Dear Renaissance-network, Dec. 9 Bill Ellis' reminder (below) of political realities in Iraq is an important one. As I learn more about the situation in Iraq, I feel what is needed is not simply to remove sanctions against Iraq, but to impose what sanctions are imposed in a more intelligent and humane way. (At the end of this posting I will clip in some excerpts from a recent _Guardian Weekly_ article to this effect.) all the best, Jan *************************************************************************** Date: Sat, 5 Dec 1998 04:32:37 -0700 To: •••@••.••• From: Bill Ellis <•••@••.•••> Subject: Re: RN: voices of sanity At 1:01 PM -0400 11/21/98, Jan Slakov wrote: >Dear RN list, Nov. 21 > > The effects of the sanctions are so drastic, >that the threat of the military strike seems almost diminished. One Iraqi >friend told me that parents are now committing suicide in Iraq; they are so >devastated by having to watch their children die. > BE: I too have some Iraqi contacts. The story I get is of a very wealthy elite living in luxury. Sadam has built 30 or so luxurous castles since the Gulf war. Neither lack of money or lack of imports has limited him. He, his family and inner circle live with all the cruelty of the Inquisition. and all the splendor of the kings of France. If the government wanted to aleviate the suffering of the people they could. If they don't reducing the sanctions won't help. I don't in any way want to see children die. Nor do I want to see American (or more certainly Isreali) children die of Anthrax. I do want to point out that it is not a simple probelm. Before we take this on as our next issue, let's get all the facts. *********************** Bill Ellis TRANET PO BOX 137 Rangeley ME 04970-0137 USA (207)864-3784 URL: http://www.nonviolence.org/tranet/ ********************************************************************* Date: Tue, 8 Dec 1998 16:46:26 -0800 (PST) From: Kathy Kelly <•••@••.•••> Subject: Civil Penalty Proposed against Voices in the Wilderness Dear Friends- Yesterday afternoon Voices in the Wilderness received a Prepenalty Notice from the Department of the Treasury in Washington DC. The notice included Proposed Penalties directed at Voices and four individual delegates: Bert Sacks, Randall Mullins, Dan Handelman, and Joe Zito. We are charged with violating the embargo on Iraq through "exportation of donated goods, including medical supplies and toys, to Iraq." The proposed penalty for Voices is $120,000. The proposed penalty for the individual delegates ranges from $10,000-$12,000. Following is the notice. We are asking that you pass this on to as many people as possible. This is a great opportunity to draw attention to the ongoing crisis in Iraq. The US government tells us that we have engaged in "prohibited" transactions, but in the eyes of humanity, who is the real criminal? Five to six thousands children die each month in Iraq due to the sanctions, according to the most recent UN report. We will be meeting in the next few days to plan and strategize the ways in which we respond to and challenge this letter. Spreading information through word of mouth (or e-mail!) is one of the most powerful tools we have in resisting injustice. We would like to ask you to seize this opportunity to bring light to the humanitarian disaster in Iraq. We welcome any suggestions or feedbacks from you. As always, we deeply appreciate your continued support. Thank you very much. Sincerely, Jeff Guntzel for Voices in the Wilderness Prepenalty Notice December 3, 1998 Dear Ms. Kelly and Messrs. Handelman, Mullins, Sacks, and Zito: The Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) has reasonable cause to believe that you and Voices in the Wilderness (“VW”) have engaged in certain prohibited transactions, detailed below, relating to the embargo against Iraq in 1997. Inasmuch as no license or approval had been issued by OFAC prior to such transactions, they violated the Iraqi Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR Part 575 (the “Regulations”), and underlying statutes and Executive orders. See, specifically, §§ 575.204-.207 and 575.211 of the Regulations. Violations: The violations of the regulations and underlying statutes and Executive Orders for which this Notice is issued concern your and VW’s exportation of donated goods, including medical supplies and toys, to Iraq absent specific prior authorization by OFAC and transactions relating to travel to Iraq and activities in Iraq. Additionally, the violations involve transactions for the purpose of , or which have the effect of, evading or avoiding, or which facilitate the evasion or avoidance of any of the prohibitions of the Regulations, as well as a conspiracy formed for the purpose of engaging in transactions prohibited by the Regulations. In this regard, VW has organized members to deliver goods to Iraq in violation of the embargo and made express statements of the organization’s knowledge of its violative actions. As to Messrs. Handelman and