Tutu urges peaceful solution to Iraq crisis

Archbishop Desmond Tutu urged the United States to resolve its standoff with Iraq peacefully, saying “compassion” not “destruction” are needed to bring about change.

Arriving on Tuesday to spend a semester at the University of North Florida as a scholar-in-residence, Tutu pointed to his own battle against apartheid in South Africa, for which he won the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize.

“A problem is also an opportunity,” Tutu said upon arrival at Jacksonville International Airport.

In urging diplomatic measures to ease tensions with Iraq, Tutu warned that people in desperate situations often resort to desperate measures.

“Be the agent of compassion, not the agent of destruction,” Tutu said. “What makes people desperate is usually when they are hungry, when they are poor, when they are diseased, when they say, ‘I have nothing to lose.’ ... Desperate people use desperate means.”

Tutu will teach classes at the university on the struggle against apartheid and examine various forms of resistance to racial domination.

He began his career as a schoolteacher in 1954 and taught as a visiting professor of theology at Atlanta’s Emory University from 1998 to 2000.

“I am very fond of young people.
I’m always charmed because they are dreamers. They dream the world can become a better place. I want to sit with them and share some of their excitement,” Tutu said. - Sapa-AP

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