Dear all, fyi - some bits here which may tie in with the Daily Star article and Colin's comments. And a few ideas. My feelings on number crunching over dead children is well recorded. However, the UNICEF 1999 one is still being quoted as if current. This is now 2002 and they did not stop dying. |
The nation rightly poured it's heart out to Gordon and Sara Brown on the plight of their tiny daughter. But if they had any small comfort it was that every possible available medical expertise and technology was mobilised in the fight for her life. Until recently even incubators were vetoed in Iraq. As we know nearly 25% of all live births are now of premature weight. The pain of those parents watching their fledgling lives fade away for want of blood, oxygen, controlled environment etc is the same searing agony as experienced by any other parent. Whatever the numbers, those in the front line are the unborn, the new born and the under fives. Smart lists, dumb lists, green lists are red herring lists. When life saving treatment, sustenance is needed, it is needed now, with all the attendent facilities like clean water, electricity, working vehicles to distribute and a working telephone system country wide to establish what is most vitally needed. Anything else is fiddling whilst the Rights of the Child burns. (I can hear the 'tut,tuts' for my lack of academia, as I write!)
'Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee' wrote Donne - who also wrote: "I am two fools, I know, for loving and for saying so ...' Anyone who has watched just one small life fade in one's name knows that fool very well.
Warmest, felicity a.
(thanks again for the below to Gerri Haines, President, Physicians for Social Responsibility.)
Interfaith Network of Concern for the People of Iraq (INOC)
A Program Unit of Church Council of Greater Seattle
4759 15th Avenue NE; Seattle, Washington 98105
January 10, 2002
"The time has come when silence is betrayal. That time is now."
(Martin Luther King) - [See Peace Pledge, item 6, below]
Contents of INOC Report:
1. Interfaith Prayer Service
2. Program with George Galloway, MP
3. Quality journalism
4. Next meeting of INOC
5. Fast Reflections booklet
6. Campaign of Conscience Peace Pledge
1. INTERFAITH PRAYER SERVICE: INOC's Interfaith Prayer Service at 7:00 pm
on Wednesday, January 16, will mark the eleventh anniversary of the outbreak
of the Gulf War. As it enters the twelfth year Iraq is a nation quietly held
hostage: its civilian infrastructure in shambles, its economy shut down, its
once thriving and free public health and education systems in ruins. But it
is the children who are bearing the brunt of the conflict they cannot
Reflections will be given by Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith
group represenatitives. The issues are not black and white, but our faith
traditions call us to seek justice. All are invited to the service, which
will be held at Christ the King Church, 405 North 117th Street, Seattle.
2. PROGRAM WITH GEORGE GALLOWAY, MP: INOC and CCPI (Concerned Citizens for
the People of Iraq) are sponsoring a public program to hear the noted debater
and British Member of Parliament, The Honourable Mr. George Galloway, who
will speak at 2:00 pm on Sunday, January 20, at Trinity United Methodist
Church (6512 - 23rd Avenue North in the Ballard district). Mr. Galloway
initially was a labour organizer, defeated Roy Jenkins in the 1987
Parliamentary election, founded the Mariam Appeal which took a four-year old
Iraqi child with leukemia to England for treatment, is a frequent writer and
broadcaster, is a defender of Palestinian and Middle East rights, and is a
friend of Yasser Arafat. He has served as an official election observer in
many countries, including Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, Albania, Romania, Pakistan,
Bangladesh, Cuba, Mozambique and Cambodia.
3. MAINSTREAM QUALITY JOURNALISM AND IRAQ: AN IMPOSSIBLE DREAM?
(By Bert Sacks and Dick Blakney)
In December 2001 Edward Peck, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and Deputy
Director of President Reagan's Task Force on Terrorism, spoke in Washington
DC stating: ".. the American media were incapable of telling the American
people information they don't want to hear."
In the case of Iraq, four essential facts are instructive:
+ In 1999 UNICEF reported there were 500,000 excess deaths of
under-age-five children from 1991 to 1998. "[UNICEF Executive Director] Ms.
Bellamy noted that if the substantial reduction in child mortality throughout
Iraq during the 1980s had continued through the 1990s, there would have been
half a million fewer deaths of children under-five in the country as a whole
during the eight year period 1991 to 1998." (8/12/99 UNICEF press release:
+ Diarrheal water-borne disease are the "prime killer of children" in Iraq.
Congressman Tony Hall visited Iraq in 2000 and wrote: "I share UNICEF's
concerns about the profound effects of increasing deterioration of Iraq's
water supply and sanitation systems on its children's health. The prime
killer of children under five years of age - diarrheal diseases - has reached
epidemic proportions and they now strike four times more often than they did
+ The water is unsafe because of our 1991 bombing of civilian
infrastructure and ten years of sanctions. "The destruction of the country's
power plants had brought [Iraq's] entire system of water purification and
distribution to a halt, leading to epidemics of cholera, typhoid fever, and
gastroenteritis, particularly among children. ... [T]he destruction of the
infrastructure resulted in devastating long-term effects on health." (New
England Journal of Medicine, editorial, 4/24/97). Congressman Tony Hall
noted: "Holds on contracts [under the UN's Oil-for-Food program] for water
and sanitation sector are a prime reason for the increases in sickness and
death. ... Of the 18 contracts, all but one hold was placed by the U.S.
