An open letter from Ramsey Clark to the U.N. and George W. Bush
Dear Secretary General Annan,
by Ramsey Clark
February 16, 2004
U.S. President George W. Bush again confirmed his
intention to continue waging wars of aggression in
his State of the Union message on January 20, 2004.
He began his address:
" As we gather tonight, hundreds of thousands of
American service men and women are deployed across
the world in the war on terror. By bringing hope
to the oppressed, and delivering justice to the
violent, they are making America more secure."
" Our greatest responsibility is the active
defense of the American people... America is on
the offensive against the terrorists..."
Continuing, he said:
" ...our coalition is leading aggressive raids
against the surviving members of the Taliban and
Al Qaeda.... Men who ran away from our troops in
battle are now dispersed and attack from the
In Iraq, he reported:
" Of the top 55 officials of the former regime,
we have captured or killed 45. Our forces are on
the offensive, leading over 1,600 patrols a day,
and conducting an average of 180 raids a week...."
Explaining his aggression, President Bush stated:
" ...After the chaos and carnage of September the
11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with
legal papers. The terrorists and their supporters
declared war on the United States and war is what
Forget law. No more legal papers, or rights.
Forget truth. The claim that either Afghanistan,
or Iraq declared war on the U.S. is absurd. The U.
S. chose to attack both nations, from one end to
the other, violating their sovereignty and
changing their "regimes", summarily executing
thousands of men, women and children in the
process. At least 40,000 defenseless people in
Iraq have been killed by U.S. violence since the
latest aggression began in earnest in March 2003
starting with its celebrated, high tech, terrorist
"Shock and Awe" and continuing until now with 25,
or more, U.S. raids daily causing mounting deaths
All this death-dealing aggression has occurred
during a period, Mr. Bush boasts, of "over two
years without an attack on American soil". The U.S.
is guilty of pure aggression, arbitrary
repression and false portrayal of the nature and
purpose of its violence.
President Bush's brutish mentality is revealed in
his condemnations of the "killers" and "thugs in
Iraq" "who ran away from our troops in battle". U.
S. military expenditures and technology threaten
and impoverish life on the planet. Any army that
sought to stand up against U.S. air power and
weapons of mass destruction in open battle would
be annihilated. This is what President Bush seeks
when he says "Bring 'em on."
President Bush declared his intention to change
the "Middle East" by force.
" As long as the Middle East remains a place of
tyranny and despair and anger, it will continue to
produce men and movements that threaten the safety
of America and our friends. So America is pursuing
a forward strategy of freedom in the greater
Middle East. We will challenge the enemies of
reform, confront the allies of terror, and expect
a higher standard from our friends."
"...America is a nation with a mission... we
understand our special calling: This great
republic will lead the cause of freedom."
He extended his threat to any nation he may
" As part of the offensive against terror, we are
also confronting the regimes that harbor and
support terrorists, and could supply them with
nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. The
United States and our allies are determined: We
refuse to live in the shadow of this ultimate
President Bush's utter contempt for the United
Nations is revealed in his assertion that the
United States and other countries "have enforced
the demands of the United Nations", ignoring the
refusal of the U.N. to approve a war of aggression
against Iraq and implying the U.N. had neither the
courage nor the capacity to pursue its own
His total commitment to unilateral U.S. action,
was asserted by President Bush when he
sarcastically referred to the "permission slip" a
school child needs to leave a classroom:
" America will never seek a permission slip to
defend the security of our people".
President Bush intends to go it alone, because
his interest is American power and wealth alone,
though he prefers to use the youth of NATO
countries and others as cannon folder in his wars.
President Bush believes might makes right and
that the end justifies the means. He declares:
" ...the world without Saddam Husseins regime is
a better and safer place".
So U.S. military technology which is omnicidal-
capable of destroying all life on the planet-will
be ordered by President Bush to make the world "a
better and safer place" by destroying nations and
individuals he designates.
President Bush presided over 152 executions in
Texas, far more than any other U.S. governor since
World War II. Included were women, minors,
retarded persons, aliens in violation of the
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and
innocent persons. He never acted to prevent a
single execution. He has publicly proclaimed the
right to assassinate foreign leaders and
repeatedly boasted of summary executions and
indiscriminate killing in State of the Union
messages and elsewhere.
