Stop the War against Iraq

Message from Ramsey Clark, International Action Center

Message presented by John Catalinotto, International Action Center


In solidarity with
the Iraqi people

Spanish Campaing for Lifting the Sanctions on Iraq


Madrid, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th of November, 2002. International meeting Against the War

Salón de Actos de UGT
(Avenida de América 25)

Stop the next War against Iraq before it starts

Final Declaration

Assembled in Madrid the 16th and 17th of November, 2002, we the participants in the International Meeting Against the War and in Solidarity with the Iraqi People, organised by the Spanish Campaign for Lifting the Sanctions on Iraq (CELSI), wish to express the following:

1. Our solidarity with the Iraqi people, the victims of a premeditated policy of genocide and presently faced with the threat a new military intervention which will this time include the military occupation of their country by the United States. Since August 1990, when the United Nations (UN) Security Council (SC) imposed economic sanctions on Iraq, the Iraqi people have been suffering a grave humanitarian crisis which has caused the deaths of more than a million and half people, 800,000 of these under 5 years of age. The effects of the embargo have been deepened by the premeditated destruction wrought by a multinational coalition during 42 days of bombings in the war of January-February 1991, estimated by the UN at 22 billion dollars, and by the repeated attacks which have been carried out since then. All of the options now being considered by the Bush Administration include renewed, intense bombing which will destroy the Iraqi people's already precarious means of subsistence.

On the other hand, the palliative measures initiated by the SC ­ specifically the "Oil-For-Food" program, resolution 986 ­ , although they have hardly managed to check Iraq's humanitarian catastrophe, have perversely permitted public opinion to be distracted from the Iraqi drama, and have guaranteed neo-colonial control over the country's resources and finances by channelling billions of dollars toward the payment of war compensations. Meanwhile, thousands of Iraqis continue to die each month from preventable illnesses and basic infra-structural deficiencies.

2. Our firmest rejection of the US's determination to attack, invade and occupy Iraq, a plan which responds only and exclusively to the defence of US strategic interests in the Middle East; namely, the control of energy resources. Under the cover of the so-called "global war on terrorism", the Bush Administration, after 12 years of genocidal sanctions, now intends to take definitive control of Iraq and by this to ensure a complete domination ­ political, economic and military ­ of the entire region.

In achieving this, the war will bring above all else more death and suffering for the people of Iraq, and more violence and instability to the Middle East. The declared objective of this new war against Iraq is a change of the country's political regime, an objective which, apart from being illegal, anticipates a wider geo-political reshaping of the Middle East region, beginning with a final Israeli offensive in Gaza and Cisjordan aimed at the definitive destruction of the Palestinian institutions created by the Oslo Agreements and the massive expulsion of the Palestinian population.

Beyond the theatre of the Middle East, however, the occupation of Iraq will impose upon the international community the fait accompli of a new world order in which the legal norms considered valid up to now have been nullified by the new US doctrine of "preventative war". With the fate of Iraq then, the very concept of International Law hangs also in the balance.

3. Our demand for a just, definitive and peaceful resolution to the dispute between Iraq and the SC, as well as our recognition of Iraq's decision to accept unconditionally the return of disarmament inspectors to the country and the recent resolution 1441. After having tried unsuccessfully to implicate Iraq in the events of September 11 as a justification for its final assault, the Bush Administration has resorted to the accusation of Iraqi rearmament, without providing any proof of this whatsoever.

Since Iraq agreed to the return of UN disarmament inspectors this past September 16, the Bush Administration has tried to sabotage all diplomatic initiatives which might invalidate its excuses for waging this war. In recent weeks, it has deployed all of its means of coercion to obtain from the SC a new resolution which legitimises a unilateral attack on Iraq. In this sense, the contents of the recently approved resolution 1441, rather than lessening the threat of war, gives the Bush Administration the green light for a unilateral attack without the sanction of the international community.

The Bush Administration wants to impose upon us the logic that this war is inevitable. In no way, however, can it be justified, nor legitimised. Faced with the lies and the immorality of those governments which are promoting and supporting this war, we know irrefutably that those of us who, all over the world, oppose an intervention in Iraq are the majority, as witnessed by the demonstrations held in various cities in recent months or by that in Florence a week ago. From Madrid we unite our voices to the general clamour against a war which must be stopped.

