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The Deadly Embargo: An Interview

Dear Friends,
My thanks to the Clements and to Bruderhof for their
courage and for
their gallant stand towards our beloved Iraq.

Ibrahim Ebeid

            An Interview With Krista and Mark of
Bruderhof: The Deadly Embargo 

Krista and Mark Clement of Bruderhof are working for
peace and justice in the US and around the world. They
are active
in opposing racism and injustice, the death penalty,
US sanctions in Iraq and Cuba, and all forms of
imperialism. They are very active in resisting the
genocidal sanctions which imposed unjustly upon Iraq
and its people. 

They participated with other members and other
organizations in taking medicine to the children of
Iraq thus challenging
the US tyrannical rules and risking jail because they
believe, the price is worth it, to save a child. 

Al-Moharer has the honour to introduce to its readers
the following interview With Krista and Mark

The Unjust Deadly Embargo 

Al-Moharer: Krista, as an American mother who is
witnessing the results of the genocidal sanctions and
its effect on the
Iraqi children, What would you like to tell the
American people and what would you like them to do ? 

Krista: I would tell them that the suffering and
anguish of the Iraqi mothers cannot be described with
words. They must
go there themselves. 
And I would tell the American people that their
government has deceived them and lied to them about
Iraq. The oil for food
program is a farce and does not provide the Iraqis
with what they need to survive. 
We destroyed the infrastructure of Iraq with our
criminal bombing in 1991 and now we refuse to allow
the Iraqis to
acquire what they need to rebuild their sanitation and
electrical equipment by claiming that this equipment
would have a
dual purpose. At the same time we take a large portion
of the oil for food money from Iraq and use it to pay
reparations to
Kuwait and other nations for damage sustained during
the Gulf War. Prior to the sanctions Iraq had free
medical care and
education for all. This has never been the case in the
US and our medical and educational systems are a
shambles today.
Yet we blame the Iraqi Government for the suffering of
the Iraqi people when in reality it is our sanctions
that prevent
them from providing the people with what they had
before the sanctions. I would urge Americans to go to
Iraq and see for
themselves what is happening. I would ask them to meet
the Iraqi people as fellow human beings and look into
their eyes
and ask them for forgiveness for the suffering our
government has inflicted upon them. I would ask them
to go to the
graves of Iraqi children with the parents of those
children and grieve with them for their child that we
killed with our brutal

Al-Moharer: Krista, can you tell us about the agony
and feelings of the mothers of the Iraqi children that
you met in the

Krista: It is not possible to convey the agony of the
mothers of Iraqi children as they helplessly watch
their children die. I
have five children of my own and they have had their
share of sickness and injuries. But each time we were
able to get
excellent medical care and my fear and anxiety for
them was quickly laid to rest as the doctors dealt
with their problems. I
cannot truly imagine what agony it must be for a
mother to watch her child die a slow and agonizing
death with no medical
help available. Even pain medication is in very short
supply because of the sanctions. Imagine watching
one's own child
in agony day after day because of the policy of a
foreign government. As one stands beside the bed of a
dying Iraqi child
one realizes that again a slaughter of the innocents
is taking place. This pain and suffering is written on
the faces of the
mothers and I could only stand by them and try to
comfort them. Their courage and spiritual strength
impressed me
Their faith sustains them in their anguish and they
forgive me, an American, believing the American
government, and not
the people, is responsible for what our country has
done to them. 

Al-Moharer: What would you, like to tell Hillary
Clinton who is known for her concern about the state
of children in the
United States and abroad, but she ignores the Iraqi

Krista: I would ask Hillary Clinton if she truly
believes that an Iraqi child is of less value in the
eyes of God than a child
born in the United States. I would ask her if she
believes that children should be slaughtered on the
alter of her husband's
foreign policy just because he does not want to admit
that sanctions are a failed and bankrupt attempt by
his government to
control the oil in the Middle East. I would tell her
that if she truly cares about children she would go to
Iraq and see for
herself what our policies are doing to the children
and mothers of Iraq. If she truly does have a heart
for children she
would then come home and plead with her husband on
behalf of these children. 