The danger of Bush unilateralism is further
revealed when he states:
" Colonel Qaddafi correctly judged that his
country would be better off, and far more secure
without weapons of mass murder. Nine months of
intense negotiations involving the United States
and Great Britain succeeded with Libya, while 12
years of diplomacy with Iraq did not."
Forget diplomacy, use "intense negotiations". If
President Bush believed it was "diplomacy", which
maintained genocidal sanctions against Iraq for
twelve years that failed, rather than an effort to
crush Iraq to submission, then why didn't he use
"nine months of intense negotiations" to avoid a
war of aggression against Iraq? He was President
for nearly twenty seven months before the criminal
assault on Iraq, he apparently intended all along.
Iraq was no threat to anyone.
What President Bush means by "intense
negotiations" includes a threat of military
aggression with the example of Iraq to show this
in no bluff. The Nuremberg Judgment held Goerings
threat to destroy Prague unless Czechoslovakia
surrendered Bohemia and Moravia to be an act of
If Qaddafi "correctly judged his country would be
better off, and far more secure, without weapons
of mass murder", why would the United States not
be better off, and far more secure, if it
eliminated all its vast stores of nuclear weapons?
Is not the greatest danger from nuclear
proliferation today without question President
Bush's violations of the Non Proliferation (NPT),
ABM and Nuclear Test Ban treaties by continuing
programs for strategic nuclear weapons, failing to
negotiate in good faith to achieve "nuclear
disarmament" after more than thirty years and
development of a new generation of nuclear weapons,
small "tactical" weapons of mass murder, which he
would use in a minute? Has he not threatened to
use existing strategic nuclear weapons? The
failure of the "nuclear weapon State Party(s)" to
the NPT to work in good faith to achieve "nuclear
disarmament these past 36 years is the reason the
world is still confronted with the threat of
nuclear war and proliferation.
None of the many and changing explanations,
excuses, or evasions offered by President Bush to
justify his war of aggression can erase the crimes
he has committed. Among the less invidious
misleading statements, President Bush made on
January 20, 2004 was:
" Already the Kay Report identified dozens of
weapons of mass destruction-related program
activities and significant amounts of equipment
that Iraq concealed from the United Nations."
Three days later, Dr. Kay told Reuters he thought
Iraq had illicit weapons at the end of the 1991
Persian Gulf War, but that by a combination of U.N.
inspections and Iraq's own decisions, "it got rid
of them". He further said it "is correct" to say
Iraq does not have any large stockpiles of
chemical or biological weapons in the country. He
has added that no evidence of any chemical or
biological weapons have been found in Iraq.
Iraq did not use illicit weapons in the 1991 Gulf
war. The U.S. did - 900 tons plus of depleted
uranium, fuel air explosives, super bombs,,
cluster bombs with civilians and civilian
facilities the "direct object of attack". The U.S.
claimed to destroy 80% of Iraq's military armor.
It dropped 88,500 tons of explosives, 7 1/2
Hiroshima's, on the country in 42 days. Iraq was
essentially defenseless. Tens of thousands of
Iraqi soldiers and civilians perished. The U.S.
reported 157 casualties, 1/3 from friendly fire,
the remainder non combat.
U.N. inspectors over more than 6 years of highly
intrusive physical inspections found and destroyed
90% of the materials required to manufacture
nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. U.N.
sanctions imposed August 6, 1990 had caused the
deaths of 567,000 children under age five by
October 1996, the U.N. FAO reported. Twenty four
percent of the infants born live in Iraq in 2002
had a dangerously low birth weight below 2 kilos,
symbolizing the condition of the whole population.
In March 2003 Iraq was incapable of carrying out
a threat against the U.S., or any other country,
and would have been pulverized by U.S. forces in
place in the Gulf had it tried.
More than thirty five nations admit the
possession of nuclear, chemical and/or biological
weapons. Are these nations, caput lupinum,
lawfully subject to destruction because of their
mere possession of WMDs? The U.S. possesses more
of each of these impermissible weapons than all
other nations combined, and infinitely greater
capacity for their delivery anywhere on earth
within hours. Meanwhile the U.S. increases its
military expenditures, which already exceed those
of all other nations on earth combined, and its
technology which is exponentially more dangerous.
