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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as the mainstream media refuse to report the truth and to publish fair and well-informed pieces on the situation of Iraq and the need for the immediate and unconditional lifting of sanctions, Hans von Sponeck put forward a suggestion that I am now submitting to you for discussion.
The idea is to buy a full-page ad in the International Herald Tribune, which would feature an anti-sanctions text, to be discussed, agreed upon and signed by as many as possible anti-sanctions groups in Europe.
The first thing that comes to mind is how huge an amount of money this would cost (and if it's worth it).
I raised the objection but Hans replied that he might be able to make fund raising, to be also sure that money comes from no questionable source, and that this can be "tracked" to avoid embarassing situations.
Anti-sanctions groups and organisation would probably be asked to give a token contribution of around $ 100 each.
I've inquired with the IHT's advertising department and the cost of a full-page ad is 53,466 euros (they wouldn't quote in dollars). There's also the opportunity for a so-called "large junior page" (380 mm height on six columns), which costs 28,751 euros, and a half page, which costs 26,733 euros.
Now, provided that's there's a real chance for von Sponeck to find the money, what is your idea?
I mean: do you think it's worth it? Would it be effective?
Hans is firmly convinced that it is very important. I do have some doubts - given the amount of money involved - but I'd like to hear from you all.
This is essential because the ad, once the text etc. is agreed upon, would have to be signed by all the "sponsoring" groups, possibly in the form of a single person on behalf of each organisation - Hans's suggestion - but this is open to discussion, as is everything else.
And if you like the suggestion: what would be your ideas for a text that would convey our message at best?
What would we envisage? A text-only message or a message supplemented by a picture (possibly Iraqi child/children or what?)?
And what should be the "core idea" around which we build our message?
"Sanctions kill people", "Sanctions kill children", "Sanctions of Mass Destruction" or what else?
Do we include quotes (UN agencies, Halliday's & von Sponeck's Statements etc. etc.)?
Do we mention Oil for Food & Smart Sanctions?
Please note that, as far as I know, the shorter - and sharper - the message the better.
But we must also take care not to over simplify and above all we must be sure to convey a CLEAR message.
Things would have to be finalized SOON (before September 10, tentatively), as Hans wouldn't be available for some time since then because of scheduled engagements.
I look forward to getting your comments, reactions and proposals.
Italian Campaign "Break the Sanctions!"/Bridge to Baghdad
Via della Guglia 69/a
PS. An historical note. Something similar was done in the US in 1999.
The "Signature Ad Campaign" - a totally self-funded one - bought a full-page ad in the New York Times. An anti-sanctions statement signed by more than 1,500 individuals was published on March 28, 1999, and later - June 1999 - appeared also in the Progressive magazine (Text is reprinted in Iraq Under Siege, edited by Anthony Arnove, South End Press, chap.14, 181-183)
Cost of the ad was $ 34,000 (they chose a "stand-by" ad: i.e., a cheaper option for which you forfeit to choose the date the ad would appear in the newspaper).