Mullins, the violations also concern the importation of goods and services of Iraqi origin. Specifically, the violations are as follows: 1. In March 1996, VW exported goods, including medical supplies, valued at approximately $18,000, to Iraq absent prior specific license or other authorization issued by OFAC; 2. In August 1996, VW exported goods, including medical supplies, valued at approximately $8,000, to Iraq absent prior specific license or other authorization issued by OFAC; 3. In November 1996, VW exported goods, including medical supplies, valued at approximately $10,000, to Iraq absent prior license or other authorization issued by OFAC; 4. In November 1997, VW exported goods, including medical supplies and toys, valued at approximately $30,000-40,000, to Iraq absent prior license or other authorization issued by OFAC; 5. On or about November 21, 1997, Mr. Handelman exported film and videotape to Iraq, through Jordan; 6. Between on or about November 21-30, 1997, Messrs. Handelman, Mullins, Sacks, and Zito, engaged in currency travel-related transactions to/from/within Iraq absent prior license or other authorization from OFAC. These currency transactions included, but are not limited to, the purchase of food, lodging, ground transportation, and incidentals; 7. On December 3, 1997, Mr. Handelman imported goods and/or services, into the United States at Detroit, Michigan. Upon entry of the goods, the Untied States Customs Service (“USCS”) seized them (District Case Nos. 98-3801-000235). The goods included an Iraqi water bottle label, an Iraqi stamp, photographic film, video and audio tapes and/or cassettes, postcards, and assorted papers; 8. On December 3, 1997, Mr. Mullins imported goods and/or services, into the United States at Detroit, Michigan. Upon entry of the goods, the USCS seized them (District case No. 98-3801-00238). The goods included a necklace, a wooden drum, audio tapes, a computer disc, notebooks, pictures, and miscellaneous papers and cards; 9. In July 1998, VW exported goods to Iraq absent prior specific license or other authorization issued by OFAC; and 10. In September 1998, VW exported goods, including medical supplies, to Iraq absent prior specific license or other authorization issued by OFAC. Proposed Penalty: Section 206 of IEEPA, 50 U.S.C. § 1705, provides, in part, for a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 per violation. section 586E of the Iraq Sanctions Act of 1990, PL.101-513, 104 Stat. 2049, provides, in part, for a civil penalty not to exceed $250,000 for each violation occurring after Nov. 5 1990**. See, Regulations § 575.701. Pursuant to § 575.702 of the Regulations, you are hereby notified that OFAC intends to issue a claim against each of you and VW for a monetary penalty in the amounts set forth below: <snip> ***************************************************************** P.S. I thought some of you might be interested in this snip-it from a message I wrote to a friend about how we see the situation in Iraq: My friend points out that sanctions against Cuba have not had nearly the disasterous consequences that the sanctions against Iraq have had and that this is surely due mainly to more enlightened leadership/more democracy in Cuba. He also sais that he felt comparing what we are doing to Iraq with what was done to people in WW II concentration camps was off-base. I thought about this.... Actually, the _Guardian Weekly_ for the week ending Nov. 22 has an interesting article on Iraq. a couple quotes: "One of Iraq's most remarkable achievemnts in the 1980s was to build up a comprehensive biological warfare program in just 5 yrs., so much so that at the time of the 1991 war it had missiles and bombs, armed with anthrax and botulinum, ready to use if the regime were threatened with destruction." Well, obviously, the Jews' Gypsies, homosexuals, communists, etc had nothing like this... (Not that it would be fair to say that the main vicitms of the sanctions "have" weapons. They are essentially pawns in a sickening power struggle, which is, I believe, largely the fault of Western actions in the region.) On the other hand: "The whole sanctions programme has to be reviewed, with a revised system developed that relieves the pressure on the great majority of the Iraqi people, not least through a greatly increased but externally managed food-for-oil scheme. Sanctions should be concentrated on the regime itself and its supporting elite, focusing, for example, on its finances, specialized imports, transport & travel, and probably including a total no-fly zone to hinder its internal operations. This will require much regional support which will in turn only be possible if the Middle East peace process gets fully back on track." The current sanctions ban all kinds of things, including everyday things that could not concievably have a military usage. So, I agree, comparing Iraq to Jews in a concentration camp is not quite apt. But I do still think that what we are ingaged in over Iraq is evil.