To: George W. Bush, President of the United States; Colin L. Powell, Secretary of State; Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense; Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, House of Representatives; Majority Leader Thomas Daschle, US Senate
March 10, 2002
US CITIZENS OPPOSE WAR ON IRAQ, OTHER COUNTRIES, AND US GOVERNMENT MILITARISM
(1) The United States government has consistently rejected international calls to pursue justice and peace from within available international diplomatic, political, legal and human rights frameworks;
(2) The United States government has consistently chosen military means of achieving its goals, bombing civilians and non military targets, causing and contributing to injury, starvation, death, and the dislocation of millions of innocent people, primarily women, children, the elderly and the infirm;
(3) Direct and indirect United States government military action and aid, including the arming and training of non US combatants, has resulted in the above as well as destruction of land, homes and critical infrastructure such as water, electricity, roads, and communications affecting the world's poorest and least able to resist;
(4) As a direct result of US-sponsored sanctions, infant and child mortality rates doubled in Iraq over the past decade and an additional 500,000 children died--which makes these sanctions a genocidal weapon of mass destruction;
(5) The UN says, "Nothing speaks louder than resource allocation in favour of children." In 2000, 149 million children were malnourished; 1.1 billion people still lacked access to safe drinking water; 100 million children did not attend primary school; 880 million adults worldwide were illiterate. But despite the astonishing fact that
"The cost of realizing universal access to health, water and sanitation, and education was estimated by the United Nations and the World Bank to be an additional to 80 billion per year (in 1995 prices),"
The United States spends 0 BILLION on defense annually. In other words, the United States could single-handedly resolve the world's basic health, water, sanitation, and education deficits in one year--if its spending priorities were directed by humanitarian principles;
(6) The UN further writes: "The global commerce in and proliferation of small arms and light weapons, along with landmines and unexploded ordnance, continue to threaten children's lives on a daily basis. Conflicts have also often been sustained by economic interests, driven by greed and aiming at the control of natural resources." Yet the United States is the world's number one producer and seller of arms, manufacturing half of all weapons sold on the world market--for billion in 2000;
(7) The United States government is daily expanding its threat of military action worldwide, most immediately toward Iraq, but also threatening the peoples of numerous countries, for example Somalia, Yemen, Colombia, Iran, the Philippines, Indonesia, North Korea, the former Soviet Georgia, Palestine and others;
(8) The United States government is also threatening other means of achieving its goals, such as the destabilization or overthrow of governments and the installation of those it deems acceptable. Previous similar efforts by the United States throughout the twentieth century have resulted in catastrophic violence toward civilian populations. Most recently, Afghanistan's Northern Alliance troops, supported by US special forces, are routinely raping Pashtun women and children, especially the most vulnerable in refugee camps;
(9) Policies of the current United States government are enacted unilaterally despite international opposition; contrary to international law, treaty, and available non military remedies; without appropriate Congressional oversight, authorization, and accountability; and in a manner preventing democratic domestic discussion, debate, and participation in the decision-making process by US citizens;
(10) Current United States government unilateral foreign policies have been opposed by leaders worldwide, including in Britain, France, Germany, South Korea, Spain, Japan, China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the European Union, and other countries. As expressed in a New York Times editorial January 31, this policy of using power and intimidation threatens international relations, endangers the US public by increasing resentment toward the United States, and harms ordinary people in target countries. "Sept. 11 does not give Mr. Bush an unlimited hunting license."
WE OPPOSE United States military action against Iraq and other countries;
WE OPPOSE the United States government's foreign policy of militarism, that is, violence, arms proliferation, war and internal destabilization by political, economic, and covert means, as well as its attempts to overthrow governments, especially considering that other means of achieving justice and peace are available but have been rejected by this administration and by Congress;
WE OPPOSE the egregious imbalance in United States government budget priorities and its misuse of resources--our resources, our tax dollars--supporting destruction, death and international ill will;
WE OPPOSE United States government unilateralism, and its refusal to participate as an equal, not controlling, partner in the development and application of international standards, law and treaties;
WE DEMAND an open democratic process wherein these and other critical issues are presented to the public for comprehensive discussion and debate;
WE DEMAND, as a critical requirement of informed participation in the democratic process, that relevant information be made available to the US public;
WE DEMAND that the United States Congress exercise its representative, oversight and leadership responsibilities;
WE DEMAND, that our government: abide by international treaties and norms; consult and collaborate with all governments as the basis of its foreign policy, for the purpose of achieving within the international context justice, equality, and human rights for all the world's peoples.
The Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace
Olympia, Washington, USA
----- "The Limits of Power." New York Times, Editorial, January 31 2002, A26. "The application of power and intimidation has returned to the forefront of American foreign policy...The evolving Bush doctrine implies a preemptive use of conventional force...Sept. 11, however, does not give Mr. Bush an unlimited hunting license," the possible consequences of which could include "loss of allied support, a deepening of antagonism toward the United States and anarchy in the target countries themselves."
Daley, Suzanne. "French Minister Calls US Policy 'Simplistic'." New York Times, February 07 2002, A10. Foreign ministers, prime ministers and other national leaders in France, Britain, Germany, Spain, and the European Union denounce the US unilateral expansion of the "war on terrorism" from Afghanistan to Palestine, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and elsewhere.
Filipov, David. "Warlord's Men Commit Rape in Revenge against Taliban." Boston Globe, February 24 2002, A1. The troops of US-supported, Northern Alliance warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum are routinely raping Pashtun women and children, especially the most vulnerable, those who have fled to refugee camps. Dostum's troops disarmed Pashtun families with the assistance of US special forces.
Human Rights Watch. "Stop Threatening International Court, U.S. Officials Told." Human Rights Watch, 1998. http://www.hrw.org/press98/july/icc-us1.htm
. HRW called upon Congress to support the ICC. The US was one of only seven countries to vote against the ICC treaty in Rome on July 17. The others were China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar, and Yemen. Virtually all of America's allies voted in favor of the court, which will prosecute future cases of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.
International Court of Justice (World Court). http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library/cijwww/icjwww/icj002.htm
Pear, Robert. "Upon Closer Look, Bush Budget Cuts Include Risks." New York Times, February 05 2002, A19. Bush proposed budget cuts funds for teaching hospitals, doctor training at children's hospitals, workplace safety, highways, low-income heating assistance, OSHA and safety standards enforcement, public housing, and community development block grants. The defense budget would be increased 14% to 9 billion.
Purdum, Todd S. "Democrats Are Questioning Bush on the Future Conduct of the War." New York Times, March 01 2002, A1. List of currently targeted counties, "with news reports of potential military activity in various countries surfacing almost daily."
Purdum, Todd S. "U.S. Weighs Tackling Iraq on Its Own, Powell Says." New York Times, February 07 2002, A10. Secretary of State Colin Powell says that Bush is "set on a 'regime change' in Iraq and warned that it was something the United States 'might have to do alone'."
Schweid, Barry. "Saddam Must Go, Powell Insists." Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 07 2002, A4. Bush is considering a "full range of options" for removing Iraq President Saddam Hussein. "Regime change is something the United States might have to do alone," Powell said.
Shanker, Thom. "Global Arms Sales Rise Again, and the U.S. Leads the Pack." New York Times, August 20 2001, A3. In 2000, global arms sales grew 8% to billion, with the US leading. The US manufactures and sells half of all arms globally with contracts at just under .6 billion, Russia a distant second with sales of .7 billion. The largest market is developing nations: 68% of US arms are sold in this market.
United Nations. "We the Children: End-Decade Review of the Follow-up to the World Summit for Children. Report of the Secretary-General." United Nations, 2001.
"The cost of realizing universal access to health, water and sanitation, and education was estimated by the United Nations and the World Bank to be an additional to 80 billion per year (in 1995 prices)." http://www.unicef.org/specialsession/documentation/documents/a-s-27-3e.doc
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). "The Impact of Sanctions: A Study of UNICEF's Perspective.". New York: UNICEF, 2002. http://www.unicef.org/emerg/Sanctions.htm
. The effects of economic sanctions.
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). "Iraq Surveys Show 'Humanitarian Emergency'." UNICEF, 1999. http://www.unicef.org/newsline/99pr29.htm
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). "Results of the 1999 Iraq Child and Maternal Mortality Surveys." UNICEF, 1999. http://www.unicef.org/reseval/iraqr.html
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). "Child Mortality: Iraq. Country Tables." UNICEF, 2001. http://www.unicef.org/statis/country.htm