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Let cooler heads prevail

Dear Editor,

The following letter was sent by the Roaring Fork Coalition for Peace to newspapers in Pakistan and India:

From the high Rocky Mountains of Colorado, we send our most heartfelt wishes for peace to the people of Pakistan. We are the Roaring Fork Coalition For Peace, a group of several hundred citizens of the Roaring Fork valley who recently joined together to oppose an American invasion of Iraq.

The immediate threat of war in Iraq is now thankfully receding, as cooler heads in Washington prevail over those who would recklessly plunge into a military invasion on a massive scale. Yet even as this threat recedes, we have watched with concern as an even graver threat arises: the threat of nuclear war between India and Pakistan.

Should nuclear weapons be used in an exchange between India and Pakistan, then many millions will die immediately and millions further will suffer agony on a scale never seen before, dwarfing the effects of the War of Partition. Life in the subcontinent will never be the same, and the political landscape of the world will profoundly change in ways that can only be dimly guessed from our present perspective.

If a simple grenade can cause death and terror when exploded in a crowded market place, think how much greater the death and terror when a nuclear bomb is exploded in a crowded city. The nation that uses such a weapon on a neighbor would become the second victim within minutes, and both would suffer a comparable desperate injury and trauma. This is mutually guaranteed terror, on a scale that staggers the imagination.

Like our own Roaring Fork Valley, the Vale of Kashmir is a place of rare alpine beauty. The wonderful people of Kashmir deserve to live in peace, without the terror that comes from governmental conflict. We urge all parties to make use of the good offices of the United Nations, to find a creative resolution for this dangerous conflict.

Speaking from people to people, from halfway around the world, we offer our deep sympathy for the difficult dilemmas that you face, and our strong support for all those who search for the path of peace and work to make peace a reality.

Loren Cobb

for the Roaring Fork

Coalition for Peace


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