Message from Ramsey Clark
CSCAweb (www.nodo50.org/csca), 11-20-02
"The United States
is not a democracy, it is a plutocracy. The people don't rule
in the United States. Wealth rules, the corporations rule. They
rule the Congress, they elect the president, they run the Pentagon.
They own the media, which are the voices of the plutocracy"
I would like to send my greetings to the Committee in Support
of the Arab Cause and to greet all those attending this important
conference on Iraq taking place in Madrid this Nov. 16-17 weekend.
This is the first international conference on Iraq since two
important events: the U.S. elections and the Security Council
vote. They show without any doubts that the U.S. government has
set its course for war and that only the people of the world,
and especially those of the United States, can stop this war
and must stop this war.
Eleven days ago, on Nov. 5, the U.S. elections showed that
most people in the United States saw no choice worth voting for.
It showed that incumbency and wealth-especially wealth which
wants war--decide who wins. The will of the people was nowhere
to be seen.
The United States is not a democracy, it is a plutocracy.
The people don't rule in the United States. Wealth rules, the
corporations rule. They rule the Congress, they elect the president,
they run the Pentagon. They own the media, which are the voices
of the plutocracy. The media immediately promoted the White House
proclamation that the vote "demonstrates the resolve of
the American people to deal with this threat."
What this threat referred to, among all the nations and entities
on earth, was Iraq. Every day and in every way, you hear President
Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Powell, Secretary
of Defense Rumsfeld and above all the mighty voice of the media
saying, "War now. We've got to destroy Iraq."
Then on November 8, the U.N. Security Council unanimously
endorsed the U.S. resolution giving Iraq seven days to accept
inspection conditions or face destruction. These conditions are
an outrageous assault on any country's sovereignty. They include
"immediate, unimpeded, unrestricted and private access to
all officials and other persons to interview, inside or outside
of Iraq," at the discretion of the inspectors. They could
made a demand to immediately interview Saddam Hussein and Iraq's
military leaders at U.S. prisons in Guantanamo, Cuba, or inside
the United States, or even at Alcatraz Island in San Francisco
Bay. The Security Council must be informed within 60 days after
commencement of inspections so it can take action.
All this is now to be imposed on Iraq after eight years of
inspections produced nothing. President Bush still maintains
that he will attack Iraq if the Security Council fails to authorize
an attack-as long as if he believes Iraq is hiding weapons of
Nowhere do you hear about U.S. responsibility and accountability
for the wars that have already destroyed Iraq. In 1991, the Pentagon
made 110,000 aerial sorties in 42 days, dropping 88,500 tons
of bombs, that is, seven-and-a-half Hiroshimas, killing 150,000
Iraqis. The Pentagon says the U.S. lost 155, more than one-third
to "friendly fire," the rest to accidents, no combat
casualties. This is a casualty rate of 1,000 to 1, while the
U.S. has 10 times the population of Iraq and an infinitely greater
capacity to destroy.
It was slaughter. Under international law, you don't slaughter
with impunity. It is a war crime. It is a crime against humanity.
Then we impose the unbelievable sanctions on Iraq that have
killed a million and a half people. Every day it continues, every
day and every day infants, children, elderly die from those sanctions.
We just got back from Iraq in September, where we heard the health
minister say the death rates continue to increase. The number
of children born below normal weight, below two kilograms, are
now one in four. We have killed one and a half million people
with genocidal sanctions. The surviving populations is physically
handicapped and weakened.
U.S. and British planes have flown over the sovereign territory
of Iraq every day since 1991, bombing nearly every day since
1991. We've chosen our days carefully. On Jan. 17, 1993, two
days before the first President Bush left office, he sent 30
Tomahawk cruise missiles. He hit the Al Rashid Hotel. He took
the life of Leyla al-Attar, 15 miles outside of Baghdad, with
a Tomahawk cruise missile. She was a great Arab artist and head
of the Museum of Modern Art in Baghdad.
And even in September and October of this year, while the
media talks about bombing soon, the bombing takes place every
day. The first day our delegation got to Iraq in September, eight
people were killed by U.S. bombs near Basra. More than 40 were
killed in October. And the war goes on. And President Bush claims
THEY are evil. We had better pay attention. We are destroying
international law that has some potential for peace. We are destroying
the United Nations, which was created to end the scourge of war.
We are thumbing our noses at the Nuremberg Charter, which says
you cannot strike first.
Lately, the second President Bush has said he doesn't want war,
the choice is up to Saddam Hussein. This is the same as a robber
demanding all your money saying "I don't want to shoot you,
the choice is yours."
These two events leave popular action the only recourse for peace.
Fortunately, on Nov. 9, a third event took place, helping
to show us the answer. In the beautiful city of
Florence in Italy, a million people filled the streets to say
no to the war on Iraq.
The action in Florence on November 9, the massive demonstration
in London on September 28, the massive demonstration in Barcelona
earlier this year, and our own broad and successful demonstrations
of hundreds of thousands on October 26 in Washington and San
Francisco right in the center of the United States against a
U.S. attack on Iraq have made it tragically clear that only one
thing can stop U.S. aggression against Iraq: We the People.
Only massive demonstrations of, by and for the People can stop
U.S. military aggression against Iraq. Only massive demonstrations
can show the world that the people of the United States oppose
their own government's determination to commit further aggression
October 26 showed what is possible. Now we must constantly signal
public opposition to war while we in the United States prepare
for massive demonstrations on January 18-19, 2003 in Washington.
If we fail to end U.S. militarism now the next generation will
know nothing but violence and human misery.
Every act of government over the past thirty years shows that
we must persevere beyond January 18-19, 2003 until the power
of the people forces the U.S. government to end its policies
of militarism and economic exploitation of the poor at home and
It will be a long time and require pervasive reforms before
the people can rely on a President, or Congress to seek peace
and an end to poverty. The U.N. will be useless until it is
liberated from U.S. domination and reformed.
Regime change needs to begin at home.
We the people, need to separate the United States from militarism.
Day after day after day, mass killing. Who has the weapons of
mass destruction? Who is making more money every day from more
weapons? We've got to liberate the United States from militarism.
We've got to liberate this country from corporate oligarchy that
is destroying our lives.
We have got to liberate the United States from repression.
Don't we know, we've got 2 million people in prison? Don't we
know we execute more than one person a week in this country?
Let's liberate the United States of America. We have to make
it stand for peace everywhere, to end poverty and hunger and
sickness and create jobs for everybody everywhere.
We will reach out in friendship to everyone all over the world.
No more war