Letter to President Clinton on the Iraq crisis

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November 13, 1998
President Bill Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
As Chair of the Council of Presidents of National Arab-American Organizations, I am writing to express our deep concern about the growing likelihood that the United States will undertake military operations against Iraq. The use of force against Iraq destabilizes the region and harms U.S. national interests without achieving any worthwhile objective. Your Administration should instead pursue all possible diplomatic avenues in coordination with the international community and the United Nations in order to achieve a solution to the crisis without resort to violence.
Continuing to impose economic sanctions against Iraq, which severely penalize the civilian population of Iraq and damage Iraq’s physical infrastructure without having had a significant impact on the Iraqi government, is cruel and counterproductive. There is no incentive for Iraq to alert its politics and fully comply with U.N. resolutions as long as the sanctions are open-ended. We urge you to abolish them immediately.
Military actions against Iraq, regardless of their severity, will not guarantee Iraqi compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions and will not substantially reduce or delay Iraq’s alleged ability to develop weapons of mass destruction. On the contrary, military initiatives are more likely to undermine or destroy UNSCOM’s ability to carry out its mission. You have often stated that the United States has no conflict with the Iraqi people, yet our policies have directly victimized the people of Iraq and needlessly subjected them to prolonged inhumane conditions. I urge you to reassess U.S. policy toward Iraq.
Dr. Hala Maksoud, Chair
Write to your local newspapers. – Fax, call or email your senators and congressman.
congressional switchboard at: (202) 224-3121 call the White House at: (202) 456-1111 E-mail: president@whitehouse.gov

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