2003-03-19 / Front Page
Ramsey Clark speaks out against war at college
By josh davidson
MIDDLETOWN — Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark spoke out against a possible war with Iraq during his visit to Brookdale Community College last week.
Clark came to the Lincroft college campus March 11 to share his views on the war.
"We have to stand up and tell the president [George W. Bush] of these United States that we do not want a war," Clark said.
The U.S. government should act in accordance with its people’s morals and values, he said.
"A war of aggression is the end of peace and the beginning of war, and you do it without any claim that an imminent threat has been present," he said.
Clark said there is a Web site, www.votetoimpeach.org, dedicated to collecting signatures of U.S. citizens who want President George W. Bush impeached, and that approximately 150,000 have signed to impeach, he said.
"It will tell the president that there is accountability, you can’t act without impunity, and we will take back the Constitution before it’s too late," he said.
Vice President Dick Cheney, Attorney General John Ashcroft and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, should also be impeached, Clark said.
"You’d look at the laws of the United States and see who’s next in succession," he said.
During Bush’s five-plus years as governor of Texas, more criminals were executed under the state’s death penalty than in any other state since World War II, Clark said.
"What it tells me in part is if a man can execute that easily, he won’t be that inhibited about annihilating Iraq," he said.
The war is being pushed on other countries so the United States could control Iraq’s oil costs and supply and put them at our competitive mercy, he said.
"Probably more than anything else, it’s the desire to dominate and exploit," he said.
A country with this need is dangerous to itself and other nations, he said.
"To say oil has nothing to do with it is absurd," he said.
Due to Iraq’s problems, considering Saddam Hussein a threat is also illogical, he said.
There is no evidence that Iraq had any involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as the U.S. government claims, Clark said.
"Even the way they make the association is so glib and slender that there is nothing to it," he said.
The Bush administration is also exploiting American fear of the Islamic religion since the 9/11 attacks by Muslims to prompt a war against Iraq, he said.
"[Muslims] are devoutly religious people," he said. "We’re afraid of it, because it’s strong," he said. "[We want to] break up Islam, [force it into factions] and turn it against itself."
"We have to live with them. If we don’t live with them, what are we going to do?" Clark said.
War with Iraq has been met with worldwide opposition, he said.
Despite repeated requests by the U.S. government to set up military forces in Turkey in preparation for war with Iraq, Turkey has refused.
"We’re coercing, in every conceivable way, other countries to act against their own interests," he said.
Clark has seen firsthand the devastation of war, he said. After America’s war with Iraq in 1991, he spent two weeks traveling through the war-torn country assessing damage, he said.
The bombing of Iraqi water facilities in 1991 left no running water in that country, he said.
The Red Cross, at the time, projected about 6,000 infants in Iraq died from lack of water, he said.
"The country was defenseless; the country is defenseless now," he said. "We know it."
Bush is saying we have the right to attack Iraq, Clark said.
United Nations’ support of a war with Iraq would ruin the credibility of the United Nations, he said.
"For them [the United Nations] to authorize a crime against peace would end any chance they have for maintaining power," he said.
Other countries disagree with a potential war with Iraq, he said.
"We are a nation of immigrants, and these are countries from which we came, and they wonder about us," he said.
"We were told in a comic strip, ‘We have met the enemy and the enemy is us,’ " he said.
The U.S. government has used shock tactics to show Iraq what will happen to it in the event of a bombing by American forces, he said.
"You manufacture terrorism when you terrorize, because you give people no real choice," he said.
The U.S. government plays a major role in the general information the media relays to the public, he said.
"It’s a great, great problem," he said.
Government control of the American media began during the Vietnam War, he said.
The U.S. government spoon-fed stories to reporters during the Vietnam War, he said.
"What we learned in Vietnam is, you have to keep the cameras out," he said.
The White House and Pentagon continue to control important war information, he said.
Military readiness by the United States is constant, he said.
"We spend more on arms than anyone in the world ever has," he said.
In the 1960s, Clark served as attorney general under President Lyndon B. Johnson. During his career, Clark became a defender of civil rights.
He fought against segregation, wiretapping and eventually the Vietnam War.
Clark ran for the U.S. Senate as a Democrat in 1974.