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[casi] 2nd Ramsey Clark Letter to the UN: Stand Against An Attack On Iraq

Hello all,
here's a new letter by Ramsey Clark to the UN.
Dirk Adriaensens.

Letter by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark sent to all members of
the UN Security Council, with copies to the UN General Assembly.
Please circulate.

Dear Secretary General Annan,

George Bush will invade Iraq unless restrained by the United Nations.  Other
international organizations, including the European Union, the African
Union, the OAS, the Arab League, stalwart nations courageous enough to speak
out against superpower aggression, international peace movements, political
leadership, and public opinion within the United States , must do their part
for peace.
If the United Nations, above all, fails to oppose a U.S. invasion of Iraq,
it will forfeit its honor, integrity and raison d'etre.
A military attack on Iraq is obviously criminal; completely inconsistent
with urgent needs of the Peoples of the United Nations; unjustifiable on any
legal or moral ground; irrational in light of the known facts; out of
proportion to other existing threats of war and violence; and a dangerous
adventure risking continuing conflict throughout the region and far beyond
for years to come.
The most careful analysis must be made as to why the world is subjected to
such threats of violence by its only superpower, which could so safely and
importantly lead us on the road to peace, and how the UN can avoid the human
tragedy of yet another major assault on Iraq and the powerful stimulus for
retaliatory terrorism it would create.

1.   President George Bush Came to Office Determined to Attack Iraq and
Change its Government.

George Bush is moving apace to make his war unstoppable and soon.  Having
stated last Friday that he did not believe Iraq would accept UN inspectors,
he responded to Iraq?s prompt, unconditional acceptance by calling any
reliance on it a ?false hope? and promising to attack Iraq alone if the UN
does not act.  He is obsessed with the desire to wage war against Iraq and
install his surrogates to govern Iraq by force.
Days after the most bellicose address ever made before the United Nations ,
an unprecedented assault on the Charter of the United Nations, the rule of
law and the quest for peace , the U.S. announced it was changing its stated
targets in Iraq over the past eleven years, from retaliation for threats and
attacks on U.S. aircraft which were illegally invading Iraq's airspace on a
daily basis.
 How serious could those threats and attacks have been if no U.S. aircraft
was ever hit?  Yet hundreds of people were killed in Iraq by U.S. rockets
and bombs, and not just in the so called "no fly zone", but in Baghdad
itself.  Now the U.S. proclaims its intentions to destroy major military
facilities in Iraq in preparation for its invasion, a clear promise of
aggression now.  Every day there are threats and more propaganda is
unleashed to overcome resistance to George Bush?s rush to war.  The
acceleration will continue until the tanks roll, unless nonviolent
persuasion prevails.

2.   George Bush Is Leading the United States and Taking the UN and All
Nations Toward a Lawless World of Endless Wars.

George Bush in his "War on Terrorism" has asserted his right to attack any
country, organization, or people first, without warning in his sole
discretion.  He and members of his administration have proclaimed the old
restraints that law sought to impose on aggression by governments and
repression of their people, no longer consistent with national security.
Terrorism is such a danger, they say, that necessity compels the U.S. to
strike first to destroy the potential for terrorist acts from abroad and to
make arbitrary arrests, detentions, interrogations, controls and treatment
of people abroad and within the U.S.  Law has become the enemy of public
safety.  Necessity is the argument of tyrants.  Necessity never makes a good
bargain. Heinrich Himmler, who instructed the Nazi Gestapo "Shoot first, ask
questions later, and I will protect you," is vindicated by George Bush.
Like the Germany described by
Jorge Luis Borges in Deutsches Requiem, George Bush has now proffered (the
world) violence and faith in the sword, as Nazi Germany did.  And as Borges
wrote, it did not matter to faith in the sword that Germany was defeated.
What matters is that violence ... now rules. Two generations of Germans have
rejected that faith.
 Their perseverance in the pursuit of peace will earn the respect of
succeeding generations everywhere.
The Peoples of the United Nations are threatened with the end of
international law and protection for human rights by George Bush?s war on
terrorism and determination to invade Iraq.
Since George Bush proclaimed his "war on terrorism",other countries have
claimed the right to strike first.
 India and Pakistan brought the earth and their own people closer to nuclear
conflict than at any time since October 1962 as a direct consequence of
claims by the U.S. of the unrestricted right to pursue and kill terrorists,
or attack nations protecting them, based on a unilateral decision without
consulting the United Nations, a trial, or revealing any clear factual basis
for claiming its targets are terrorists and confined to them. There is
already a near epidemic of nations proclaiming the right to attack other
nations or intensify violations of human rights of their own people on the
basis of George Bush's assertions of power in the war against terrorism.
 Mary Robinson, in her quietly courageous statements as her term as UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights ended, has spoken of the "ripple effect" U.S.
claims of right to strike first and suspend fundamental human rights
protection is having.
On September 11, 2002, Colombia, whose new administration is strongly
supported by the U.S., claimed new authority to arrest suspects without
warrants and declare zones under military control,?  including ?[N]ew
powers, which also make it easier to wiretap phones and limit foreigners?
access to conflict zones... allow security agents to enter your house or
office without a warrant at
any time of day because they think you?re suspicious.  These additional
threats to human rights follow postSeptember 11 emergency plans to set up a
network of a million informants in a nation of forty million.  See, New York
Times, September 12, 2002, p. A7.

