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The following is the text of the petition available for
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To the Hon. [name of senator], U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510:
We citizens of the United States ask you to reject President George W. Bush's unlawful plan to invade Iraq in order to overthrow its government.
To attack any nation without a congressional declaration of war against that nation violates the Constitution, which gives Congress alone the authority to initiate a war. And an invasion of Iraq is not authorized by the resolution of September 14, 2001, approving "necessary and appropriate force" against those found responsible for the September 11 terrorism. Iraq had nothing to do with it, as U.S. allies all agree.
But even with a declaration of war, a war of aggression contradicts treaties of the United States, which under the Constitution are federal laws. Other presidents since FDR, including George H. W. Bush, condemned international aggression. The Nuremberg war crimes tribunal called it "the supreme international crime." It is outlawed by:
- The Kellogg-Briand Pact, renouncing war as an instrument of national policy. Nazi and Japanese leaders were hanged for violating it by waging aggressive wars, thus committing "crimes against peace," among their crimes.
- The United Nations Charter. It forbids "the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state" and requires members to "settle their international disputes by peaceful means."
Moreover, The Hague Convention on laws of war prohibits "the attack or bombardment ... of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended...." Such attacks under Presidents Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II have killed thousands of civilians. We expect more news like this: "Hundreds of women and children were killed or wounded when American bombers blasted a packed air raid shelter in Baghdad" (The Times, London, 2-14-91).
Just because George W. Bush declares the ruler of Iraq to be "evil" and suspects that he has "weapons of mass destruction," it does not legitimize the use of our weapons for the mass destruction of that country and its people.
If our government stops at nothing to overthrow a foreign leader it dislikes-committing overt and covert aggression and assassination (a U.S. felony) -- couldn't a foreign government try to do the same here someday?
The United States must not be an outlaw nation. Bush II says we stand for "the rule of law." Let's carry it out.
War and Law League (WALL)
San Francisco, CA 94142