Paremos la guerra contra Iraq

Madrid, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th of November, 2002. International meeting Against the War: Stop the next War against Iraq before it starts

Spanish Campaign for Lifting the Sanctions on Iraq.

Stop the war against Iraq

Message from Ramsey Clark
International Action Center

CSCAweb (, 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 mass destruction.

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 against Iraq.

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 abroad.

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