The participants in the International Meeting Against the War and in Solidarity with the Iraqi People, held in Madrid the 16th and 17th of November, 2002, engage to promote the celebration of the European Day of Mobilizations Against the War previewed for next 15th February, 2002, as accorded in the European Social Forum held in Florence last 9th and 10th November, 2002.


Meeting Program

Up-to-date: 11-8-2002
CSCAweb (

Saturday 16 November, 2002

10:00-10:25 HALL OPENS
Pick-up of simultaneous translation headsets.

10:30-12:15 OPENING

Mohammad Basri (USFP, Morocco), Ahmed Ben Bella (first President of Algeria), George Galloway (Labour Party MP, United Kingdom), Ramsey Clark (former Attorney-General of the United States) [*], John Catalinotto (International Action Center, USA), Juan Carretero (President of OSPAAAL, Cuba).
Introduced by: Carlos Varea (Co-ordinator of the Spanish Campaign for Lifting the Sanctions on Iraq).

[*] Not confirmed

"The Middle East at the beginning of the 21st century: a return to the Middle East of the late 19th century?"
Pedro Martínez Montávez
(Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Madrid Autonomous University).
Introduced by: Joaquín Córdoba Zoilo (Professor of History, Madrid Autonomous University).

12:20-12:45 BREAK

12:50-14:10 DEBATE
"A world adrift: the new international 'rules of the game' and the XXI Century wars"
Participants: Ignacio Ramonet (Director of Le Monde Diplomatique) and Sami Nair (EU MP, Proffesor of Politics, Paris University, France).
Introduced by: Francisco Fernández Buey (Proffesor of History of the Ideas, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona).

14:15-16:25 LUNCH

16:30-18:10 FIRST SESSION
"US policy for the Middle East: the Palestinian question and the prevision of a war against Iraq; from 9-11 to President Bush's doctrine of 'Preventive War'"
Participants: Phyllis Bennis (Researcher at the Institute for Policy Studies, Washington, USA), Naim Abu Tair (President of the Union of Health Work Committees, Palestine) and Michel Collon (Writer and reporter for Solidaire, Belgium).
Introduced by: Fran Sevilla (Journalist, 2002 National Award of Journalism).

18:10-18:25 BREAK

18:30-19:30 FIRST SESSION (cont.)
"The coming war with Iraq: How did we get here?"
Participant: Scott Ritter (former Head of the UN disarmament inspectors team in Iraq ­UNSCOM, USA).
Introduced by: Basam Kakish (former Minister and former Ambassador in Iraq 1995-97, Jordan).

19:30-20:00 BREAK

Nassir Shamma (oud, Iraq).
With the colaboration of Quintín Cabrera.
Introduced by Gloria Berrocal.

Sunday 17 November, 2002

10:00-10:25 HALL OPENS
Pick-up of simultaneous translation headsets.

10:30-11:45 SECOND SESSION
"International legality, human rights and interventionism: economic sanctions and the threat of the use of force against Iraq"
Participants: Elias Khouri (Representative to the UN of the Arab Lawyers Union, Switzerland) and Hans Koechler (President of the International Progress Organization and Professor of the Innsbruck University, Austria).
Introduced by: Fernando Valderrama (Diplomat, former Head of the Spanish Legation in Iraq).

11:50-12:30 SECOND SESSION (cont.)
"United Nations and Iraq: In search of a negotiated solution to 12 years of sanctions"
Participant: Riyad M. al-Qaysi (former Representative of Iraq upon the UN SC).
Introduced by: Mayed Dibsi (President of the "Jerusalem" Spanish-Palestinian Association).

12:35-12:40 BREAK

"The world after 9-11: resistance to a global war and the restriction of civil rights"
Participants: Fawaz Zureikat (Popular Committee for the Defence of Iraq, Jordan), Teresa Gutiérrez (Representative of the ANSWER ­Act Now to Stop War and End Racism ­ coalition, USA), Joaquín Navarro (magistrate, Spain) Guillerme Vázquez (MP, Bloque Nacionalista Galego, Spain), Gaspar Llamazares (MP and General Coordinator of Izquierda Unida, Spain).
Introduced by: Santiago Alba Rico (writer and essayist, Alianza de Intelectuales Antiimperialistas, Spain).

13:50-14:30 CLOSING
"A commitment of solidarity with the Iraqi people"
Participants: Dennis Halliday (Ireland) and Hans von Sponeck (Germany), former UN Co-ordinators for Iraq.
Introduced by: Javier Sádaba, (Professor of Ethics, Madrid Autonomous University, Spain)