While many Iowans expressed outrage and shock at the attacks of September 11th, one group pointed the finger of blame back at the U-S. A coalition of peace advocacy groups held a news conference two days after the 9-11 attacks — asking national leaders to consider non-violent means for dealing with the situation. They said the U-S brought the attacks upon itself by the way it treats other countries. Kathleen McQuillen, the program coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee, was one of the people who spoke up. She says the country has learned to react quickly and with dominance as immediately the rhetoric was for war, not for trying to understand what happened. McQuillen says standing up didn’t lead to a lot of backlash, despite the high emotions of the time. She believes the mood of America has changed, and she says the recent calls against attacking Iraq are heartening to her group. McQuillen admits that a majority of Americans still don’t support her groups’ stance. She says she hoped people in the U-S would gain empathy for people in other parts of the world that have suffered violence, but she’s not sure that has happened. McQuillen says the military approach taken in the last year hasn’t worked. She says the U-S needs to look for another way to resolve world problems instead of spending more and more money to build up our military. She says the government is making things worse by taking away people’s civil liberties. McQuillen’s group is having an open house today, and is calling on Iowans to remember all victims of violence.
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