RN: “surprise” strike against Iraq


Jan Slakov

Dear RN List,   Dec. 16

I have this sinking feeling: It looks as if Iraq will, once again, become
target practice for the US military.

Along with the news item about the likely attack (below) I will post the
most recent information from Voices in the Wilderness, which steadfastly
represents those of us who are sickened by this stupid, cruel bullying in
our name, (in the name of our countries, and of the UN).

all the best, Jan
PS I will post the sing on declaration separately, later.
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 18:59:07 -0800 (PST)
From: Kathy Kelly <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Action Plan - VitW

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your patience in waiting for us to respond more formally to
the US Treasury Department's prepenalty notice, issued on December 3, 1998,
informing us of their intention to impose $163,000 in penalties on our
organization and selected individual travelers.

After consulting the 57 people who have traveled on behalf of our campaign,
along with a long list of mentors and supporters, we have devised the
following action plan.  Central to our strategy is a document which will
reach you under a separate message, entitled "Declaration," which invites
you to officially notify the US Treasury Department of your support for or
involvement with our campaign.

We'll be very grateful for your assistance in circulating the Declaration
form as widely as possible.

The following timeline describes actions we want to undertake in the coming
weeks. It's an ambitious plan, and if we cannot realize all of it, we hope
you will understand.  It goes without saying that we'll be very grateful for
any help you can give us, including financial assistance (we guarantee you
we won't direct your contributions toward paying penalties!)  during these
crucial weeks.

Very sincerely yours, 

Kathy Kelly for Voices in the Wilderness


December 22, 1998    11:00 a.m.  Chicagoans gather at the Kluczynski Federal
Building (209 South Dearborn Avenue) for a press conference and holiday
gift-giving ceremony in which supporters will send their blessing with the
next delegation to Iraq.  They will also contribute toward the delegation's
relief shipment.  Bearing wreaths, candles, banners, pictures of Iraqi
children, and sacks of medicines and toys to be delivered, the assembled
group will, through song and prayer, express their hopes for a swift end to
the UN/US economic sanctions against Iraq.  Representatives of religious,
human rights, education, social service and public health communities will
be invited to join the group.  Voices in the Wilderness members who
presently risk hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties will declare
acknowledge what they did, explain why they have violated the US/UN embargo
against Iraq and declare their determination to continue.  The US Attorney
for Illinois, along with assistants and staff will be invited to join the

December 28, 1998  -  December 30, 1998     Voices in the Wilderness members
and supporters will go to Washington D.C. to visit Treasury Department
offices, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and US Attorney General Janet
Reno's office to deliver Declarations signed by numerous people expressing
their involvement in and support for the campaign to end the UN/US sanctions
against Iraq.  Those who have traveled to Iraq will offer to assist US
authorities with their investigation by showing them a sample of the medical
supplies (and sometimes toys) that they have previously brought to Iraq.
They will also show enlarged photos of Iraqi children whom they have met,
most of whom have died for lack of medicines to treat curable diseases.  

December 28 marks the Feast of the Holy Innocents.  In a separate message
we'll send reflections about this solemn feast, which marks King Herod's
slaughter of innocent children in Bethlehem.  This chilling story has a
tragic modern parallel in the economic sanctions against Iraq that claim the
lives of hundreds and thousands of children.    

December 30, 1998 marks the last working day within the 30 day period which
the US Treasury Department and Office of Foreign Assets Control have
allotted as a response time before they will decide whether or not to impose
the threatened penalties.  Voices in the Wilderness members will hold a
press conference, most likely at the Office of Foreign Assets Control, in
Washington, DC, at a time to be announced.  Along with explaining the
importance of nonviolently resisting the economic sanctions against Iraq by
publicly violating them, members of the campaign will announce that they
cannot in conscience pay any penalties.  Members of the next delegation to
Iraq, some of whom already face huge penalties,  will display their plane
tickets and declare their determination to continue bringing medicines and
toys to children and families in Iraq.

The campaign will also announce a "Walk Away From the Pentagon" journey, to
begin January 15 on the birthday of Martin Luther King and the eve of the
eighth year since the Gulf War began.  Participants will walk from the
Pentagon in Washington, DC to the United Nations in New York over a period
of several weeks.  Walkers will visit with people in Maryland, Pennsylvania,
New Jersey, and New York, campaigning for an end to the UN/US sanctions
against Iraq and calling on the United Nations to walk away from the
Pentagon: to stop allowing the US policy to pervert the UN into an
instrument of warfare that brutalizes children.

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:         Wed, 16 Dec 1998 06:51:36 -0600
Reply-To: "Boyle, Francis" <•••@••.•••>
Subject:      US prepares new Iraq strike:Dog Wagging

Clinton wags the dog once again. fab
Francis A. Boyle
Law Building
504 E. Pennsylvania Ave.
Champaign, IL 61820

US prepares new Iraq strike

BAGHDAD: (South News,Dec 16) The United Nations ordered its staff out of Baghdad
Wednesday after a UNSCOM chairman Richard Butler  criticised Iraq for
breaking its promise to cooperate fully over weapons inspections.

The decision raised the spectre of a new military confrontation
just over a month after the United States and Britain made an
eleventh hour decision not to launch air strikes. Clinton called off
the attack 15 minutes before it was to begin on November 14.

The diplomatic mission for foreign embassies in Baghdad sent
representatives to the U.N. headquarters to discuss the situation.
Some U.N. cars belonging to the humanitarian staff also arrived
at the headquarters carrying luggage.

In London, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook described Butler's report
as ``very serious'' and that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
should expect no warning if Britain and the United States decided to
launch air strikes.

"This is a very serious report and we are taking it very seriously,"
Cook said on BBC radio, reiterating that Britain is prepared for
a military strike.

"Last month, Saddam Hussein gave an undertaking that there would be
unconditional, unrestricted access for the inspectors and it was on that
basis that military action last time was halted. It is quite clear (from
report) that he has not kept to that commitment."

Cook told the BBC: ``We said last time we would not be giving further
warnings to Saddam Hussein. I am not now going to give him any warning of
what we might do over BBC radio.''

The United States said late Tuesday the U.N. report criticizing Iraq's lack
of full compliance with weapons inspections was ``a very serious matter''
and all options, including air strikes, remained open.

State Department spokesman James Foley said President Clinton would review
the report with his senior foreign policy advisers, but no decisions had yet
been made on whether to proceed with previously threatened U.S.-British air
strikes against Iraq.

Clinton, facing likely impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives
later this week, arrived back in Washington late Tuesday after a three-day
visit to
the Middle East which had concentrated mainly on the Israeli-Palestinian

Foley left no doubt that Washington would act against Iraq if it deemed

He declined to speculate about how Clinton and his advisers would respond to
the UNSCOM report but said Washington felt no further endorsement was
required from the Security Council for any U.S. military action against Iraq.

An anaylst said the US could bomb Iraq between 2 and 4 am Thursday or Friday
morning Iraq time. This would put it on prime time US on Wednesday or

A dark sky with little or no visible crescent is seen as the
best time to launch an attack. Ramadan New Moon occurs on December
18/19 creates a potential window of opportunity for a U.S. strike.
There are three or four nights of darkness on either side of the
new moon.

The 1991 Persian Gulf War was launched Jan. 17, two days after the
new moon arrived Jan. 15, continuing a long military tradition of
surprising the enemy in the dead of night.

First strike aircraft come after sundown. Fighter-bomber jets such
as F-117s, which have few defense means, fly under cover of darkness.