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September 11 group condemns Iraq war


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NEW YORK (CNN) -- A group representing family members of victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks Thursday condemned the U.S. strikes against Iraq.

Quoting late civil rights leader The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the group -- called the "September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows" -- described the attacks as "illegal, immoral, and unjustified" in a statement sent to the media and families of September 11 victims.

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The group said it was speaking out because members know how it feels to experience "shock and awe," and it does not want "other innocent families to suffer the trauma and grief that we have endured."

The United States has promised its punishing early airstrikes on Baghdad will instill "shock and awe," a war plan with roots in a new doctrine called "rapid dominance," introduced in the military theory book "Shock and Awe" and embraced by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The group also condemned Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's regime, and expressed support and concern for American troops.

But it said the resulting civilian deaths of a war on Iraq and the consequences of destroying Iraq's environment and infrastructure could lead to many deaths in the future.

The group's members have traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan; Hiroshima, Japan; and Baghdad to express their opposition to military aggression as a response to terrorism.

Others disagreed with the group.

"I think it's very important that you support our troops even if you don't support the war," said Jill Pall, who founded Adam's Angels in memory of Adam Rand, a friend who died on September 11.

"Contrary to popular opinion, Saddam Hussein has not had three months to disarm, he has had 10 years and that's important for the public to know," Pall said. "We aren't rushing into this. If we don't act now to get these weapons away from him, we are going to suffer."

Bruce DeCell, a member of the 9-11 Family Coalition, said: "I want the soldiers over there to know that I support them because they're in harm's way. But I really think that instead of sending them all there, he (President Bush) should strengthen our borders and worry about our airports and homeland security. He should be spending the money he's spending in the Middle East on our country."

DeCell's son-in-law died in the September 11 attack while working at the World Trade Center.


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