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Greens Challenge Powell's Speech at the U.N.


For immediate release:
Monday, February 10, 2003

Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576, 
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, 
Mark Dunlea, Chair of the Green Party of New York State, 518-286-3411, 


  • Powell offered no evidence that proves the need for invasion, say Greens; Powell speech shows that the U.S. illegally concealed information from the U.N. inspectors; British intelligence cited by Powell is now discredited.

  • Green antiwar events in New York planned for February 14 will urge the U.N. to oppose Bush's war; Greens to join antiwar rallies across the US on February 15

WASHINGTON, DC -- "Nothing in Powell's speech proved that the U.S. needs to launch an invasion of Iraq," said John Halle, Green member of the New Haven, Connecticut Board of Aldermen. "It's not news that Saddam is a lying dictator. What Powell presented was evidence that Iraq must be watched and contained by the U.S. in cooperation with other nations under the U.N. umbrella, with sustained U.N. inspections." 

Greens say that Secretary of State Colin Powell presented no proof to the U.N. that Iraq was an imminent threat to the U.S. or any other nation, or that Iraq even has the means to deliver any weapons of mass destruction that Powell insists he possesses.

"Saddam already knows any attack he makes will draw massive retaliation on Iraq," added Santa Monica, California Mayor pro tem Kevin McKeown, a member of the national committee of the Green Party of the United States. "He has no motivation to use his weapons unless he is invaded, leaving him nothing to lose. U.S. military intervention for a regime change not only exposes our soldiers to desperate Iraqi retaliations, it threatens increased anti-American terrorism worldwide and unneeded burdens on a domestic economy already struggling with challenges in education and social justice."

McKeown has placed an item against the war on the Santa Monica City Council agenda, and will carry the Green position against the war to a 'Peace at the Beach' rally on Saturday, February 15, one of many antiwar events planned by United for Peace and Justice and other groups for the Los Angeles area, New York, and other cities that day. The Green Party of New York State and the national party have planned the following events for February 14 in New York :

Green Party press conference: Friday, February 14, noon to 1 p.m. in the Presbyterian Conference Room on the 7th floor at 777 UN Plaza, SW corner at East 44th Street and First Avenue.  Speakers, other details to be announced.

Green Speakout Against the War in Iraq: Friday, February 14, 7 to 10 p.m. at St. Mary's Church in Harlem, 514 West 126 Street (at Amsterdam Avenue).  At the press conference, Green Party officials will present the national and global Green positions against the war and will call for the U.N. to oppose Bush's preemptive invasion. Party members cite troubling questions raised by Powell's speech before the U.N. on February 5:

  • The evidence presented by Powell of Saddam's alleged development of weapons was withheld from the U.N. inspectors when it was first uncovered a few months ago. U.N. Resolution 1441 required that this intelligence should have been shared and supplied to the inspectors so they could carry out their mission.  "The U.S., in violation of the resolution, may have held this information under wraps for later use in order to discredit the inspections and justify an invasion," said Beth Moore Haines, Media Coordinator for the Green Party of California.

  • Some of Powell's credibility has been undermined by revelations that the British intelligence dossier he praised and cited was based on information that has long been publicly available, with intelligence as much as 12 years old. 11 pages of the 19-page dossier reproduce material plagiarized from an article by Ibrahim al-Marashi, an American grad student, and published in September, 2002 in the Middle East Review of International Affairs, and articles by Sean Boyne and Ken Gause that appeared in Jane's Intelligence Review in 1997 and in November, 2002. Some of the original language has allegedly been altered to suggest that Iraq has been assisting terrorist groups.

  • 'The plagiarism scandal suggests that, like the British dossier, the Powell speech was a cut-and-paste propaganda job," said Jim Maceda, Treasurer for the Green Party of New York State.  "It's possible that the growing embarrassment to the Blair government might lead Bush to launch the invasion earlier, in order to knock criticism of Powell's presentation out of the news."

  • Powell noted that Ansar al-Islam, the armed Islamists linked with al-Qaeda, hold territory in Iraq. But Ansar al-Islam is located in a U.S.-protected, autonomous Kurdish zone in northern Iraq, outside of Saddam's authority.  "If Abu Musab Zarqawi's camps in Iraq are connected to al-Qaeda, why didn't the U.S. already attack them as part of the War on Terrorism after September 11, 2001?," asked Carl Romanelli of the Green Party of Pennsylvania.  "It's as if the U.S. preserved Ansar al-Islam for later use for leverage over Iraq and an excuse for an invasion." 

Powell offered no proof that Baghdad has had any control over or involvement with Zarqawi's network, or over any transfer of funds or weapons to Ansar al-Islam," added Texas Green Robbie Franklin and former Treasurer of the nationa party. 

"Ansar al-Islam's stated mission is to overthrow Saddam's secular government and replace it with a Muslim theocracy, not to make friends with Saddam. Powell also neglected to mention that some U.S. allies, such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, have also harbored al-Qaeda leaders.  This so-called evidence, along with reports from anonymous and unverifiable sources and some vague aerial photographs and recorded conversations that can be subject to various interpretations, amounts to a possible 'Gulf of Tonkin' excuse for an invasion."

(In the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the Johnson Administration fabricated a report of an attack on U.S. vessels in order to expand the Vietnam War in 1964.)

Other Green news:

  • Led by newly elected Green member David Segal, the City Council of Providence, Rhode Island joined the list of cities, now numbering 69, that have passed resolutions against the war on Iraq.

  • Greens are urging President Bush and Congress to repudiate Rep. Howard Coble, chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, for his remarks justifying internment of Americans based on their ethnicity, specifically the confinement of Japanese Americans during World War II. "Coble's comments are especially troubling at a time of increased ethnic profiling, such as the F.B.I.'s plan to count mosques," said Brandon Campos Lacy, chair of the Lavender Caucus of the Green Party of the United States.


The Green Party of the United States 
National office: 1314 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN

Green Party of New York State 

Green Party antiwar mobilization page 

United for Peace & Justice

U.S. city councils that have passed resolutions
against the war on Iraq

search: irq, fpol, pce, trr


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