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.
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This is a somewhat revised edition of the letter I sent to Hillary Rodham Clinton, in response to her having sent me (out of the blue) a friendly letter asking me to "stay in touch" either through her web site (www.hillary2000.org) or by writing. Perhaps some of you received this letter, too, and might also want to raise the issue of Iraq in response. In solidarity, Kitty Bryant 5 Awbury Road Philadelphia, PA 19138 (215) 438-4181 December 13, 1999 Dear Hillary, I am replying to your friendly letter asking me to stay in touch with you. Since I prefer letter-writing to e-mailing, I am honoring your request, and I am also hoping to learn where you stand on the bombing and sanctioning of Iraq. Like you, I know it is critical that young people (and middle-aged and old people as well) be taught the importance of standing up for what they believe. Throughout your terms as The First Lady, I have seen you support your husband’s policies and so I have come to assume that the policies of William Clinton are also the policies of Hillary Clinton. But I sense that with this letter to me you are making a claim for political independence from your husband, and so I am very curious where you stand on what I would describe as the genocide of the people of Iraq. The most important issue to me today in the United States is our government’s immoral treatment of the people of Iraq, by bombing the areas within the deceptively-named “no fly” zones on an almost daily basis and by imposing comprehensive economic sanctions which have strangled the Iraqi economy, assuring a death rate of over 5,000 infants, boys and girls each month (conservatively estimated by UNICEF studies). US representatives to the UN committees that control Iraq’s economy have enforced sanctions to prevent Iraq from importing what it needs to repair its electrical, sewage, and water treatment infrastructures; this lack of electricity and clean water results in the daily needless deaths of people, especially the young and the old, who are most vulnerable. The foreseeable outcome of these comprehensive sanctions has been the destruction of Iraqi society, producing a generation of young Iraqis who are malnourished, unemployed, unproductive, depressed, and angry. Because the devastation is so widespread, strikes so deeply, and is the intentional result of US policies, we must confront the truth: these actions constitute genocide against the people of Iraq. You who have championed the cause of the family must speak out against this horror that is caused by US policies. Iraq is not a poor nation unable to provide for its people; before the sanctions were imposed, Iraq had an advanced medical system that was free to all its citizens, and its ordinary people reaped many benefits from Iraq’s oil wealth, including a free public education system that was open to women as well as men. The US uses Saddam Hussein’s brutal dictatorship to cover up its greater crimes; yes, the people of Iraq have suffered at the hands of Saddam Hussein, but they have suffered much more grevously from the US exercise of its overwhelming military and economic might. The sanctions on and bombing of Iraq are issues on which you must distance and distinguish yourself from the policies of your husband. The people of Iraq are dying because of the imposition of the raw political, economic, and military power of the United States, which feels itself exempt from international law and the constraints of moral leadership. I cannot imagine a better opportunity for you to champion the cause of children and of the family than this chance to speak out on behalf of the children and families of Iraq. Please write me, so I can learn your position on Iraq. Only after taking this into consideration will I be able to decide whether I could contribute to your election campaign. I write on my behalf and also on behalf of a number of my friends who feel similarly about the importance of reversing US policy in Iraq, and who urge you to demand of the current administration: Stop the Bombing and End the Sanctions (without condition and without the re-imposition of arms inspections). I look forward to your thoughtful reply. Sincerely, Kitty Bryant -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full archive and list instructions are available from the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi