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2 . A war on Iraq right now would be illegal . The UN Charter includes specific prohibition against the use of military force to effect regime change, which is exactly what the Bush administration has in mind. It is against international law to wage aggressive war, and only the Security Council has the prerogative to authorize a military response to violations of its resolutions. Any use of force must be in response to a proven threat, when any and all peaceful means have failed.

3. The Bush administration does not want peace in the Middle East, it wants regional control . Who is a bigger threat to regional security, the U.S. or Iraq? The U.S. supplies 80 per cent of the arms to the various autocratic regimes in the Middle East. It picks and chooses which human rights-violating state is conducive to its own military and oil interests. Is it a coincidence that Iraq sits on 11 per cent of the world’s known oil reserves? (If all the SUVs in the U.S. got 3 miles per gallon better fuel efficiency, the U.S. would no longer need to import any oil from the Middle East.) Why have U.S. arms transfers to the region topped $60 billion since the Gulf War, with $3 billion a year in military aid directly to Israel? It is this cycle of violence and consumption that American weapons manufacturers and oil corporations profit from. Powell and Rumsfeld argue that Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons are a threat to regional security, but fail to mention that it was the U.S. and the UK that traded anthrax and smallpox, helicopters and jets, for Iraqi oil in the 1980s. The Bush administration has continually rejected international peace efforts such as treaties to control biological and chemical weapons, anti-torture proposals, the International World Court, and Nuclear Arms agreements. Who then, should the world fear most?

4. A war on Iraq is contrary to human dignity and the collective principles of our world . No less then 62 million civilians died in the wars of the 20 th century. Another 43 million military personal perished on top of that. For what? For more death? I should hope not. The UN is a collective achievement for all human kind where we can resolve our conflicts in peace. If the U.S. acts alone without UN approval, who will truly suffer in Iraq? Certainly not Saddam and his 80,000 loyal Republican guards, well defended in their bunkers. An attack on Iraq is an attack on an already impoverished and oppressed nation where 46 per cent of its population are under the age of 16. The UN estimates that over 500,000 children have died from preventable disease and malnutrition as a result of the economic sanctions and continued bombings led by the U.S. against Iraq during the 1990s. In an interview on 60 Minutes, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright responded "We think the price is worth it." Do you?

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