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: •••@••.••• website: http://www.nonviolence.org/vitw ******************************************************************** 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 Friends, 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 view. 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. Peace, 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 Clinton. 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.