Faculty Senate at Oregon State University
Against US War on Iraq
OSU Faculty Senate
January 9, 2003 meeting
- For there to be a just and peaceful world, it is essential that certain fundamental principles be upheld.
- Paramount among those principles is that societies and the governments acting on their behalf should act to the fullest extent possible to honor and preserve the sanctity of life.
- Also fundamental is the principle that war, and its consequent threat to the lives of innocent human beings and profound damage to ecosystems, should always be a last resort, employed only as absolutely necessary.
- Also fundamental is that governments should uphold the rule of law, and should act consistently with international law, and with agreements and accords between and among nations developed to maintain order, peace and justice.
- Further it is a historical role of institutions of higher education to serve as places of free and open intellectual exploration, to provide a venue for discussion and communication of topics of public debate.
- These principles are of utmost relevance to Oregon State University given its dedication to: the centrality of intellectual basis in deciding the course of human affairs; the stimulation of inquiry; openness; social responsibility; and its responsibility to contribute to the well-being of society.
- These principles are therefore also of utmost relevance to our Faculty Senate and our responsibility to share governance of this institution.
- When a majority of our body agrees that actions of our government pose serious and grave threats to the preceding fundamental principles and to the well-being of society,
- And when the silence of individuals and institutions will be construed as approval of these government actions,
- And when our collective voice may contribute to respect for and adherence to the preceding fundamental principles,
- Then it becomes our responsibility to contribute to the public dialogue by actively speaking our views.
From this basis, we conclude that
- Whereas The United States (US) government has made clear preparation to take military action against Iraq;
- Whereas Iraq has not been known through disclosed documents to have committed aggression against the US or other countries which might justify a response of war;
- Whereas The US government has presented no credible evidence that Iraq has intentions of harming the citizens of this country or that Iraq presents a threat to the US;
- Whereas The United Nations (UN) Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1441 enforcing the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq where it asserts that the Security Council alone has the authority to determine what action to take regarding current or future Iraqi violations of their resolutions (Article 14);
- Whereas The UN Charter declares unequivocally in Articles 41 and 42 that the UN Security Council alone has the power to authorize the use of military force against any nation in noncompliance of its resolutions;
- Whereas A pre-emptive war waged by our government without UN authorization would be contrary to the above mentioned fundamental principles;
- Whereas The vast majority of the international community has not lent its support for war against Iraq;
- Whereas Diplomatic solutions do not appear to have been exhausted, and therefore the fundamental intellectual responsibility of the US leadership to provide justification of war showing proof that all other means have failed has not been satisfied;
- Whereas Through such a war OSU faculty, staff and students will have their careers, work and educations interrupted and lives put in jeopardy,
- Whereas Innocent Iraqi civilians, who have suffered enormously under the rule of Saddam Hussein and UN sanctions; will be injured and killed;
- Whereas The high cost of this war may further deepen the US economic crisis which continues to damage OSU;
- Whereas A war with Iraq would threaten to further destabilize the Middle East, possibly leading to wider regional war and increased support for groups dedicated to terrorism, endangering the citizens of the US as well as the OSU community as they perform their work both within and outside the US;
- Be it Resolved That the OSU Faculty Senate opposes the US engagement in war in Iraq at this time.