The Guardian February 13, 2002


Ramsey Clark's letter to UN Security Council

On December 11, 2001, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark sent a 
letter to the Ambassador and Foreign Minister of each member of the UN 
Security Council and the UN General Assembly. The letter calls on the 
Security Council to direct the US not to attack Iraq, a demand which takes 
on even greater importance and urgency since Bush's inclusion of Iraq in a 
so-called "axis of evil". The following is the text of the letter.

The Security Council must direct the United States that it may not attack 
Iraq and must cease threatening to do so. Nor can it train, aid, or finance 
other forces seeking the violent overthrow of the Iraqi Government. Any 
such acts would violate the obligations of nations under the Charter of the 
United Nations and constitute crimes under international law.

US military and economic assaults on Iraq in the past dozen years are a 
continuing crime against peace and humanity. They violate the Genocide 
Convention.

The Pentagon admits it conducted 110,000 aerial sorties against a 
defenseless Iraq dropping 88,500 tonnes of bombs equivalent to 7 1/2 
Hiroshima bombs in 42 days from January 17 to February 28, 1991.

The bombs targeted every type of structure and facility necessary to 
support civilian life. Family dwellings, water and food systems and 
supplies, industry, commerce, business, education, religion all across Iraq 
were the direct object of US bombs punishing a whole population.

More than 150,000 thousands defenseless people died in Iraq as a result of 
this military assault, which included thousands of individual war crimes.

From August 6, 1990 to date the most severe economic sanctions and forced 
impoverishment have deliberately inflicted hunger, malnourishment, sickness 
and death generously among the people of Iraq killing and crippling 
infants, children, the elderly, pregnant women, nursing mothers, persons 
with chronic illnesses, and emergency medical cases fist and most 
frequently.

More than 1 1/2 million people have died as a direct result of these 
sanctions. 

More than half have been children under five years of age.

The sanctions, coerced from the Security Council by the US, have violated 
the Genocide Convention because they have deliberately created conditions 
of life intended to destroy the Iraqi population in whole, or in part, 
because of the nationality, race, religion and ethnic origin of its people. 
The sanctions have had their intended effect.

Every UN agency dealing with food, health and children has confirmed the 
human horror of the sanctions. They include the FAO, UNICEF, WFP, WHO. The 
most courageous and honorable of the UN employee's directly involved with 
enforcement of the sanctions and inspections under them have resigned their 
positions and publicly protested the sanctions and inspections policies.

The food for oil program approved only in late 1996, and used thereafter 
primarily as a devise for delay, frustration and accusation, was initiated 
only when international protest against the savagery of the sanctions 
overwhelmed the fear in which Security Council members held the threat of 
US reprisal if they did not support US policies.

The US has bombed Iraq whenever it chose to do so at any time for the past 
12 years. Missiles and bombs have targeted Saddam Hussein for 
assassination. Many hundreds have been killed, including as an illustration 
of the meaning of such bombing, Leila al Attar, the internationally famous 
artist, museum director, wife, mother, human being.

The sound of US jets over Iraq is omnipresent, keeping constant the 
terrifying memory of the continuous aerial and missile assault of February-
March 1991 which averaged an aerial sortie every 30 seconds.

In the face of these staggering crimes against Iraq, the US has conducted a 
constant campaign of vilification in the international media it controls. 
While it claims Saddam Hussein is the evil it seeks to destroy, it broad 
brush paints all of Iraq as a symbol of evil. The US propaganda is racist, 
anti-Muslim, hate-engendering and false.

The US has corrupted and seriously compromised the United Nations by 
appearing to act in its name, tragically diminishing humanity's best hope 
for peace, dignity and decent conditions of life for all by its decade of 
brutish and criminal assaults on the people of Iraq.

Though coerced, the Security Council is complicit in these crimes against 
peace and humanity, war crimes and genocide because it has at the least 
allowed its name and moral authority to be usurped by the United States.

The United States time and time again has acted on the advice of Plato's 
Athenian Stranger, who fearing the judgement of history remains anonymous 
by waging "...war for the sake of peace".

Consider how victims of US wars, surrogate and direct, since World War II 
have fared: Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, 
the Philippines, Liberia, Cuba, Guatemala, Grenada, Palestine, Lebanon, 
Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras, Angola, Croatia, 
Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iran, Indonesia, Afghanistan. Yet 
where is the promised peace?

Consider the havoc direct US military violence has wreaked in the past 
decade on the people of Iraq, all the Republics of the former Federal 
Republic of Yugoslavia created to make peace possible in the Balkans, 
Nicaragua, Haiti, Somalia, Sudan, North Korea, Kosovo, Afghanistan. And who 
will be next? The media reports daily on the candidates.

Is there anything Iraq has done in the past decade which threatened peace, 
endangered life, or caused violence that could possibly compare with the 
violence and calumny the US has visited on Iraq.

There is no legal basis, or moral justification for a US attack on Iraq, or 
for US financing and assisting in the overthrow of its government. For the 
US to do so is an international crime and prohibited by the Constitution 
and laws of the United States.

Prevailing power in the US and its government intends to attack Iraq when 
the current assault of Afghanistan has accomplished its purpose to 
consolidate US domination over the Middle East, the Gulf region and central 
Asia.

Act immediately to end the shame of the Security Council's abject failure 
to assert the independence and sovereignty of the United Nations under its 
Charter and to end this scourge of war. Prohibit the United States from 
attacking Iraq.

* * *
Acknowledgements: International Action Centre iacenter@action-mail.org

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