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U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark's letter to the
The following letter by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark has
been sent to all members of the UN Security Council,
with copies to the UN General Assembly
and Senator Biden of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
July 29, 2002
Any remaining hope the peoples of the United Nations have to save
succeeding generations from the scourge of war through the United
Nations would be crushed by another United States attack on Iraq.
Threats to attack, invade and overthrow the government of Iraq by
President George Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense
Rumsfeld, various cabinet officers and Pentagon officials have been
routine for a year. The psychological warfare is itself a crime against
peace and violates the U.N. Charter. Today's front-page headline story
in the New York Times, "U.S. Exploring Baghdad Strike As Iraq Option,"
is typical of the in terrorem intention of the threats. The danger to
civilian life in Baghdad from such a strike would be enormous.
THE UNITED NATIONS MUST ACT TO PREVENT AN ATTACK BY THE UNITED STATES
If the United Nations is unable to restrain the United States, a
permanent member of the Security Council, from committing crimes against
peace and humanity as well as war crimes against a nation that has
already been violated by the U.S. beyond endurance, then what is the
United Nations worth? At the very least, opposition to any attack or
attempt to overthrow the government of Iraq by force must be publicly
expressed by the United Nations.
THE UNITED STATES BOMBED DEFENSELESS IRAQ MERCILESSLY FOR FORTY-TWO
DAYS IN 1991
The U.S. led and glorified the massive assault on Iraq in January and
February 1991. The Pentagon announced it conducted 110,000 aerial
sorties against the defenseless "cradle of civilization," dropping
88,500 tons of bombs. The widespread bombing destroyed the economic
viability of the civilian society throughout the nation. It killed tens
of thousands of Iraqi citizens and others. A major part of the bombing
was directed at civilians and civilian facilities. It was less accurate
than the recent indiscriminate attacks in Afghanistan. U.S. bombs
destroyed Iraqi water systems, electric power transmission,
communications, transportation, manufacturing, commerce, agriculture,
poultry and livestock, food storage facilities, markets, fertilizer and
insecticide production, business centers, archeological and historical
treasures, apartment houses, residential areas, schools, hospitals,
mosques, churches and synagogues.
The Pentagon stated its casualties were 156. One third were from
"friendly fire"; the rest were accidental. The U.S. had no combat
THE UNITED STATES FORCED THE IMPOSITION OF GENOCIDAL SANCTIONS ON
IRAQ IN 1990
The U.S. crafted economic sanctions against Iraq which the Security
Council approved on August 6, 1990, the 45th anniversary of the U.S.
atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima. Those sanctions are the direct cause of
the very cruel deaths of more than a million people. This is the
greatest crime against humanity, in the last decade of the most violent
century in history. Each painful death of an individual wasting away
from malnutrition; the rush of dehydration from contaminated water and
from diseases was preventable. The sanctions continue to this time to
cause hundreds of deaths each day. Every United Nations agency dealing
with food, health and children -- including FAO, WFP, WHO, UNICEF -- has
proclaimed the horror, magnitude and responsibility for this human
The great majority of the deaths caused by the sanctions are infants,
children, the elderly, the chronically ill and emergency medical cases.
These are the people most vulnerable to polluted water, malnutrition,
and the lack of medicines and medical equipment and supplies.
U.S. claims that it is the Iraqi government that is responsible for
deaths from shortages of food and medicine are false. The U.S. blocked
oil sales by Iraq for six years before appearing to yield to
humanitarian pleas to permit oil sales to purchase food and medicine.
Since 1997, when sales began, it has effectively frustrated and delayed
the Oil for Food program, which does not provide sufficient income at
the levels approved to stop the daily deterioration of health and
growing death rates in Iraq.
Before sanctions there was virtually no malnutrition in Iraq and free
hospital, health services and medicines were a model for the region. Its
present system of government distribution of available food staples is a
model of fairness and efficiency, lacking only in quantity and variety
UNITED STATES MILITARY AIRCRAFT HAVE ATTACKED IRAQ AT WILL FOR ELEVEN
The U.S. has engaged in air strikes against Iraq at will since March
1991, when the massive attacks averaging one aerial sortie every 30
seconds ended. Without losing a single plane, U.S. attacks have killed:
cleaning personnel at the Al Rashid Hotel in Baghdad in a failed attempt
to assassinate Saddam Hussein; scores of people each year in attacks on
radar stations in or near the U.S.-imposed no-fly zones; all the persons
aboard a U.N. helicopter shot down by U.S. aircraft; and civilians from
all walks of life, including the internationally famous artist and
Director of Iraqis' National Center for Arts, Leila al Attar.
IRAQ IS NOT A THREAT TO THE U.S., COUNTRIES IN THE REGION OR
The U.S. has falsely claimed that Iraq is working to develop weapons of
mass destruction to attack the U.S., Israel, its neighbors and others.
