The Relentless Drive To War


We, citizens of the United States living in France, feel the moral obligation to express our strong opposition to the U.S. government's stated intention to go to war against Irak. This war will have disastrous geopolitical and economic consequences and renew a sinister tradition of military occupation, in the pursuit of objectives that are unacceptable by the standards of international law. It will inevitably have a high cost in human lives and suffering. By further polarizing the populations of the world, it can only bring to a higher pitch the anger, resentment and hatred that are at the root of international terrorism.

What are the pretexts for this war? A high US military authority testified recently before the US Senate that "about 25 countries already have or are now pursuing programs for the construction of missiles and weapons of mass destruction". Also before the Senate, the director of the FBI stated that "in the foreseeable future the al-Qaida network will remain the most serious and urgent threat". Nor is Iraq the only country in the world with a dictatorial regime. Designating Iraq as the "main enemy" has no justification. If the Bush administration takes war to be the best solution to these problems, then how many more wars can we expect in the near future?

The relentless drive to war against Iraq is all the more unacceptable in that other countries -- Israel for example -- have ignored UN resolutions without being threatened with sanctions. Why the double standard?

What are the real motivations behind the policy that is leading to war? An official strategic document entitled "National Security Strategy" (September 2002) calls for so-called pre-emptive military interventions against states considered to be potentially hostile; 2) affirms US military supremacy, and seeks to make it impossible for other powers to challenge it; 3) claims the right to act unilaterally and 4) asserts the ambition, on the pretext of spreading democracy, of intervening in the internal affairs of other nations without the request or consent of their populations.

How far can this policy go? Some members of the Bush administration -- the so-called neo-conservatives -- have called for interventions in other countries after Iraq, such as Syria, Iran and North Korea. They are seeking to affirm via force US strategic hegemony over the entire Middle East region and throughout the world. This warlike policy threatens central values of the US, as a democratic society, governed by a constitution conceived in the spirit of the Enlightenment, open to the peoples and cultures of the rest of the world.

We believe that the disarming of Iraq, like other problems of international security, should be handled in conformity with international law and in particular the UN Charter, which was conceived in the spirit of peaceful and multilateral settlement of conflicts.

We express our congratulations to the French people for taking an active part in a broad international movement of public opinion that rejects the drive to war. We thank the French government for having worked effectively within the United Nations to defend a vision of international relations based on the respect of law. These efforts give great encouragement to Americans who share with the French the objective of blocking the road to war.