The U.N. resolution which threatened Iraq with "serious consequences" for not dismantling its Weapons of Mass Destruction (# 1441) mentions nothing about regime change. The U.S. used this resolution to justify its attack, bypassing the U.N. Security Council's required vote to determine whether Iraq was in "serious breach" of its obligations. The U.S.' massive bombing campaign and ground assault, which has killed thousands of Iraqis and wounded thousands more and left millions without adequate food, water and health care, was not done in self-defense, thus violating the U.N. charter. Removing Hussein from power is not the same thing as accomplishing the alleged task of disarming the Arab nation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
America has now set a precedent whereby one country can pre-emptively strike against another to remove the leadership. Despite media cheers declaring a quick victory, the world has become a much more dangerous and unstable place.
While the media focuses on American families praying for their children to return safely from battle, we see few images of the families in Iraq who have lost loved ones. The Iraqi people should not have to suffer because of the actions of their government...or ours. The best thing to do to protect our troops and to prevent senseless loss of life is to bring the troops home now.
It is clear that the U.S. intends to militarily occupy Iraq for the forseeable future, replacing an indigenous military dictatorship with a foreign colonial power. Lessons from Israel's illegal occupation of the West Bank (condemned in U.N. resolutoin 242 among others) indicate that violence used against Iraqis in response to any attempt to oust Americans will lead to an endless cycle of death and destruction.
The U.S. used weapons of mass destruction during this attack in the form of Depleted Uranium (DU). DU is radioactive material used to harden the tips of bullets and armor-piercing shells. The ordinance can then cut through metals including tanks. It also disintegrates on contact, spreading radioactive particles throughout the atmosphere. Soldiers and civilians inhale the particles; this is one suspected cause of "Gulf War Syndrome." In other words, it is very much like a "dirty bomb." The U.S. used 300 tons of DU in 1991, and used it again in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, a little-known clause in the cease-fire resolution from the end of the 1991 war (UN Security Council Resolution 687) calls for making the Middle East a Weapons of Mass Destruction-Free Zone. The U.S. has yet to call upon Israel to dismantle its nuclear capabilities.
There remains no evidence that Iraq was or is an imminent threat to the U.S. or was connected in any way to the events of September 11, 2001. (Despite public perception, not a single one of the hijackers on 9-11 was from Iraq, nor has any credible evidence been presented tying Saddam Hussein's regime to Al Qaida, despite months of efforts.)
On the other hand, many people suspect that the U.S.' presence in the Middle Eastespecially its troops stationed in Saudi Arabiaand its policy in Palestine and Iraq, were among the motives for the 9-11 attacks. If the U.S. proceeds with a military occupation and/or installing a puppet regime, they will only further inflame such hatred.
If indeed Saddam Hussein was killed by U.S. bombs (another violation of international law), he can never be brought to trial. Any connection to 9-11 will be buried with him, along with his ability to report on the years of support he received from the U.S.including American shipments of basic materials for biological weapons. Last year, President Bush "unsigned" the treaty creating the International Criminal Courtthe very place where potential crimes of the Iraqi regime could be prosecuted if a lawful resolution had been pursued.
There are many forms of action to take, from continuing pressure on elected officials (five of Oregon's seven congressional delegates voted against the resolution allowing Bush to go to war with Iraq--where are their voices now?) to holding educational workshops to protesting in various forms. The mainstream media, with its sanitized view of the war bordering on cheerleading (referring to "our" troops, rather than "American" troops, or "the enemy" rather than Iraq) needs to hear from people who want to have a more balanced view, including more voices for peace. Click here for some contact information.
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Page last updated June 11, 2003