The U.N. General Assembly Resolution on the
Definition of Aggression of December 14, 1974
provides in part:
Article 1: Aggression is the use of armed force
by a State against the sovereignty, territorial
integrity or political independence of another
Article 2: The first use of armed force by a
State in contravention of the Charter shall
constitute prima facie evidence of an act of
Article 3: Any of the following acts ... qualify
as an act of aggression:
(a) The invasion or attack by the armed forces of
a State of the territory of another State, or any
military occupation, however temporary, resulting
from such invasion or attack;
(b) Bombardment by the armed forces of a State
against the territory of another State or the use
of any weapons by a State against the territory of
(c) The blockade of the ports or coasts of a
State by the armed forces of another State;
(d) An attack by the armed forces of a State on
the land, sea or air forces, or marine and air
fleets of another State.
If the U.S. assault on Iraq is not a War of
Aggression under international law, then there is
no longer such a crime as War of Aggression. A
huge, all powerful nation has assaulted a small
prostrate, defenseless people half way around the
world with "Shock and Awe" terror and destruction,
occupied it and continues daily assaults.
President Bush praises U.S. soldiers' "...skill
and their courage in armored charges, and midnight
raids." which terrorize and kill innocent Iraqis,
women, children, families, nearly every day and
average 180 attacks each week.
The first crime defined in the Constitution
annexed to the Charter of the International
Military Tribunal (Nuremberg) under Crimes Against
Peace is War of Aggression. II.6.a. The Nuremberg
" The charges in the indictment that the
defendants planned and waged aggressive war are
charges of the utmost gravity. War is essentially
an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined
to the belligerent states alone, but affect the
To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is
not only an international crime, it is the supreme
The "seizure" of Austria in March 1938 and of
Bohemia and Moravia from Czechoslovakia in March
1939 following the threat to destroy Prague were
judged to be acts of aggression by the Tribunal
even in the absence of actual war and after
Britain, France, Italy and Germany had agreed at
Munich to cede Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland to
The first conduct judged to be a war of
aggression by Nazi Germany was its invasion of
Poland in September 1939. There followed a long
list, Britain, France, Denmark, Norway, Belgium,
Holland, Luxemburg, Yugoslavia, Greece. The attack
on the USSR, together with Finland, Romania and
Hungary, was adjudged as follows:
It was contended for the defendants that the
attack upon the U.S.S.R. was justified because the
Soviet Union was contemplating an attack upon
Germany, and making preparations to that end. It
is impossible to believe that this view was ever
The plans for the economic exploitation of the U.
S.S.R., for the removal of masses of the
population, for the murder of Commissars and
political leaders, were all part of the carefully
prepared scheme launched on 22 June without
warning of any kind, and without the shadow of
legal excuses. It was plain aggression.
The United Nations cannot permit U.S. power to
justify its wars of aggression if it is to survive
as a viable institution for ending the scourges of
war, exploitation, hunger, sickness and poverty.
Comparatively minor acts and wars of aggression by
the United States in the last 20 years, deadly
enough for their victims, in Grenada, Libya,
Panama, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Sudan,
Yugoslavia, Cuba, Yemen with many other nations
threatened, sanctioned, or attacked, some with U.N.
complicity and all without effective United
Nations resistance, made the major deadly wars of
aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq possible.
Failure to condemn the massive U.S. war of
aggression and illegal occupation of Iraq and any
U.N. act providing colorable legitimacy to the U.S.
occupation will open wide the gate to further,
greater aggression. The line must be drawn now.
The United Nations must recognize and declare the
U.S. attack and occupation of Iraq to be the war
of aggression it is. It must refuse absolutely to
justify, or condone the aggression, the illegal
occupation and the continuing U.S. assaults in
Iraq. The U.N. must insist that the U.S. withdraw
from Iraq as it insisted Iraq withdraw from Kuwait
There must be no impunity or profit for wars of
The U.S. and U.S. companies must surrender all
profits and terminate all contracts involving Iraq.
There must be strict accountability by U.S.
leaders and others for crimes they have committed
against Iraq and compensation by the U.S.
government for the damage its aggression has
inflicted on Afghanistan and Iraq, the peoples
injured there and stability and harm done to world
This must be done with care to prevent the
eruption of internal divisions, or violence and
any foreign domination or exploitation in Iraq.
The governance of a united Iraq must be returned
to the diverse peoples who live there, acting
together consensually in peace for their common
good as soon as possible.
The identical letter has been sent to:
Members of the UN Security Council
The President of the UN General Assembly
The Secretary General of the UN
The President of the United States
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