WASHINGTON, DC – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), in response to a draft bill sent to Congress by the White House yesterday seeking legislative approval for a possible United States attack against Iraq, today once again voiced its opposition to such an attack.
ADC urged the inter-national community to instead work seriously towards the creation of a Middle East entirely free of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). ADC welcomed Iraq’s announcement that it was prepared to permit United Nations weapons inspectors back into the country. ADC has been arguing, and continues to believe, that international concerns about Iraqi special weapons programs can and must be dealt with diplomatically and not by a military attack against Iraq.
ADC reiterated that an attack on Iraq was not in the interests of either the American or the Iraqi peoples, and would severely complicate the war on terrorism. ADC is deeply concerned that such an attack would profoundly increase alienation between Arabs and American societies, and play directly into the hands of extremist groups such as Al-Qaeda. ADC believes that an attack on Iraq is unnecessary and fraught with dangers, and urges senators and members of Congress not to approve the president’s proposed authorization bill.
ADC notes that the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for Iraqi WMD disarmament also commits the international community to working purposively toward the creation of a Middle East free of all such weapons. In particular, UN Security Council Resolution 687 (April 3, 1991), which is the main resolution demanding Iraqi WMD disarmament and imposing sanctions against Iraq, commits the Council to this objective. The resolution describes the Council as “recalling the objective of the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the region of the Middle East,” and as being “conscious of the threat that all weapons of mass destruction pose to peace and security in the area and of the need to work towards the establishment in the Middle East of a zone free of such weapons.”
To date, no international effort or attention by the Council has been paid to this goal. Many countries in the Middle East maintain WMD programs, particularly Israel, which reportedly has hundreds of nuclear weapons and manufactures its own missile delivery systems. ADC strongly believes that the issue of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East can only be dealt with effectively on a regional and equitable basis which results in the elimination of all such weapons from the entire area.