Iraq action needed NOW


Jan Slakov

Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 10:04:16 -0800 (PST)
From: Kathy Kelly <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Operation Radio Con  i.e. Please call your radio stations...

Dear Friends,

Deep, heart-felt thanks to all of you for sending us good wishes -- whether
in writing or in your thoughts -- for Kathy and others who are traveling (so
far, Bert Sacks, Ken Hannaford-Ricardi, and Anne Montgomery).  

The preparation is going smoothly -- we even have plane tickets!  And we,
those remaining behind at the office, will keep you posted.  

In the mean time -- to keep this short and to the point -- we would like to
ask you to contact radio stations in your area and find out whether they
would be interested in getting a phone call from Baghdad and broadcasting a
first-hand report of what is going on.  

>From our experience in the past, calling in to radio stations is an
effective way of reaching the public.  We have a fairly good list, but it is
far from being comprehensive.  

We know we can reach many people, as we have in the past, this way.  Real
stories from Baghdad help dismantle many myths that the media and our
government would have us believe in: Saddam Hussein is the only person
living in Iraq; it's in Iraqis' hands to overthrow their own government
(while scrounging for food and drinkable water); it's merely a hardship the
Iraqis are experiencing; Iraq is the only country with a capacity for mass
destruction,and therefore, needs to be feared; the lives of hundreds of
thousand children are a price worth paying for...well, I haven't figured
that one out yet.

Please call us at the number below and let us know if any radio stations
would be interested in hearing from Kathy and company.  (Please don't let us
stop you from contacting other forms of media, such as TV, if you can.  We'd
greatly appreciate any help you can give us.)  

The information we need is:  
        names of people to ask for
        a phone number with a real person behind it 
        when is the best time to call? (FYI - There is an eight-hour time
difference between Baghdad and the East Coast, that is, if it's 12pm in NY,
it's 8pm in Baghdad; 10pm Seattle, then 9am in Baghdad.  The delegation
anticipates being able to call between 8am and 10pm Baghdad time. 
In short,       East Coast --   12am (midnight) until 2pm
                Central --      11pm            until 1pm 
                West Coast --   9pm             until 11am
Apologies for these excruciating details, it's mostly for me to get it straight.

Many thanks as always.  We couldn't do this without you.

Praying for peace,

Soyun Kim
for Voices in the Wilderness

Voices in the Wilderness
        A Campaign to End the US/UN Economic Sanctions Against the People of Iraq
1460 West Carmen Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
ph:773-784-8065; fax: 773-784-8837
email: •••@••.•••

Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 10:20:00
From: Bill Koehnlein <•••@••.•••>
Subject: draft statement on Iraq

>From: •••@••.•••
>Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 01:06:49 EST
To: •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••,
        •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••,
        •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••,
        •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••,
        •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••,
        •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••,
        •••@••.•••, ethan <•••@••.•••>
Subject: draft statement on Iraq

  This is a DRAFT statement which I prepared earlier this year for the War
Resisters League. I don't believe it was adopted in this form by WRL but I
send it on as a basis for discussion because - unhappily, very unhappily -
not much has changed and this analysis remains pretty much on target, in my

