On Wednesday representatives of the international pacifist organization "Voices in the Wilderness" held an antiwar demonstration on the bank of the Tigris river in Baghdad.
"We should raise our voices today and oppose the threat of war against Iraq," Michele Naar, the organization's representative from Minnesota, said. "Today silence is equal to betrayal," she said, emphasizing that it was especially true about US citizens.
A new war will have catastrophic consequences for Iraq that has not yet recovered from the 1991 war, and where a significant part of the population, including children, have been starving for many years, Naar believes.
Recently, antiwar activities of international public have been growing parallel to the increasing military threat to Iraq. Foreign businessmen and members of trade delegations who filled Baghdad hotels in past months have been replaced by advocates of peaceful settlement in Iraq.
American religious figures, musicians from Germany, Buddhists from Southeast Asia, lawyers from Italy, American relatives of those killed in the September 11 2001 terrorist attack in New York, French military and civil experts willing to conduct independent inspections of Iraqi facilities, a group of scientists from the USA - this is just an incomplete list of those who believe that their presence in Iraq may prevent the war threatening the country.
Many of these people intend to stay in Iraq even after military action has been launched. Simultaneously, a movement of volunteers is growing in neighboring countries. In case of war these people are ready to arrive in Baghdad and build a "live shield" around hospitals, power plants, sewage plants and other vitally important facilities.
Yet can these people stop the war flywheel swung to its full power?
"I would not be here if I wasn't sure that there is a chance to prevent war," Bob Nevlen, a member of the US scientists' delegation, told a RIA Novosti correspondent. "I hope we will be able to use it," he added.
Today everyone must do their best to prevent war, the scientist believes.
"American military leaders speak of a possible nuclear attack against Baghdad, a city with a 5-million population. World War II killed 6 million Jews. If one attack against Baghdad kills 5 million people, this will be another Holocaust," Nevlen pointed out.
"We must prevent this from happening," he emphasized.