rn: Solidarity with Iraqis


Jan Slakov

From: "Voices in the Wilderness" <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Action alert
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 22:12:06 -0500

Write the U.S. Mission at the UN to End Sanctions on Iraq.
We are going to flood the U.S. Mission with thousands of letters 
from all over the world

I.  Address of U.S. Mission, & letter receipt 
II.  Purpose
III. List of organizations endorsing this action alert
IV. Sample letter (write your own or print out this one)

I. Address of U.S. Mission, & letter receipt

Please mail letters to:

Ambassador Richard Holbrooke 
Permanent Mission of the United States to the United Nations
799 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY, USA 10017-3505

If you are able to write a letter, please help us track how 
many letters we generate by sending a blank e-mail with 
the words "Sent Letter" in the subject line to: 
If you are working on a letter writing campaign, please 
try and track how many letters you send, and then send 
us a blank e-mail with the words "Sent Letter" in the 
subject line, followed by the number of letters (e.g. Sent 
Letter 25, if you send 25 letters)

II. Purpose

The hope of this action alert is to put pressure on the 
United States by generating as many letters as possible, 
from individuals in as many different countries as 
possible, demanding that the U.S. end Sanctions. While 
the British government's support for Sanctions has been 
helpful to the United States, it seems clear that 
Sanctions will end as soon as, and not before, the U.S. 
changes its vote on the Security Council. 

On March 24th, Secretary General Kofi Annan 
addressed the Security Council, saying, in part, "The 
United Nations has always been on the side of the 
vulnerable and the weak, and has always sought to 
relieve suffering, yet here we are accused of causing 
suffering to an entire population. We are in danger of 
losing the argument, or the propaganda war - if we 
haven't already lost it - about who is responsible for this 
situation - President Saddam Hussein or the United 

Mr. Annan is wrong when he implies that this is a 
"propaganda war." This war is all too real. We need to 
make it clear to Ambassador Holbrooke that we are 
paying attention to this war, and that we strongly oppose 
it. The United States government will relent and allow 
Sanctions to be lifted only when the pressure to lift 
Sanctions outweighs any possible interests they have in 
maintaining them. It's *our* job to provide that pressure.


III. List of Organizations Endorsing this Action Alert:

American Muslims for Global Peace & Justice, USA

Campaign to End the Sanctions Against the People of Iraq, Canada

Disarmament and Security Centre, New Zealand
contact: Kate Dewes <•••@••.•••>

EPIC - the Education for Peace in Iraq Center, USA

Green Earth Organization, Ghana
contact: George Ahadzie <•••@••.•••>

International Action Center, USA

Iraq Action Coalition, USA

New Zealand Foundation For Peace Studies, Auckland NZ

Peace Action, USA

Voices in the Wilderness, USA


IV. Sample Letter 
(you can print this out, add your signature & mail it, 
or write your own letter - whichever you prefer)

Ambassador Richard Holbrooke 
Permanent Mission of the United States to the United Nations
799 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY, USA 10017-3505 

Dear Ambassador Holbrooke, 

I am writing to you out of deep concern over the on-
going humanitarian crisis in Iraq - now approaching its 
10th year without resolution. According to the United 
Nations own agency reports, hundreds of thousands of 
children have died as a direct result of critical shortages 
in nutritious food, safe drinking water, and medicines. 
This is intolerable. It is not a status quo any of us should 
be willing to accept for any reason. In its April 8th issue, 
The Economist writes: 

"Slowly, inexorably, a generation is being crushed in 
Iraq. Thousands are dying, thousands more are leading 
stunted lives, and storing up biter hatreds for the 
future. If, year in, year out, the UN were systematically 
killing Iraqi children by air strikes, western governments 
would declare it intolerable, no matter how noble the 
intention. They should find their existing policy just as 
unacceptable. In democracies, the end does not justify 
the means." 

To date, at least three senior UN administrators have 
resigned in protest over this crisis, and in opposition to 
the U.S.-led, UN sanctions: Denis Halliday, Hans von 
Sponek, and Jutta Burghardt. The response to these 
resignations by U.S. State Department spokesperson 
James Rubin, "good," was not helpful. Mr. Rubin's 
further implication that these officials are "pro-Saddam" 
was also troublesome; as is your Mission's persistent 
refusal to consider the growing opposition to your 
position among your partners on the Security Council 
and among the international community in general. The 
continuing excess deaths of some 5,000 Iraqi children 
every month due to your intransigence is not simply a 
humanitarian crisis - it is a strategic crisis to the interests 
of peace in the region and around the world, and, 
overwhelmingly, this is a moral crisis. Given the 
immensity of this catastrophe, the power of your veto 
over the Security Council, and the incredible financial 
and military resources of the United States in general, 
this intransigence is truly frightening.

The United States has accused Saddam Hussein of 
"cynically manipulating" the humanitarian catastrophe for 
his own political ends. With all due respect, U.S. 
manipulations seem no less cynical. Addressing the 
Security Council on Feb. 7th, Benon Sevan, Executive 
Director of the Iraq Programme, expressed his "serious 
concern at the persistent high level of holds placed on 
applications for humanitarian supplies and especially on 
oil sector equipment." The United States is holding up 
98% of these contracts, totaling more than $1.7 billion 
dollars. This is inexcusable. I welcome your recent 
initiative to increase the amount of Iraqi oil revenues that 
Iraq is allowed to spend for repairs to its own oil industry. 
I welcome your recent initiative to release a few of the 
hundreds of contracts your Mission is holding up in the 
Sanctions Committee. However, I'm afraid that I 
question whether these changes are more cosmetic than 
substantive: an attempt to hold off the growing isolation 
of the United States on this issue, and the mounting 
political opposition to your siege of Iraq.

Sir, this blockade is being enforced by your veto on the 
Security Council, and by an active U.S. military presence 
in the Gulf. Hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps 
well over one million people, are dead as a result of this 
blockade. As former Assistant Secretary General Denis 
Halliday has said, "We are destroying an entire society. 
It is as simple and as terrifying as that." Whatever 
concerns the United States has about Saddam Hussein 
cannot in any way justify the collective punishment of an 
entire people. Furthermore, Security Council Resolution 
687, adopted in early 1991, calls for the establishment of 
a WMD-free zone throughout the Middle East. It is not 
clear how the United States hopes to achieve this by 
destroying Iraqi civil society through sanctions, engaging 
in extra-legal bombings in its self-declared "no-fly-
zones," while at the same time pursuing record arms 
sales to Turkey, Israel, and Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, as 
well as other Gulf states. 

Ambassador Holbrooke, stop this madness. End the 
sanctions. End this war. All anyone is asking for is that 
the children of Iraq be allowed to live. That is not too much 
to ask, nor is it so much to give.


(printable version)
Ambassador Richard Holbrooke 
Permanent Mission of the United States to the United Nations
799 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY, USA 10017-3505