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DECEMBER 16, 1998   4:28 PM
CONTACT: American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Hussein Ibish (202) -244-2990
Arab Americans Oppose Any Planned Attack On Iraq
WASHINGTON - December 16 - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is calling upon the United States government not to engage in any military attack against Iraq.
There is no justification for such an attack, which would be totally out of proportion to Iraq's alleged resistance to two recent intrusive inspections. Moreover the United States has no authority under international law or existing UN Security Council resolutions for such an attack.
Even more tellingly, in this case the Clinton administration has allowed for no public debate on the proposed air strikes and appears to be preparing to act before the American people have a chance to form and express their own views on the air strikes. This is almost certainly because in past "crises" with Iraq, the public has opposed such attacks in large numbers.
Official estimates last month suggested that at least 10,000 Iraqis would be massacred in such an onslaught. It is appalling that after 8 years of sanctions, which various UN agencies agree have been responsible for the deaths of at least 1 million Iraqi civilians, many of them children, and repeated military attacks, that the United States government would seek to cause further death, pain and suffering to the people of Iraq.
All these measures, while devastating to the Iraqi people and society, have done nothing to weaken the Iraqi regime, which remains firmly in power. There is no reason to believe that further bombings or sanctions will do anything to bring about a change of government in Iraq. Similarly, no officials or observers would seriously argue that bombing Iraq will further the weapons inspection regime, destroy any hidden banned weapons, or produce concealed documents.
In fact, it is entirely unclear what the precise purpose of such an attack would be. What is clear is that any such attack will result in thousands of Iraqi fatalities. It will do incalculable damage to the fabric of Iraqi society and the already desperate daily lives of the innocent Iraqi people. It will also certainly harm the reputation and long-term interests of the United States in the region. We urge the Administration to refrain from such drastic violence without international consultation and public debate.




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