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---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Kathy Kelly <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: statement from Baghdad Feb 23 VOICES IN THE WILDERNESS, A CAMPAIGN TO END THE US/UN ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAQ 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 email: email@example.com -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email firstname.lastname@example.org, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html