News Release

Iraq and Impeachment: Interviews Available

MICHAEL RATNER
An attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, Ratner is author of a forthcoming American Journal of International Law article titled “Bypassing the Security Council: Use of Force and the Iraqi Inspection Regime.” On Wednesday afternoon, Ratner said: “Clinton’s repeated attacks on Iraq and his bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in the Sudan are impeachable. They violate the Constitution, which gives Congress the power to declare war, and the War Powers Resolution. Also, the U.N. Security Council has not given any authority to bomb Iraq for allegedly violating the inspection regime. A bombing would violate our Constitution — only Congress can declare war. Clinton’s attacks on Iraq are a subversion of our Constitution, our structure of government and treaty obligations.”

FRANCIS BOYLE
Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign, Illinois, Boyle said: “The incentive is to start bombing and continue until January 6th, when the new Congress convenes and the resolution of the House Judiciary Committee dies. The new Congress would have to start impeachment proceedings all over again…. The war powers clause of the United States Constitution, Article I, Section 8, expressly requires authorization by Congress before the President can engage in acts of war, unless there is a direct attack upon the United States. Clinton has also violated the War Powers Resolution of 1973 that was enacted by Congress over President Nixon’s veto in order to prevent a repetition of the Vietnam War scenario, where Americans were misled by repeated presidential lies, misrepresentations, deceits and falsehoods at every step of the way.”

SIMONA SHARONI
Professor of Peace and Conflict Resolution at American University, Sharoni said: “Strategically, it is doubtful that bombing would get rid of Saddam Hussein or make him comply with UNSCOM. In fact, it could end UNSCOM’s role. One cannot help but be sickened by the prospect of a miliary attack on the eve of Clinton’s impeachment and in the midst of the holiday season.”

STEPHEN ZUNES
Zunes is chair of the Peace and Justice Studies Program at the University of San Francisco. “No member state of the United Nations can unilaterally enforce a Security Council resolution without expressed approval by the Security Council,” he said. “The U.S. had such authorization in 1991 regarding the expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait — but it has no such mandate now.” Zunes added: “If the U.S. could unilaterally attack Iraq for its violations of a U.N. Security Council resolution, then Russia could unilaterally bomb Israel for its many violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020.