Ghanim Khalil's, Army Reserve Speech at the Anti-War Rally in New York
15 February 2003 

"As a deployable Army National Guard reservist, today, I find myself in a position to make a difference or remain silent. 

Will I support a war which will lead to hundreds of thousands civilians dead and wounded, endanger the future of the American people, and create chaos in the already unstable Middle East - all for the gain of a few powerful and wealthy people? 

Or

Will I stand up when Justice and Truth requires it, to not only reveal my objection to this war and its material goals, but also to clear myself of all implications of the crimes against humanity this war will create?

My struggle is essentially a moral one, but that is not the end of my concern. I am alarmed by the curtailment of civil rights and the detainment of legal residents of Islamic background without access to lawyers, which is an insult to the Constitution.

I have also concerned myself with the dangers of people seeing this war as a "Clash of Civilizations". There is a small but powerful sector in America who advocate racially charged interpretations of the modern world and thus inflame the dehumanization of entire groups of people within the human family.

Whenever nations enter into conflict or war; racism, xenophobia, extremism, and hate have preceded and followed. It is my hope that the American people will not surrender to the diseases which divide humanity and instead educate themselves in understanding the different religions and cultures of the world, so that these diseases be rooted out or prevented from taking root.

This war will further hatred between the American people and the Muslim world. It is the duty of the educated classes of both sides to put down our masks and weapons, so that there can be a "Dialogue of Civilizations", instead of a well-planned "Clash of Civilizations", which no sober human being desires.

Today I find myself in a position to make a difference or remain silent. I choose to make a difference." 

 ----

Speech at the International Answer Event 4 March 2003  

"Tonight, I stand before you a human being. Nothing more, nothing less.

I came to my arguments against this war through studying world history, U.S. history, U.S. foreign policy in the past 50 years, the different religions and cultures of the world, and by examining the various debates and scholarly studies within the US, among politicians, historians, political scientists, and interest groups.

My basis for opposing the present conflict with Iraq is based on many factors. The highest factor is the human factor. The reason we even have a military is to ensure life within our borders are free from threats that would result in oppression and murderous loss of life.

How then can we claim to free Iraq from the tyrant Saddam by bombing profusely the main cities that still have not fully recovered from the first Gulf war? The projected casualties are 500,000. That's 497,000 more than those who perished in the WTC.

Finally, in human history, we have an International order seeking to solve problems through dialogue and diplomacy rather than war. This International order is not perfect, but it is a start on the road to further understanding of the different cultures, religions, and peoples of the world.

Iraq is not the threat the U.S. press and Bush administration has portrayed it to be and sanctions appear to be working nonetheless. There is, however, a greater indication that this war is about not only natural resources but also strategic control of an area we know little about in terms of human life.

The plan to dominate this area has been alive before the Bush administration took office and is supported by a minute group of individuals who believe it is their God-given right to dominate whatever area, by whatever methods, to whatever ends, they wish.

This will no doubt lead to a Clash of Civilizations, which is another factor that concerns me greatly. I wish only that my view be accurately known, before I be judged by the American market of opinions."

--

Today I answer to my critics
Tomorrow we will all answer to God
I'd rather endure their criticism,
Than to be criticized by God

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refusing to kill