The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

statement from Baghdad Feb 23

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kathy Kelly <>
Subject: statement from Baghdad Feb 23

                STATEMENT OF  23 FEBRUARY, 1998  FROM BAGHDAD

Voices in the Wilderness welcomes the news that United Nations Secretary
General Kofi Annan and Iraq's President Saddam Hussein have reached an
agreement to peacefully resolce the crisis over weapons inspection. We now
call upon President Clinton, Prime Minister Blair, and the United Nations to
recognize that the sanctions being levied against Iraq are a weapon of mass
destruction.  Elimination of this weapon, which has already cost the lives
of over one half million children, is urgently required. 

During the past two weeks, our delegation of peace activists from the USA
and Britain found ample evidence  of the use of sanctions as a weapon of
mass destruction.  In the hospitals of Baghdad, Fallujah, and Basra, we have
seen the tiny victims of economic sanctions.  On our seconf visit to the
Al-Monsour Teaching Hospital, a two and a half month old baby died in front
of our eyes. The consultant pediatrician showing us around the ward helped
to revive the child, but told us that she was now merely gasping her way
through her last hours of life. She, like hundreds of thousands of other
Iraqi children, has been denied the medicines she needs by UN sanctions.

We have been amazed by the emphasis ordinary people here have placed on the
sanctions rather than on the imminent threat of bombing.  Though they fear
the effects of bombing on themselves and their families.  The Iraqi people
we have met have stressed that what they want most in the world is a lifting
of the sanctions.  They cannot import enough medicines, or have clean
drinking water, or repair their sewage and sanitation systems, or even buy
enough food to feed the population, unless economic sanctions are lifted. A
nine-year old girl told members of our group she would rather die from
bombing than from sanctions.

It's one thing to know that over 567,000 children have died as a result of
sanctions (UN Food and Agricultural Organization, December, 1995 estimate).
It's another to try and comfort a sobbing woman as her baby gasps its last
breath on a hospital bed.  It's one thing to know that over 900,000 Iraqi
children are severely malnourished (UNICEF estimate, November, 1997).  It's
another to hold a wasted, shrunken baby in your arms and to look into its
old man's face.  It's one thing to know that medicines are desperately
needed here.  It's another to be faced by doctors almost in tears as they
describe their inability to treat the simplest conditions.

Sanctions against Iraq are a crime. Iraq's children have rights which the US
and Britain have consistently and deliberately violated over the last seven
years.  They have the right to life, the right to adequate nutrition, the
right to medical treatment, the right to drink clean water, the right to
enjoy the benefits that were provided freely before the devastation of the
Gulf slaughter in 1991, and before the sanctions.

We urge all who oppose military strikes against Iraq to join in concerted,
nonviolent campaigns to end the seven year state of siege that has brutally
afflicted innocent Iraqi people.  The time to end the brutal US/UN sanctions
against Iraq is now.
Voices in the Wildernss
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; f: 773-784-8837

This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To be removed/added, email, NOT the
whole list. Archived at

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]