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Ramsey Clark Letter to UN

From:International Action Center
web page:

H.E. Sir John Weston
Permanent Mission of UK to the UN
885 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10017

                          November 11, 1998
Dear Ambassador Weston:

President Clinton has chosen the anniversary of the 
armistice ending World War I to further threaten Iraq with 
another violent assault.  He charges that failure to act 
"would permanently damage the credibility of the U.N. 
Security Council to act as a force for promoting 
international peace."  It is a phrase reminiscent of 
Plato's unnamed Athenian Stranger who favored "seeking 
peace by making war."  He taunts the U.N. to act, 
asserting "Failure to respond [will] embolden Saddam to 
act recklessly."  It is a threat by a weakened President 
thinking only of his personal political standing.  U.S. 
contempt for U.N. authority is shown by its defiance of 
the recent General Assembly vote of 157 nations versus 2 
nations protesting the U.S. criminal blockade of Cuba, its 
refusal to pay dues to the U.N. year after year and its 
selective defiance, and support for violations by other 
nations of General Assembly, Security Council and 
International Court of Justice resolutions and decisions.

The Security Council should immediately admonish the U.S. 
that it must not again attack Iraq.  The Security Council 
is already responsible for military attacks on Iraq, 
albeit at the insistence of the U.S., including 110,000 
aerial sorties unleashing 88,500 tons of bombs across Iraq 
by U.S. aircraft in January and February 1991 which 
destroyed 80% of Iraq's military capacity according to the 
Pentagon.  Iraq has been further decimated by the most 
severe Security Council sanctions in history since August 
6 (Hiroshima Day) 1990.  More than a million and a half 
people have died in Iraq as a direct result of those 
sanctions, as U.N. agencies have reported.  The great 
majority of the victims were infants, children, elderly 
and chronically ill persons.  This is unquestionably a 
violation of the Genocide Convention.* 

U.N. inspection teams over a period of seven years claim 
to have destroyed 90% of the remaining Iraqi missile 
capacity and designated military material.  Iraq is not 
capable of a serious threat against anyone.

The notion that Iraq is a threat to the region is a false 
fantasy created by the U.S. to justify its vast military 
presence in the region, to dominate the oil resources and 
to contain Islam.  Iraq is no threat to its neighbors as 
every Security Council member knows.  It is barely able to 
survive.  Turkey regularly attacks the Kurdish people and 
others living on northern Iraqi soil at will with U.S. 
support and U.N. acquiescence.  There are many nations on 
earth that pose far greater threats of minor violence and 
to world peace than Iraq.  As the recently published 
"Israel and the Bomb", Columbia University Press, again 
demonstrates, Israel developed and has manufactured some 
hundreds of nuclear bombs in violation of Security Council 
resolutions and international law. 

Random assaults on Iraq at the whim of the United States 
since 1991 include scores of Tomahawk cruise missile and 
rocket assaults.  The U.S. has used the cradle of 
civilization as a shooting gallery, striking such 
dangerous targets as the Al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, 
killing two employees, the home of Layla al Attar, the 
famous artist and museum director, killing her and others, 
and a United Nations helicopter killing all its occupants.

A new U.S. strike will target vital support systems for 
the population of Iraq, just as its 1991 assault targeted 
the infrastructure; water supply, electric power, 
transportation, communications, food storage, processing 
and distribution, fertilizer and insecticide manufacture.  
It is a crueler form of corporal punishment imposed on the 
entire population than public lashings and executions 
favored by former colonial powers.

The destruction of the El Shifa pharmaceutical plant in 
Khartoum, Sudan on August 20, 1998 illustrates the U.S. 
strategy.  The plant produced 50% of the pharmaceutical 
available in the Sudan.  The cost of EL Shifa products was 
20% of the international market prices.  It produced 90% 
of the antibiotics used for malaria which is the leading 
cause of death there.  Major international pharmaceutical 
companies do not produce drugs for malaria, or engage in 
research to address the spread of new virulent types of 
malaria which are reaching epidemic levels in part of 
Africa and Asia.  A single U.S. missile attack destroyed 
the single most important health facility in the Sudan and 
will cause thousands of deaths.  Everyone in the Sudan, 
including the entire diplomatic corps, knew of the El 
Shifa plant and its importance to the health of the 

U.N. inspections in Iraq over a period of seven years have 
been manipulated by unproven U.S. claims time and time 
again. Strategically placed agents of the U.S. and British 
intelligence agencies in U.N. inspectors' positions have 
had the single purpose of continuing the sanctions by 
making false claims that Iraq is developing nuclear, 
chemical and biological weapons with missiles and can 
complete the task in weeks, or months without inspection.

The United States spends more on arms annually, $275 
billion presently, than the rest of the Security Council 
combined.  U.S. arms expenditures are approximately 25 
times the gross national product of Iraq.  The U.S. has in 
its stockpiles more nuclear bombs, chemical and biological 
weapons, more aircraft, rockets and delivery systems in 
number and sophistication than the rest of the world 
combined.  Included are twenty commissioned Trident II 
nuclear submarines any one of which could destroy Europe.  
It is the U.S. that ought to be inspected.  The U.S. is 
today, far more than when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 
observed it in 1967, "the greatest purveyor of violence on 

It is imperative to world peace, the survival of the U.N. 
as an organization of independent nations and to simple 
justice that the Security Council immediately inform the 
U.S. that it must not again attack Iraq, or any other 


Ramsey Clark

* Genocide means any of the following acts committed with 
intent to destroy in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, 
racial or religious group, as such.
        (b)  Causing serious bodily, or mental harm to members 
of the group;
        (c)  Deliberately inflicting on a group conditions of 
life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in 
whole or in part;
        Art. II, Convention on the Prevention and Punishment 
of the Crime of Genocide.

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