Al-Moharer: What would you like to tell the Secretary
of State who said the "price is worth it" about the
Iraqi children? 

Krista: I believe that these words from Madeline
Albright are among the most shocking, cruel and
heartless ever uttered
in the history of the world. And they came from the
mouth of a mother. 
I would ask Madeline Albright if she believes in God.
I would also tell her that I stood beside a weeping
young mother as
she helplessly watched her child dying, the third
child she has lost to the sanctions.
I would ask Madeline Albright, who has three daughters
of her own, if she would be willing to meet this
mother, look into
her eyes and tell her that her children were
dispensable and worth the price. 

Mark Clement
Al-Moharer: Can you inform our readers about the type
of work that you and your Organization Bruderhof are
doing in
helping Iraq and its people to break the unjust
embargo ? 

Mark: We have sent six delegations to Iraq with two of
our sisters scheduled to go to Iraq on March 12 on
board the jet
that George Galloway has chartered to fly from London
to Baghdad with a load of medicines. Our delegations
have taken
extensive video footage of the suffering of the
children and mothers and have used this footage to
produce a short and
powerful documentary called "Worth the Price?". 
We have distributed this across the United States and
around the world in the hope that it will change
people's hearts and
turn them against the sanctions. Our delegation in
February, 1999 cleaned the Leukemia ward of the Saddam
Pediatric Hospital and afterwards produced a small
booklet, Tears of the Heart, that depicts the
suffering of some of the
children who lay dying in the wards while we were
cleaning. These items are available for use in working
against the

Al-Moharer: Also can you provide our readers with the
addresses of the organization in the United States and
in Europe

Mak: I would suggest contacting us through my e-mail: 

Al-Moharer: Did you notice any worsening in the state
of health and medical services between your visits ? 

Mark: It is not possible to quantify the change in
conditions, but I had the strong impression that
conditions had
worsened during the eight months between my visits. 

Al-Moharer: As a father, did you feel the agony of the
Iraqi fathers who lost their children to the
sanctions, or of those
who cannot provide their children with necessary
nourishment to help them grow healthy and toys to keep
them happy ? 

Mark: Yes, I felt the agony of the fathers. I have met
many fathers in Iraq who have lost their children to
the sanctions. It
is heartbreaking. Krista and I have five sons and they
have each been sick or injured in accidents. Had they
their illnesses or sustained their injuries in Iraq
during the period of the sanctions they would almost
certainly no longer be
alive. This would be a very hard thing for me and my
wife to carry. Our children have been able to get a
good education
and have had what is needed for proper physical,
emotional and educational growth. This is being denied
millions of
children in Iraq because of the sanctions. For the
parents this is a great need. This is a crime against
humanity and will
have results that last for generations. 

Al-Moharer: Did the resignation of the Humanitarian
Workers in Iraq tell a message? 

Mark: The resignation of the Humanitarian workers
underlines what was already known - Security Council
1284 is a smoke screen behind which the United States
wants to continue the sanctions. It is a grossly
unfair and deceitful
resolution. Hans von Sponeck and Jutta Burghardt have
recognized the fact that with this resolution the
United States has
made it virtually impossible for the sanctions to be
lifted. Iraq has every right to refuse the resolution.

Al-Moharer: .... and what would you like the
presidential candidates to know ? 

Mark: I would tell the presidential candidates that
the sanctions have already created a legacy of
justified hatred and
mistrust in the Arab world towards the United States
government that will last for generations. If they are
truly concerned
about the wellbeing of the United States and the world
their first act as US President would be to call on
the UN Security
Council to revoke the sanctions. Their second act
would be to call on Congress to appropriate however
many billions of
dollars would be required to help Iraq rebuild its
infrastructure and to make reparations for the damage
we have done to
their country, including the Depleted Uranium

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