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Letter-writing ... MAY

Glenn from Voices here with the notes for Voices monthly letter-writing
group (or anyone else who's interested!).

If you have any suggestions, ideas or replies please do send them on to me
at this email address or at 29 John St, Enfield, Middx EN1 1LG. More details
about the group on the Voices website ( ).

There seem to have been very few replies lately that go beyond what the
Foreign Office has been saying for some time. (Thanks to all those who have
sent in replies and examples of letters they've had in local press etc.)

Those on the CASI list who have been taking part will be familiar with
material available on the CASI site with which to respond to FCO replies. (I
don't want this to sound too much like a blatant plug, but) some good tips
for responding to this propaganda are contained in the Voices
briefing "Playing Politics with Suffering: Robin Cook, Sanctions and the Big
Lie" to be found on the website at: .

As this month's notes are about writing to the press, I have also sent the
Voices how-to guide to writing letters to the press to the list.

This month's notes, prepared by Mil, are below.

Thanks for all your continued efforts. Best of luck,




This month we are asking you to write to as many local papers as you
can to raise the profile of the sanctions issue, and to alert people to
the National Petition. Please use as many or as few of the quotes listed
as you think appropriate.

Newspapers tend to prefer typed letters, with double spacing
between lines, and a contact phone number to check with you (that
you exist!). Please adapt the following text in your own words:


Now that the general election race has begun, the people of XXX
[local area/town] are wondering who out of the candidates deserves
our votes. May I suggest that the winning candidate should be
someone who is committed to children's rights, even the rights of
children in far away countries like Iraq.

John Simpson, the BBC reporter, said last year, ‘If people could hear
and see what is being done in their names in Iraq, they would be
outraged. But they don’t, so it continues.'

The economic sanctions against Iraq, which have killed over 200,000
children according to one independent estimate, have been described
by Anglican Bishops as 'ethically untenable' and 'utterly opposed to
the mind of Christ.’ The Pope has spoken out against the sanctions,
and the Catholic aid agency CAFOD has condemned them as humanly
catastrophic, morally indefensible and politically ineffective'.

Denis Halliday, the former UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq,
who resigned in protest against the sanctions, said, 'We are in the
process of destroying an entire society.'

The Economist magazine has pointed out that, 'If, year in, year out,
the UN were systematically killing Iraqi children by air strikes,
western governments would declare it intolerable, no matter how
noble the intention': ‘They should find their existing policy just as

According to the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister, ‘Kuwait has no objection
to the launching of a call to lift the economic sanctions from Iraq.’

There is a growing international consensus that the economic
sanctions must end. Our MP and our government should join that
international consensus.

I challenge all prospective parliamentary candidates in XXX to sign the
National Petition Against Economic Sanctions On Iraq
( to show they really do care about
children's rights.

Yours sincerely


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