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***please distribute widely*** ACTION ALERT – Stop the U.S. from bombing Iraq in August 2000! 1. Background 2. Mailing Address 3. Sample Letter BACKGROUND: On Aug. 6th ‘90, the UN imposed broad, economic sanctions on Iraq for invading Kuwait. Sanctions were re-imposed on April 3rd 1991, after the Gulf War, to force Iraq to destroy its “weapons of mass destruction.” However, the Gulf War bombings of Iraq’s civilian infrastructure & the ongoing sanctions blockade have instead resulted in widespread poverty & skyrocketing childhood mortality. The UN estimates that between 500,000 & 720,000 children have died because of the sanctions. According to UNICEF, a child dies every 10 minutes in Iraq due to sanctions. In Dec. ‘98, a series of confrontations between UNSCOM weapons inspectors & the Iraqi government resulted in “Desert Fox,” a U.S. bombing campaign that killed 10,000 people according to Pentagon estimates. One month after the bombings, the Washington Post & the Boston Globe both reported that Iraq’s main objection to the weapons inspectors, namely that they U.S. spies, was in fact true. The ensuing scandal over U.S. infiltration of UNSCOM led to a year-long deadlock at the UN. In Dec. ‘99, the Security Council passed (with France, Russia & China abstaining) Resolution 1284, creating UNMOVIC, a new inspection team. This team will be ready to begin new inspections next month. Since “Desert Fox,” the U.S. has continued regular bombings of Iraq on the average of 3-4 times a week: the longest running U.S. air war since Vietnam. However, both Richard Butler, former head of UNSCOM, and Scott Ritter, former chief weapons inspector, have predicted that Iraq’s refusal to allow UNMOVIC into the country next month will likely create a new crisis that could result in an intensified U.S. bombing campaign against Iraq – with thousands of casualties. Says Scott Ritter, “The new commission, UNMOVIC, will not be allowed into Iraq in August, three months away from the election. You have got a Vice-President, Al Gore, trailing behind in the polls and what better way to appear tough and switch attention away to a so-called foreign threat. The UN Security Council did not vote on Desert Fox and we can expect the same thing to happen again.” We MUST not let this happen again. Please take a few minutes to write Sandy Berger, the U.S. National Security Advisor & Clinton’s principle foreign policy strategist, & demand that the U.S. stop killing civilians in Iraq and end sanctions & bombings against Iraq – rather than increase them. For more information on a possible August bombing, please visit: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/World/Middle_East/2000-06/sanction230600.shtml http://www.independent.co.uk/news/World/Middle_East/2000-06/saddam230600.shtml http://www.independent.co.uk/news/World/Middle_East/2000-06/usarms280600.shtml http://www.antiwar.com/justin/pf/p-j071000.html For more information on the Iraq crisis, please visit: http://www.iraqaction.org MAILING ADDRESS Samuel R. Berger Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs National Security Council Old Executive Building Washington, DC 20503 SAMPLE LETTER Samuel R. Berger Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs National Security Council Old Executive Building Washington, DC 20503 Dear Mr. Berger, I am writing you out of deep concern over the continuing civilian casualties our war with Iraq is causing, and the current press speculation that the U.S. may be gearing up to increase our bombings. A recent Washington Post article (“Under Iraqi Skies: A Canvas of Death,” 6-15-00) estimates that as many as 300 civilians have been killed by U.S. bombs over the last 18 months. The UN Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq confirms many of these deaths, and the fact that our bombing targets are often in strictly civilian areas with no military targets nearby. This is unconscionable. Furthermore, continued U.S.-led sanctions against Iraq are creating a terrible death toll. The UN estimates that between 500,000 and 720,000 children have been killed by sanctions. Several NGOs, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, back up these estimates. State Department allegations that Saddam Hussein is interfering with the “Oil-for-Food” program have proven spurious. Hans von Sponeck and Denis Halliday, the two, previous UN directors of the “Oil-for-Food” program both resigned in protest over the failure of “Oil-for-Food” to adequately address this humanitarian crisis – and they place the blame for this failure firmly on the sanctions themselves, and not on the Iraqi government. In a 1996 “60 Minutes” segment, Madeline Albright acknowledged that 500,000 children had been killed by sanctions and said that, “We think the price is worth it.” This is not simply unconscionable – it’s profoundly immoral. Such callousness among our leaders, and in the policies they pursue, does a terrible dishonor to our nation, and to our interests and security around the world. I am aware that a new weapons inspection team, UNMOVIC, will be ready to begin its work sometime this August. And I am aware that it is unlikely the Iraqi government will give them permission to do so. This is an unfortunate, but entirely predictable result of our government’s intransigence and our indifference to the suffering our actions have caused the Iraqi people. Our policy toward Iraq has been described, by many foreign policy analysts, as “all stick, no carrot.” Should Iraq refuse to allow UNMOVIC into the country, we must not respond with more bombings. The “Desert Fox” bombing campaign did not help our nation in any way, and simply wrought more destruction on an already hapless people. Our continuing, almost daily, bombings have not helped our nation in any way. Sanctions have not helped our nation in any way. Indeed, our violence, and our seeming indifference to its consequences for the Iraqi people, have contributed to Saddam Hussein’s rehabilitation in the eyes of many Iraqis, and throughout the Middle East. Our violence is stoking the fires of anti-Americanism throughout the world, and isolating us among our colleagues on the Security Council. It is in our interest to work toward a peaceful and stable Middle East, and the continuing destruction of the Iraqi people is neither a peaceful nor a stable situation. I urge you to advise the President to de-escalate this war, end our bombings and our blockade, and begin good-faith negotiations with the Iraqi government to resolve our differences. Sincerely, -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi