A Statement By Former President Carter: An Alternative To War
By Jimmy Carter
31 Jan 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Deanna Congileo
Atlanta…..Despite marshalling powerful armed forces in the
Persian Gulf region and a virtual declaration of war in the
State of the Union message, our government has not made a case
for a preemptive military strike against Iraq, either at home or
Recent vituperative attacks on U.S. policy by famous and
respected men like Nelson Mandela and John Le Carré, although
excessive, are echoed in a Web site poll conducted by the
European edition of TIME magazine. The question was "Which
country poses the greatest danger to world peace in 2003?" With
several hundred thousand votes cast, the responses were: North
Korea, 7 percent; Iraq, 8 percent; the United States, 84
percent. This is a gross distortion of our nation's character,
and America is not inclined to let foreign voices answer the
preeminent question that President Bush is presenting to the
world, but it is sobering to realize how much doubt and
consternation has been raised about our motives for war in the
absence of convincing proof of a genuine threat from Iraq.
The world will be awaiting Wednesday's presentation of specific
evidence by Secretary of State Colin Powell concerning Iraq's
possession of weapons of mass destruction. As an acknowledged
voice of moderation, his message will carry enormous weight in
shaping public opinion. But even if his effort is successful and
lies and trickery by Saddam Hussein are exposed, this will not
indicate any real or proximate threat by Iraq to the United
States or to our allies.
With overwhelming military strength now deployed against him and
with intense monitoring from space surveillance and the U.N.
inspection team on the ground, any belligerent move by Saddam
against a neighbor would be suicidal. An effort to produce or
deploy chemical or biological weapons or to make the slightest
move toward a nuclear explosive would be inconceivable. If Iraq
does possess such concealed weapons, as is quite likely, Saddam
would use them only in the most extreme circumstances, in the
face of an invasion of Iraq, when all hope of avoiding the
destruction of his regime is lost.
In Washington, there is no longer any mention of Osama bin
Laden, and the concentration of public statements on his
international terrorist network is mostly limited to
still-unproven allegations about its connection with Iraq. The
worldwide commitment and top priority of fighting terrorism that
was generated after September 11th has been attenuated as Iraq
has become the preeminent obsession of political leaders and the
In addition to the need to re-invigorate the global team effort
against international terrorism, there are other major problems
being held in abeyance as our nation's foreign policy is
concentrated on proving its case for a planned attack on Iraq.
We have just postponed again the promulgation of the
long-awaited "road map" that the U.S. and other international
leaders have drafted for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. This is a festering cancer and the root cause of much
of the anti-American sentiment that has evolved throughout the
world. At the same time, satellite observations of North Korea
have indicated that nuclear fuel rods, frozen under
international surveillance since 1994, are now being moved from
the Yongbyon site to an undisclosed destination, possibly for
reprocessing into explosives. It is imperative that this threat
to Asian stability be met with aggressive diplomacy.
Since it is obvious that Saddam Hussein has the capability and
desire to build an arsenal of prohibited weapons and probably
has some of them hidden within his country, what can be done to
prevent the development of a real Iraqi threat? The most obvious
answer is a sustained and enlarged inspection team, deployed as
a permanent entity until the United States and other members of
the U.N. Security Council determine that its presence is no
longer needed. For almost eight years following the Gulf War
until it was withdrawn four years ago, UNSCOM proved to be very
effective in locating and destroying Iraq's formidable arsenal,
including more than 900 missiles and biological and chemical
weapons left over from their previous war with Iran.
Even if Iraq should come into full compliance now, such
follow-up monitoring will be necessary. The cost of an on-site
inspection team would be minuscule compared to war, Saddam would
have no choice except to comply, the results would be certain,
military and civilian casualties would be avoided, there would
be almost unanimous worldwide support, and the United States
could regain its leadership in combating the real threat of
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is chair of The Carter Center
in Atlanta, Ga., a not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization
that advances peace and health worldwide.
Commentary on the Former US Jimmy Carter's "Alternative-To-War Statement"
By Hilmi Salem, Ph.D.
Former US President and Noble-Prize laureate Jimmy Carter
failed to mention, for the sake of truth and credibility,
that the real threat against global peace and stability,
and the MOTHER of all sources of international terrorism
ARE the arrogant, unjust, and unbalanced policies of the
United States of America in the Middle East and its 55-year
blind, unconditional, unlimited, and full support of the
racist, terrorist State of Israel, at the expense of the
blood and suffering of the helpless people of Palestine.
Mr. Carter should say that the United States of America
could NOT regain its leadership in combating the
real threat of international terrorism, unless the US
changes its BLIND PRO-Israel policies.
Mr. Carter talks about what is called the "Road Map"
to solve the 55-year catastrophe inflicted by the
Western countries and the Zionist Movement on the
Palestinian people. The Palestinian people are
sick and tired from the many FOOLING and DECEIVING
proposals that have been invented by America over
the last 55 years to solve the Palestinian problem
and to end the suffering of the Palestinian people.
Meanwhile, Israel has been expanding its illegal
settelments on stolen Palestinian lands, and has
been deepening the suffering of the Palestinian
people, using the American Tax-Payers money and
the full backing of the American administrations.
Mr. Carter, as a real man of peace, failed again
to mention that Israel must respect all the United
Nations resolutions and to withdraw totally from
the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied
by Israel in 1967.
America did not offer Iraq "a Road Map" to withdraw
from Kuwait when Iraq Invaded Kuwait and stayed there
for ONLY six months (and NOT for 35 years as in the
case of the Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian and
other Arab territories.)
The real "Road Map" offered then to the Iraqi people was
tens of thousands of highly sophisticated bombs, missiles,
and othe weapons used against the Iraqi people, follwed
by a 12-year horrible sanctions, which are the real
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, as they have resulted in the
death of about 2 million Irqis, many of whom are children
Mr. Carter talks about the weapons of mass destruction (WMD)
possessed by Iraq and North Korea, but he failed to mention anything
about the huge amounts of WMD possessed by Israel and the USA itself.
The real and truthful message of peace in the Middle East
and everywhere, which should be delivered by a man of peace like Mr.
Jimmy Carter and every peace activist, is to treat all parties
equally and in the same manner, with reference to the International Law.
THAT IS THE REAL MESSAGE OF PEACE. Until then NO peace will be achieved.
Below the Statement of Mr. Jimmy Carter.
Hilmi Salem, Ph.D