 In terms of what can be done NOW, while I certainly support all calls for
"day after" actions, it is urgent that in this brief span of time before the
die is cast (if that time still remains), we call or write our members of
Congress, to express our absolute opposition to Clinton's course. He should
not be impeached for his sexual life, but his political life, from the
erratic and illegal bombing of Sudan and Afghanistan to the impending
illegal and unilaterial military action against Iraq is very much the basis for
charges of impeachment.
 David McReynolds, staff, War Resisters League, NYC
  David McReynolds
  War Resisters League Statement on Iraq                
  It is necessary, as we examine the present crisis, to concede that the
government of Iraq is an unlovely one, an oppressive military dictatorship.
As such, it joins a number of other unlovely regimes, such as those in
Indonesia, Burma, Syria, Iran, some of which have strong U.S. support (the
United States is currently supplying military aid to Indonesia, in spite of a
record of oppression of its own people as well as those in East Timor).
  And we remind ourselves, even as the drums of war are heard on the nightly
news, that democratic governments can do terrible things, to match anything
Saddam has done.  We look at our own recent history in Indochina, in Central
America, in Panama. We remember that we, alone, have used nuclear weapons -
the ultimate weapon of mass terror.
  Let us, therefore, begin by not allowing the nightly news, nor the daily
headlines, to make up our minds for us. The current crisis is a manufactured
one, and the United States is functioning once more as a bully because it is
the only true "super power" in the world. When Iraq attacked Iran, and a war
dragged on from 1980 to 1988 during which time a million young men from both
nations were killed, the United States said and did absolutely nothing. Since
both Iraq and Iran were considered hostile to U.S. interests, the terrible
slaughter (with weapons eagerly supplied to the two sides by outside dealers,
including the U.S.) was not covered on the evening news, nor was it an
occasion for urgent meetings of the Security Council.
  Today Iraq has attacked no one. It lost the Gulf War, it was driven from
Kuwait (which was not a democracy when Iraq invaded it, and has not become a
democracy since its "liberation"), it suffered massive destruction from U.S.
air strikes which crippled much of its infrastructure. The United Nations
Food and Agriculture Organization estimates (December, 1995) that the UN-imposed
blockade has killed more than 567,000 under the age of five, due to lack of
food or medical supplies. More than 4,500 children under the age of five are
dying each month from hunger and disease (United Nations Children's Fund,
October 19, 1996). 
  We can deplore the failure of Saddam to accept the terms the UN has laid
down - which amount to unconditional surrender. But Saddam is hardly
exceptional in defying UN Resolutions. You would never guess it from Peter
Jennings or Tom Brokaw or Dan Rather, but for the sixth year in a row the
United Nations General Assembly has voted by overwhelming margins against
the U.S. embargo on Cuba. This year Japan, Canada, and the entire European
Union voted against the U.S. - only two countries - Israel and Uzbekistan -
voted to support the U.S. We must ask by what right the United States defies the
United Nations (failing even to pay its dues), and yet feels free to
threaten war against Iraq. And, in the Middle East, Israel has repeatedly
shown utter
contempt for UN resolutions and even, as in the case of the Oslo Accords,
with treaties it signed.
 President Clinton has rarely been less candid or convincing than when he
talks about the danger of Iraqi chemical and biological warfare. Yes, such
weapons are profoundly dangerous. Unhappily it has to be assumed that not
only does the U.S. possess such weapons but that in the Middle East Iran, Syria,
and Israel can all be assumed to have them or be working on their
development. Certainly Israel has a number of nuclear weapons and has
threatened to use them. The United States Congress has not yet voted full
U.S. compliance with the international treaties banning chemical weapons.
The U.S., while
demanding that UN teams (heavily staffed with U.S. inspectors) be permitted
on-site inspection anywhere in Iraq, has refused to accept the same
verification measures for itself.
 We deplore all weapons of mass destruction and terror - and note that
most of these weapons are held by the United States. We deplore all war. We
deploredand spoke out against the Iraqi attack on Iran when the U.S. was
silent. We deplored Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people while the
U.S. was
silent - and even provided massive funding to Israel.  Most of all we have
spoken out against the double standards so swiftly resorted to by the U.S.
President, Secretary of State, and Congressional leaders.
 The Gulf War has been over for six years. It is time to end the sanctions
against Iraq, which have achieved nothing except terrible suffering within
Iraq. We deeply oppose the U.S. policy of choosing "an enemy of the month" to
help fuel support for military spending.
  The government of Iraq has committed a number of "sins" but they are hardly
unique.  The government of Syria is at least as undemocratic and ruthless as
Iraq, but the U.S. is eager to bring Syria into peace negotiations. The
government of Israel is, on a daily basis, engaged in the oppression of the
Palestinian people, destroying their homes and subjecting them to military
occupation. The government of Indonesia has engaged in unspeakable oppression
in East Timor - but it long had a warm and friendly relationship with Bill
  It should now be clear that despite the enormous military power of the
U.S., its position on Iraq does not even command full support of its European
allies, which are desperately searching for alternatives to war. And it
should be clear that the government of the United States continues to play a
shell game with the American people, focusing on the "wrong-doing" of some
governments as if they were unique, while ignoring similar "wrong-doing" by
governments we are doing business with.
 While we directly urge the government of Iraq to take steps to assure the
world that it will not produce nuclear weapons or chemical and biological
weapons, we also directly urge that every government take similar steps and,
most important, that those nations possessing the ultimate weapon of mass
terror - the nuclear bomb - move toward a world with zero nuclear weapons.
  At this point, and judged on the record, the good faith of Bill Clinton and
the U.S. government is no better than that of Saddam Hussein.  To say that is
not to speak in support of Saddam Hussein, but to suggest how much Americans
need to focus on fundamentally changing our own government. Not only is the
United States not authorized to be the "cop of the world", it is not qualified
to play that role. International conflicts must be resolved within the
framework of the United Nations, free of the constant threats by the U.S.
government to engage in unilateral military action.
  Finally, we must point out that behind the dramas of confrontation between
Sadaam and Clinton are the ordinary working people of Iraq, who cannot vote
freely, yet are the targets of the U.S. sanctions and of Clinton's threats.
There is, in the U.S. approach to Iraq, and to much of the Middle East, a
profound arrogance which overlooks the fact that much of civilization may
well have had its origins here in the fertile crescent. The people who live
there merit a greater measure of human respect than its seems possible for a
heavily armed state such as our own to give. There is about U.S. policy, both in
dealing with Iraq, and also in dealing with Libya, a sense that no national
leader who defies a U.S. President should be able to "get away with it".
Clinton has continued this unhappy tradition of "personalizing foreign
policy", which made it so very hard to bring the Indochina War to an end. The
old saying is that "pride goes before a fall" and in this case, the pride to
worry about is not in Baghdad but in Washington D.C.