Don’t get me wrong. I can’t stand the idea that the United States may (once again) attack Iraq. And I’m in favour of many sorts of actions to oppose war on Iraq. But e-petitions aren’t one of them. And the unicwash petition is a hoax.
There's a new one circulating, claiming to be from email@example.com. But the organization, (the United Nations Information Centre in Washington DC) has nothing to do with it. And their website is urging people to stop the petition and find other ways to let their politicians know how they feel.
This petition seems to be heading towards being the next Afghan women petition. In that case it didn't take long for the pranked institution (brandeis.edu) to terminate the account and send all mail to the bit bucket.
So even if you don't believe me and think me to be some pro-war disinformation machine, know that the petition will never get in front of any eyes who have any fingers on triggers.
In case you're not sure if you've got the petition, the text is as follows:
The UN is gathering signatures in an effort to avoid a tragic world event. If you are against a pre-emptive strike on Iraq please sign below. Please COPY (rather than Forward) this e-mail in a new message, sign at the end of the list, and send it to all the people whom you know. If you receive this list with more than 500 names signed, please send a copy of the message to: firstname.lastname@example.org Even if you decide not to sign, please consider forwarding the petition on instead of eliminating it.
…and then there’s a long list of names. I have seen variants of this that replace the unicwash.org address with a un.org address, and I’ve seen it translated into french.
Please do not forward or pass on this petition. It’s a hoax. There’s all sorts of online actions against going to war against Iraq. Take part in those instead.