+ The Oil-for-Food program provided Iraq with 33 cents per person per day
[in the year 2000] of their own money for all of their needs. "$119.70 is
the entire amount that Iraqi civilians got as benefits under the Oil-for-Food
program per person per year. ... This is for food, for medicines, for water,
for sanitation, for agriculture, for electricity and for education. That is
nothing. That is really nothing. So ... each time I say what I say to you
now, I get really upset -- on the 5th of December  ... the US
Ambassador to the Security Council [went] before the Council and says the US
government is satisfied that the oil for food program meets the needs of the
Iraqi people. ... I can't comprehend it? (Seattle speech by
resigned-in-protest Iraq Humanitarian Aid Coordinator, Hans von Sponeck,
It would be enlightening to hear what percentage of Americans are aware of
these facts. While there appear to be many underlying reasons for this
ignorance, we suggest that it essentially is a failure of the media to fulfil
its primary role of informing the public on essential matters. It is
suggested that if Americans broadly knew the facts, they would not tolerate
U.S. policy toward the people of Iraq. This critical media issue has
implications far beyond Iraq, whether it concerns the Palestinians,
Afghanistan or many other countries.
However, this pattern may be changing for Seattle. On December 15, 2001,
The Seattle P-I wrote the article: WHAT MATTERS TO YOU, THE READER? WE WANT
TO KNOW: "That paternalistic, we-know-what's-good-for-you premise has brought
newspapers to the edge of irrelevance. Newspaper readership has been
declining, slowly but steadily, for decades." Complex reasons including
cynicism. On the same date they created the ".. position of reader
representative, a move to provide P-I readers with more of what they want and
Further, on January 4, 2002, the Seattle P-I published the Toronto Globe and
Mail article ONE ESTIMATE PUTS AFGHAN CIVILIAN BOMB DEATHS AT 4,050, which
may well have been the first newspaper in the U.S. to have come out with this
Our hope is that this is an opening for the potential of people power to
influence the performance of the media, and that it may lead to the
realization of a seemingly impossible dream in which we readers share a
4. NEXT REGULAR MEETING OF INOC: Will be held on Saturday, February 2, 2002,
4:00 - 6:00 pm at Keystone Congregrational Church, 5019 Keystone Place North,
Seattle. All are welcome.
5. FAST REFLECTIONS BOOKLET: When the ten-day water-only fast for the people
of Iraq was done last August, Larry Kerschner, Brian Mack and Kristine
Swenson wrote reflections on that experience. Those reflections have been
printed as a booklet and will be available at the next INOC meeting.
6. CAMPAIGN OF CONSCIENCE PEACE PLEDGE TO STOP SPREAD OF ANTI-TERRORISIT WAR
TO IRAQ: This Peace Pledge from Mike Yarrow, on behalf of the various
sponsors, follows below with our hopes of full participation in it.
Dick Blakney & Kathleen Williamson
for the INOC Steering Committee
Contact point: firstname.lastname@example.org; 206-522-4934
CAMPAIGN OF CONSCIENCE PEACE PLEDGE
TO STOP SPREAD OF ANTI-TERRORIST WAR TO IRAQ
The Bush Administration is considering pursuing military action against as
many as 40 countries suspected of harboring terrorists. Iraq remains a prime
target. In the past 11 years the US has led a devastating economic and air
assault on that country in an effort to weaken Saddam Hussein. This war has
- according to UN estimates - killed over a million people (including an
estimated average of 150 children a day).
The US rationalizes escalation of the war against Iraq as part of a general
war on terrorism although no links to the Sept. 11 attack have been
disclosed, nor are they likely. Outgoing Secretary of Defense, William
Cohen, told incoming President George Bush in January, 2001, "Iraq no longer
poses a military threat to its neighbors." Iraq is willing to let weapons
inspectors return if the bombing and economic sanctions are lifted (Iraqi
Ambassador to UN al-Douri, BBC Nov. 29, 2001), a solution that would promote
international security and the welfare of the Iraqi people.
Join others pledging opposition to the war against Iraq in a powerful,
pro-active peace movement, promoting a more peaceful and just global
"A time has come when silence is betrayal. That time is now." Martin
Luther King Jr.
____ I support peace for Iraq. I grant permission to use my name and city
publicly as an opponent of the ongoing economic and bombing war on Iraq, and
of any escalation of that war.
In addition, I pledge to take the following action: (check as many as apply)
____ Write a letter to the editor of my newspaper (see
http://www.scn.org/wwfor for sample letters and background information)
____ Form a delegation to visit a local newspaper to discuss Iraq coverage
(for advice from a successful effort to influence a paper's editorial policy
on Iraq contact email@example.com)
____ Introduce a resolution to my organization or faith community. (see
above website for draft resolutions).
____ Engage at least one new person in conversation about Iraq: ___ Daily
____ Call the President to urge no escalation of the war on Iraq. (202)
456-1111 or 1414.
____ Call my Congresspeople (Congressional Switchboard 202-224-3121 or
individual local numbers) to urge no escalation of the war on Iraq: __
every weekday __ weekly
___ Write a letter to my Congressperson and Senators (to their local offices
because of problems in DC mail delivery) weekly.
____ Participate in a public event such as a vigil or picket: __ weekly
____ Distribute this pledge form (forward email or especially distribute to
people without email)
____ Other (please specify, be creative and report your efforts so we can
post them) ______________________________________________________________
____ I am contributing _______ to make this Campaign of Conscience Peace
Pledge a success. (Please make check payable to FOR and mail check to WWFOR
at the address below.)
I am sending _______ for a pure water project in Iraq in violation of the
deadly economic sanctions laws, through the Campaign of Conscience for the
Iraqi People (send to AFSC-CoC, 1501 Cherry St., Phila. PA 19102).
____ I am not sending a donation in violation of the economic sanctions laws
right now, but will do so if the US significantly escalates war against Iraq.
____ If the US significantly escalates war against Iraq, I will protest
____ I am willing to participate in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience.
Name (Print legibly) ______________________________
_____________________ (include zip)
Phone _______________ E-mail:________________
Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org or WWFOR - CoC, 225 N 70th, Seattle WA 98103