw down and remove U.S. forces from Iraq as quickly as possible consistent with our moral obligations for protecting civilian lives;

4. Relinquish to the duly elected government of Iraq ownership and management of all natural resources and public goods; and

5. Encourage multinational agencies to take over as much as possible of the responsibility for managing the external effort for reconstruction of Iraq while fulfilling our moral obligations for repairing the damage causes by the U.S. invasion.

Discussion

Points (2) and (4) are meant to encourage neighboring and other countries to become increasingly vested in a peace process. These points may become particularly relevant when all contending parties are more actively seeking peaceful solutions. Underlying is an ethical principle that could help restore U.S. prestige around the world. The U.S. should not insist on priority rights to Iraq's resources based on an unjustified invasion and occupation. The invasion was not sanctioned by the United Nations, was called illegal by the U.N. Secretary General. and was unprovoked.

Contributors: Dr. Maria Fridman, and Abe Markman, MSW.