The message below from Dr. Helen Caldicott contains a viable means to achieve peace at this crucial time.
Please act on this quickly. The new moon (the next one, around March 15) is a common time to fly bombing raids (so the bombers can't be seen in the night). The war could start in less than two weeks. Please help stop it!
Subject: An Appeal from Dr. Helen Caldicott to the Pope
From: Dr. Helen Caldicott
Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 11:01 AM
I write this appeal for your help as a pediatrician, a mother, and a grandmother--and I am writing about the lives of tens of thousands of children.
Although the current administration has demonstrated it has no reservations about slaughtering up to 500,000 innocents in Iraq, there is one person whose life they absolutely will not risk. That person is Pope John Paul II.
The Pope has already formally denounced the proposed war, calling it a defeat for humanity, and also has sent his top spokesperson. However, to stop the war, he now must take a historically unprecedented action of his own and travel to Baghdad. The Pope's physical presence in Iraq will act as the ultimate human shield, during which time leaders of the world's nations can commit themselves to identifying and implementing a peaceful solution to a war that the world's majority clearly does not support.
To persuade the Holy Father to take this unusual but potent action, he must hear from you and millions of others around the world who have already been inspired to stand up and speak out for peace. A mountain of surface mail, email, faxes, and phone calls are our devices to inspire him.
Please understand that your taking just a few minutes right now to communicate with him may ultimately spare the lives of thousands of innocent people who at this moment live in complete terror from the threat of an imminent U.S.-lead military strike on their homeland.
So here is what you can do to be a part of this powerful final action to stop the march to war in Iraq.
1. Do not simply "forward" the letter below. Its power depends upon your sending it directly, as a personal communication, to the Pope.
2. Simply cut and paste the letter below into a new email. Also cut and paste the Vatican email address we have provided.
3. At the close of the letter, type in your name, city and state--no need to include your address.
4. Either email, firstname.lastname@example.org, FAX ([from USA] 011- 39-06698-85378--from other countries drop the 011 prefix--or send a hard copy of this letter to the addresses in the letter below. DO NOT put "Italy" anywhere on the envelope, as this will send your mail into the Italian mail system which is separate and independent of the Vatican system. Should you wish to phone the Vatican directly, (from USA) dial 011-39-06-69-82--all other countries must use their appropriate international prefix.
5. Pass this original email on to as many people you can so as to assure a critical mass is reached in this action.
6. Note that as you and others begin sending your letters, faxes and emails, there will be a simultaneous effort to alert the media of this action, so as to be sure it is publicly known throughout the world.
Thank you for participating in this formal request of the Pope. We just may stop this war in Iraq--and save these children's lives.
Dr. Helen Caldicott
His Holiness John Paul II
00120 Vatican City State
I write to you today out of a sense of great urgency. As you know the United States of America is on the verge of launching what may be one of the most cataclysmic wars in history using weapons of mass destruction upon the Iraqi people, fifty percent of whom are less than 15 years of age. Conservative estimates are that such a war will result in the death of 500,000 Iraqis.
It seems clear that, at this time, you are the only person on Earth who can stop this war. Indeed, your physical presence in Baghdad will prevent the impending slaughter of hundreds of thousands of human beings, and force the international community of nations to identify and implement a truly peaceful resolution to this unprecedented, preemptive aggression.
I implore you to travel to Baghdad and to remain there until a peaceful solution to this crisis has been implemented. The lives of the people of Iraq rest in your hands--as does the fate of the world.
Your name, Your City, State, Country