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Outreach letter--vitw

You're probably all aware of Voices in the Wilderness' sanctions-breaking
trips to Iraq. Felicity Arbuthnot (the journalist who spoke in Cambridge
last year) and two people from a London group are joining this delegation,
leaving tomorrow, so I thought it was worth bringing your attention to it.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Subject: Outreach letter--vitw

February 6,  1998

Dear Friends,

As we write, the US is preparing to launch a massive military strike against
the people of Iraq.  Yesterday, Congress expressed its wholehearted support
for a military solution to the present political crisis, with some members
hinting at the need for more than air strikes.  The humanitarian catastrophe
inside Iraq continues to claim the lives of thousands of Iraqi children
every month.  Our voices must now raise the plea more emphatically than
ever:  Stop killing children, end the sanctions and send massive relief, not
bombs, to Iraq.  

On February 9, the 11th Voices in the Wilderness delegation will depart for
Iraq, bringing more than $125,000 in relief supplies and medicines.  Mil
Rai, Felicity Arbuthnot, and Martin Thomas of the United Kingdom, will be
joined by Mike and Mary Donnelly of Portland, ME,  Art Laffin of Washington,
D.C., Charles Quilty of Rock Island, IL, Rick McDowell of Akron , OH  and
Kathy Kelly of Chicago, IL.   Ourpresence in Baghdad  may allow us to
amplify pleas for nonviolent peacemaking. Albert Camus once wrote:   "...and
henceforth,  the only honorable course will be to stake everything on a
formidable gamble:  that words are more powerful than munitions."  Who will
express the fears and hopes of  Iraqi civilians who now face renewed
bombardment to compound the affliction they already endure?  We hope
we can help.  

We urge you to consider immediate actions in your community.   February 12,
1998, marks the seventh year since US "smart bombs" massacred at least 500
Iraqi ivilians  who sought refuge in Baghdad's Ameriyah shelter.  Bishop
Thomas Gumbleton of  Detroit has been on a liquids-only fast since January
20, 1998, when  he and 53 Catholic US Bishops signed a statement calling for
an end to the sanctions. He and others will demonstrate on  February 12 at
the White House.  

While military threats escalated in January, vigils, fasts and demos across
the US helped raise a desperately needed voice on behalf of the children and
families of Iraq.  As war fever grows, we urge continued and vigorous
nonviolent action. 

Your generosity enabled this campaign to develop--we  will appreciate your
ongoing support.  Please make checks payable to:  Voices in the Wilderness.
Thanks once more for your help and care.


Rev. Bob Bossie, SCJ, Kathy Kelly, Chuck Quilty and Rick McDowell
for Voices in the Wilderness 

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