3. The United States, Not Iraq, Is the Greatest Single Threat to the
Independence and Purpose of the United Nations.

President Bush?s claim that Iraq is a threat justifying war is false.
Eighty percent of Iraq?s military capacity was destroyed in 1991 according
to the Pentagon.  Ninety percent of materials and equipment required to
manufacture weapons of mass destruction was destroyed by UN inspectors
during more than eight years of inspections.  Iraq was powerful, compared to
most of its neighbors, in 1990.

Today it is weak.  One infant out of four born live in Iraq weighs less than
2 kilos, promising short lives, illness and impaired development.  In 1989,
fewer than one in twenty infants born live weighed less than two kilos.
 Any threat to peace Iraq might become is remote, far less than that of many
other nations and groups and cannot justify a violent assault.  An attack on
Iraq will make attacks in retaliation against the U.S. and governments which
support its actions far more probable for years to come.
George Bush proclaims Iraq a threat to the authority of the United Nations
while U.S.-coerced UN sanctions continue to cause the death rate of the
Iraqi people to increase.  Deaths caused by sanctions have been at genocidal
levels for twelve years.  Iraq can only plead helplessly for an end to this
crime against its people.  The UN role in the sanctions against Iraq
compromise and stain the UN?s integrity and honor.  This makes it all the
more important for the UN now to resist this war. Inspections were used as
an excuse to continue sanctions for eight years while thousands of Iraqi
children and elderly died each month.  Iraq is the victim of criminal
sanctions that should have been lifted in 1991. For every person killed by
terrorist acts in the U.S. on 9/11, five hundred people have died in Iraq
from sanctions. It is the U.S. that threatens not merely the authority of
the United Nations, but its independence, integrity and hope for
effectiveness.  The U.S. pays UN dues if, when and in the amount it chooses.
It coerces votes of members.  It coerces choices of personnel on the
Secretariat.  It rejoined UNESCO to gain temporary favor after 18 years of
opposition to its very purposes.  It places spies in UN inspection teams.
The U.S. has renounced treaties controlling nuclear weapons and their
proliferation, voted against the protocol enabling enforcement of the
Biological Weapons Convention, rejected the treaty banning land mines,
endeavored to prevent its creation and since to cripple the International
Criminal Court, and frustrated the Convention on the Child and the
prohibition against using children in war.  The U.S. has opposed virtually
every other international effort to control and limit war, protect the
environment, reduce poverty and protect health.
George Bush cites two invasions of other countries by Iraq during the last
22 years.  He ignores the many scores of U.S. invasions and assaults on
other countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas during the last 220 years,
and the permanent seizure of lands from Native Americans and other nations ?
lands like Florida, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, California, and Puerto Rico,
among others,
seized by force and threat. In the same last 22 years the U.S. has invaded,
or assaulted Grenada, Nicaragua, Libya, Panama, Haiti,
Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and others directly, while
supporting assaults and invasions elsewhere in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the
Americas. It is healthy to remember that the U.S. invaded and occupied
little Grenada in 1983 after a year of threats,
killing hundreds of civilians and destroying its small mental hospital,
where many patients died.  In a surprise attack on the sleeping and
defenseless cities of Tripoli and Benghazi in April 1986, the U.S. killed
hundreds of civilians and damaged four foreign embassies.  It launched 21
Tomahawk cruise missiles against the El Shifa pharmaceutical plant in
Khartoum in August 1998,
destroying the source of half the medicines available to the people of
Sudan.  For years it has armed forces in Uganda and southern Sudan fighting
the government of Sudan.  The U.S. has bombed Iraq on hundreds of occasions
since the Gulf War, including this week, killing hundreds of people without
a casualty or damage to an attacking plane.

