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.
U.S. 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 tons 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 U.S.
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 U.S., 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 U.N. 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 U.N. 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 U.S.
reprisal if they did not support U.S. policies.
The U.S. has bombed Iraq whenever it chose to do so at
any time for the past twelve years. Missiles and bombs
have targeted Saddam Hussin 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 U.S. 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
U.S. has conducted a constant campaign of vilification in
the international media it controls. While claims Saddam
Hussein is the evil it seeks to destroy its broad brush
paints all of Iraq as a symbol of evil. The U.S.
propaganda is racist, anti Muslim, hate engendering and
The U.S. has corrupted and seriously compromised the
United Nations by appearing to act in its name, tragically
diminishing humanities 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
judgment of history remains anonymous by waging "...war
for the sake of peace". Consider how victims of U.S.
wars, surrogate and direct, since World War II have fared:
Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nicaragua, the Domenican
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 U.S. 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
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 U.S. has visited on Iraq. There is no legal basis, or
moral justification for a U.S. attack on Iraq, or for U.S.
financing and assisting in the overthrow of its
government. For the U.S. to do so is an international
crime and prohibited by the Constitution and laws of the
United States. Prevailing power in the U.S. and its
government intends to attack Iraq when the current assault
of Afghanistan has accomplished its purpose to consolidate
U.S. domination over the Middle East, the Gulf region and
Act immediately to end the shame of the Security Councils
abject failure to assert the independence and sovereignty
of the United Nations under its Charter and to end this
scourage of war. Prohibit the United States from
Copyright © 2001 Ramsey Clark.
The preceding is the text of aletter sent on December 11, 2001
from former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark to
the ambassador and foreign minister of each member
of the UN Security Council and the UN General