The U.S. claimed its 1991 attacks destroyed 80% of Iraq's military
capacity. The U.N. inspection efforts claimed to discover and dismantle
90% of Iraq's post-1991 capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction.
Iraq, its peoples and resources are exhausted. It has a "stunted"
generation of children under age 10 and a debilitated population at all
ages. It is the victim of the worst crime against humanity in recent
THE UNITED STATES IS THE GREATEST PURVEYOR OF VIOLENCE ON
Two of the highest U.N. officials responsible for U.N. weapons
inspection within Iraq and a principle U.S. citizen participating in the
inspections have resigned, denounced the sanctions and denied that there
is a threat that Iraq will develop weapons of mass destruction.
The U.S. has more nuclear weapons than all other nations combined as
well as the most sophisticated and numerous systems for the delivery of
nuclear weapons, including the Trident II submarine fleet. It possesses
the greatest stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and the most
advanced and extensive research in mass destruction weaponry in the
world. Military spending by the U.S. exceeds that of the nine next
largest budgets for war combined. President Bush has repeatedly declared
the right to strike first. The U.S. attacked Hiroshima and Nagasaki with
atomic bombs and continues to justify those acts.
The U.S. has renounced treaties controlling nuclear weapons and their
proliferation; voted against the protocol enabling enforcement of the
Biological Weapons Conventions; and rejected the treaty banning land
mines, the International Criminal Court and virtually every other
international effort to control and limit war. The U.S. War Against
Terrorism is a declaration of right by the U.S. to attack first?anyone,
anywhere, on mere suspicion, or without excuse, unilaterally.
The U.S. wants to overthrow the government of Iraq and many others in
violation of law. Unless restrained the chance for peace and global
equality of economic, social, cultural and political opportunity among
nations will be lost. Which government presents the greater threat to
peace globally or for Mesopotania and its neighbors?the U.S. or Iraq?
AN ATTACK BY THE UNITED STATES ON IRAQ TO OVERTHROW ITS GOVERNMENT
WOULD BE A FLAGRANT VIOLATION OF THE U.N. CHARTER, THE NUREMBERG CHARTER
AND INTERNATIONAL LAW
If, as promised so many times, the U.S. does attack Iraq to overthrow
its government, it will be the most notorious, arrogant and contemptuous
violation of the Charter of the United Nations, the Nuremberg Charter
and international law yet experienced, or likely hereafter. Only
absolute power unrestrained by any rule of law or standard of human
decency openly taunts an intended victim as President Bush has taunted
Iraq. Because the U.S. has committed historic injustices against Iraq,
most during his father's presidency, and still seeks dominion in the
region, President Bush, his Vice President and others in his
administration hate Iraq and want finally to destroy it.
I am writing this letter to you; to each U.N. Representative of a
Security Council Member; the President of the General Assembly; and
President Bush. This is one of a series of letters describing and
protesting U.S. and UN wrongs against Iraq. The threatened wrong
addressed here is the worst. If twelve years after its devastating
aerial assault and after twelve years of genocidal sanctions, the
omnipresent risk and frequent fact of random attack with the ever
present stalking by U.S. aircraft and endless threats against its
helpless victim, the U.S. commits its coup d'grace on the people of Iraq
to the silence of the U.N. and wealthy nations of the world, human shame
and impotence will doom us to ever greater violence.
A U.S. ASSAULT ON IRAQ WILL CAUSE MORE AND GREATER VIOLENCE; URGENT
ACTION BY THE UNITED NATIONS TO PREVENT A U.S. ASSAULT OF IRAQ IS
I urge you to immediately activate the United Nations, the General
Assembly, the Security Council and all its agencies to denounce the
continuing threats by the United States against Iraq, to demand
immediate cessation of the threats and to warn the United States that an
attack by it on Iraq will violate the Charter of the United Nations,
international law and the friendship of all who seek peace and respect
the dignity of humanity.
AN ATTACK BY THE U.S. ON IRAQ WOULD VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS
OF THE UNITED STATES REQUIRING IMPEACHMENT, TRIAL BEFORE THE U.S. SENATE
AND CRIMINAL CHARGES IN FEDERAL COURTS AGAINST PRESIDENT BUSH AND ALL
An attack on Iraq by the United States would also violate the
Constitution and laws of the United States and expose President Bush to
impeachment by the House of Representatives under the Constitution of
the United States for the highest of crimes, those against peace and
humanity, to judgment by the United States Senate and trial in federal
court for crimes charged.
Unfortunately in recent years our Constitution has been more honored in
the breach than in faithful observance of the rights it is intended to
protect for all. But the effort to hold accountable any U.S. authority
who participates in an assault against Iraq will be made here by those
who love their country and for that reason insist that its acts be just.
Sincerely, Ramsey Clark
International Action Center
1800 Cedar Street
Berkeley, California 94703
Telephone: (510) 841-4106
noon til six, Monday thru Saturday