4.  Why Has George Bush Decided The U.S. Must Attack Iraq Now?

There is no rational basis to believe Iraq is a threat to the United States,
or any other country.  The reason to attack Iraq must be found elsewhere.
As governor of Texas, George Bush presided over scores of executions, more
than any governor in the United States since the death penalty was
reinstated in 1976 (after a hiatus from 1967).  He revealed the same zeal he
has shown
for ?regime change? for Iraq when he oversaw the executions of minors,
women, retarded persons and aliens whose rights under the Vienna Convention
on Diplomatic Relations of notification of their arrest to a foreign mission
of their nationality were violated.  The Supreme Court of the U.S. held that
executions of a mentally retarded person constitute cruel and unusual
punishment in violation of the U.S. Constitution.  George Bush addresses the
United Nations with these same values and willfulness. His motives may
include to save a failing Presidency which has converted a healthy economy
and treasury surplus into multi-trillion dollar losses; to fulfill the
dream, which will become a nightmare, of a new world order to serve special
interests in the U.S.; to settle a family grudge against Iraq; to weaken the
Arab nation, one people at a time; to strike a Muslim nation to weaken
Islam; to protect Israel, or make its position more dominant in the region;
to secure control of Iraq?s oil to enrich U.S. interests, further dominate
oil in the region and control oil prices.  Aggression against Iraq for any
of these purposes is criminal and a violation of a great many international
conventions and laws including the General Assembly Resolution on the
Definition of Aggression of December 14, 1974.
Prior regime changes by the U.S. brought to power among a long list of
tyrants, such leaders as the Shah of Iran, Mobutu in the Congo, Pinochet in
Chile, all replacing democratically elected heads of government.

5. A Rational Policy Intended to Reduce the Threat of Weapons of Mass
Destruction in The Middle East Must Include Israel.

A UN or U.S. policy of selecting enemies of the U.S. for attack is criminal
and can only heighten hatred, division, terrorism and lead to war. The U.S.
gives Israel far more aid per capita than the total per capita income of sub
Sahara Africans from all sources.  U.S.-coerced sanctions have reduced per
capita income for the people of Iraq by 75% since 1989.  Per capita income
in Israel over the past decade has been approximately 12 times the per
capita income of Palestinians.
Israel increased its decades-long attacks on the Palestinian people, using
George Bush?s proclamation of war on terrorism as an excuse, to
indiscriminately destroy cities and towns in the West Bank and Gaza and
seize more land in violation of international law and repeated Security
Council and General Assembly resolutions.
Israel has a stockpile of hundreds of nuclear warheads derived from the
United States, sophisticated rockets capable of accurate delivery at
distances of several thousand kilometers, and contracts with the U.S. for
joint development of more sophisticated rocketry and other arms with the
Possession of weapons of mass destruction by a single nation in a region
with a history of hostility promotes a race for proliferation and war.  The
UN must act to reduce and eliminate all weapons of mass destruction, not
submit to demands to punish areas of evil and enemies of the superpower that
possesses the majority of all such weapons and capacity for their delivery.
Israel has violated and ignored more UN Resolutions for forty years than any
other nation.  It has done so with impunity.
The violation of Security Council resolutions cannot be the basis for a
UN-approved assault on any nation, or people, in a time of peace, or the
absence of a threat of imminent attack, but comparable efforts to enforce
Security Council resolutions must be made against all nations who violate

6.  The Choice Is War Or Peace.

The UN and the U.S. must seek peace, not war.  An attack on Iraq may open a
Pandora?s box that will condemn the world to decades of spreading violence.
Peace is not only possible; it is essential, considering the heights to
which science and technology have raised the human art of planetary and
self-destruction. If George Bush is permitted to attack Iraq with or without
the approval of the UN, he will become Public Enemy Number One ? and the UN
itself worse than useless, an accomplice in the wars it was created to end.
The Peoples of the World then will have to find some way to begin again if
they hope to end the scourge of war.
This is a defining moment for the United Nations.  Will it stand strong,
independent and true to its Charter, international law and the reasons for
its being, or will it submit to the coercion of a superpower leading us
toward a lawless world and condone war against the cradle of civilization?
Do not let this happen.
Ramsey Clark

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