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Activists say bombs killing Iraqi children

Iraq Resource Information Site
Activists say bombs killing Iraqi children 
(Published: Tuesday, October 24, 2000) 

   Students and peace activists urging an end to
economic and military sanctions against Iraq rallied
Monday at Modesto Junior College. 

   The rally, which drew about 100 students, provided
a forum for a handful of activists in the midst of a
West Coast "Remember Omran" bus tour. They are
protesting the bombing deaths of a 13-year-old
shepherd named Omran and other Iraqi children. 

   The activists say the U.N. sanctions and Allied
bombing are devastating the Middle Eastern country and
killing Iraqis. 

   "I think that this killing of children, this
bombing of children, this killing of shepherds, I
think is un-Christian. I think it's un-Muslim, I think
it's un-Jewish, I think it's un-Buddhist. I hope it's
un-American," activist Mike Miles said. 

   The 47-year-old teacher from Wisconsin has visited
Iraq with Voices in the Wilderness, a Chicago-based
organization founded to end the sanctions and one of
the bus tour's sponsors. 

   "But it will not be un-American until we as
Americans stand up and say to our representatives,
'Not in my name. Not with my tax dollars. ... Because
we will not go to war and put ourselves and our
children in harm's way unless we have a say about it.'
Well, today, we have a say." 

   The Modesto Peace-Life Center, one of the rally's
sponsors, and the MJC student association gave $500 to
help the activists take food, medicine and books to
Iraqi people. The MJC Student Activist Club, the other
rally sponsor, donated a medical journal subscription.

   The Assyrian National Congress, a locally based
group of Middle Eastern Christian expatriates that
actively opposes Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's
government, said the sanctions should be lifted
because they haven't succeeded in making the people
rise up against Saddam. 

   But the organization's president, Sargon Dadesho,
said Saddam -- not the sanctions and bombing -- are
causing the hardship in Iraq. 

   The Iraqi president bombs his people and uses
chemical weapons against them, he said, adding that
insiders report that Saddam secretly tests chemicals
and weapons and then dumps the waste in the Tigris and
Euphrates rivers, the country's two main water

   The sanctions are being criticized for blocking
food and medicine from getting to lower- and
middle-class people, yet Saddam sent truckloads of
food for the Muslim Palestinians engaged in a
prolonged conflict with Israelis, Dadesho said. 

   "Saddam is refusing to distribute the food and
medicine to his own people. He distributes (it) to the
people he likes. He doesn't care whether the Iraqi
people die of starvation," Dadesho said. 

   Turlock resident Shamiran Samano, 31, was one of
the students who signed a petition calling for an end
to the sanctions and bombing. It will be sent to
officials in Washington, D.C. 

   Last year, Samano returned to Iraq for the first
time since her family left in 1978. She signed the
petition because her visit with relatives in Baghdad
showed her how middle and lower classes are suffering
from policies of both the United States and Iraqi

   "You're never going to hurt the elite class there.
Those people have everything they want. What it is are
the (less affluent) people that are there are stuck in
this political battle," she said. "This is really
beyond politics. You don't use regular civilians with
the excuse or the illusion that we're doing this for
political reasons." 

Iraq Resource Information Site

American Intifada

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