thoght I would forward the conciliatory and pacifist views of the US media. For what it's worth I think they may try and attack Iraq earlier than the time frame we are given. After all with Emron, garbagegate and trouble at mill all round a diversion is called for. And when needing a diversion, as always, attack Iraq. This is not a war on terrorism - it is terrorism, best, f. |
Subj: [iraq-meet] EPIC URGENT ACTION for Feb. 14
Date: 2/14/2002 6:14:14 PM Pacific Standard Time
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EPIC URGENT ACTION for Feb. 14, 2002
Oppose the Bush Plan to Attack Iraq!
I. EPIC UPDATE and ANALYSIS for Feb. 14, 2002
In his January 29 Presidential address, Bush referred to Iran, Iraq and
North Korea as an "axis of evil", declaring "we can not permit the world's
most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive
weapons." Secretary of State Colin Powell, the Bush cabinet's leading
moderate regarding Iraq, has fallen into step behind his boss. Powell told
House members Wednesday that "Regime change is something the United States
might have to do alone..." Giving no details of how this might be
accomplished, Powell said that Bush is "examining a full range of options."
Yet Powell also said UN inspectors must have an "unfettered right" to
conduct long-term searches in Iraq for suspect weapons sites and that Bush
"is leaving no stone unturned" as to what the United States might do if
Saddam continues to resist inspection.
Powell's testimony demonstrates the conflicting goals of the current Bush
administration. The President's threat of forcibly removing Iraq's current
regime undermines efforts to negotiate a resolution to the long standoff
between Iraq and the United Nations over weapons inspections. Rather than
working in good faith to reintroduce UN inspectors as a means to disarm
Iraq and lift sanctions, the administration appears to be (once again)
using UN inspections as a trigger for a U.S. military assault -- this time
intent on removing Saddam Hussein from power.
In his Feb. 13 analysis, David E. Sanger of the New York Times confirms
this. According to him, the Bush team plans to create an inspection crisis
between now and May. The administration would then use the crisis as proof
that Iraq is hiding weapons of mass destruction, and "use Iraqi resistance
to justify more forceful action."
To date, no one in the administration has articulated what a post-Saddam
Iraq might look like, nor how the U.S. would prevent a bloody war of
succession. However, behind the scenes, the Bush administration's has
approached Former Iraqi army chief of staff General Nizar Khazraji, among
62 exiled ex-officers, as a possible successor to Saddam Hussein (see AFP
wire story below). Such a choice raises questions about what kind of a
commitment Washington has to genuine political reform and human rights in
Iraq beyond Saddam. Equally disturbing has been the absence of concern,
especially in recent months, for the lives and welfare of the Iraqi people
-- who continue to suffer under sanctions. A military campaign and bloody
war of succession would exacerbate their suffering and kill countless
civilians, possibly thousands.
TAKE ACTION! In his op-ed encouraging Bush to take Phase II of the war on
terror to Iraq, Henry Kissinger writes: "Domestic opposition will mount in
many countries. American public opinion will be crucial in staying such a
course" (Wa. Post, 1/13/02). True to Kissinger's words, most of the
opposition to the presidential address has come from overseas. It is time
for us to demonstrate the same opposition here at home, and with hope,
knock the President off his war footing.
Contact President Bush and Secretary of State Powell TODAY! Express your
opposition to a U.S.-led military campaign against the people of Iraq. Urge
them to heed world opinion and consider alternatives to the use of force
and broad-based economic sanctions that have claimed the lives of hundreds
of thousands of children since 1991 (UNICEF).
President George Bush
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500
Call the White House comment line at 202/456-1111
U.S. Sec. of State Colin Powell
U.S. Department of State, 2202 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520
tel. 202/647-5291; fax 202/267-6434
cc: your elected representatives
In addition, write LETTERS TO THE EDITOR of major papers. See specific
alerts for the New York Times and the Washington Post, as well as EPIC's
Media Guide below.
II. WASHINGTON POST
Thursday, February 14, 2002; Page A13
Bush Says U.S. Willing to Take Action Against Iraq
By Alan Sipress
President Bush said yesterday he remained open to working with other
countries in pressing Iraq to drop its pursuit of weapons of mass
destruction but added that the United States is willing to take whatever
action is required to address the Iraqi threat.
"Make no mistake about it. If we need to, we will take necessary action to
defend the American people," Bush said in response to reporters' questions.
"And I think that statement was clear enough for Iraq to hear me, and I
will reserve whatever options I have. I'll keep them close to my vest. . .
. [Iraqi President] Saddam Hussein needs to understand I'm serious about
defending our country."
His comments, made during a news conference with visiting Pakistani
President Pervez Musharraf, come at a time when speculation is running high
that the Bush administration is stepping up efforts to topple the Iraqi
president. Top administration officials have stressed in recent days that
they advocate Hussein's ouster but have stopped short of detailing how this
would be achieved.
Hitting a theme first struck during his State of the Union address two
weeks ago, Bush spoke of the danger posed by the combination of terrorism
and anti-American countries bent on developing nuclear, chemical and
biological weapons. He has counted not only Iraq but also Iran and North
Korea in this "axis of evil."
"I think one of the worst things that could happen in the world is
terrorist organizations mating up with nations which have had a bad history
and nations which develop weapons of mass destruction," he said. "It would
be devastating for those of us who fight for freedom. And therefore, we,
the free world, . . . must make it clear to these nations they've got a
choice to make. And I'll keep all options available if they don't make the
One of the leading administration hawks on Iraq, Deputy Defense Secretary
Paul D. Wolfowitz, appeared on Capitol Hill yesterday but offered little
insight into whether senior officials were moving closer to launching any
military strike against Baghdad.
"There's a bit too much loose talk on the subject, and I don't want to add
any embellishments of my own," he told the Senate Budget Committee while
testifying about the Pentagon's annual spending request.
He sought to dispel the notion, which he said has been expressed by some
U.S. allies, that Bush has already settled on a policy for addressing Iraq,
Iran and North Korea.
"I think it's an opportunity for debate," Wolfowitz said. "I don't think he
meant at all that because they share those common characteristics that
therefore you have the same policy for all three of them. I don't think he
has drawn conclusions on any of them about exactly what to do."
He added, "But I think we would all agree that countries that are hostile
to us and that are developing weapons capable of killing hundreds of
thousands of people are a serious problem, and that it seemed a bit
theoretical before September 11th - it's not theoretical at all anymore,
and I think that's the important point."
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, making his fourth appearance on Capitol
Hill in two weeks to testify about the State Department budget, repeated
his recent remarks that U.S. policymakers have long wanted to see Hussein's
ouster. Powell also emphasized that the administration continues to seek
U.N. agreement on new "smart sanctions," meant to ease restrictions on
Iraqi imports of civilian goods while tightening up on money and equipment
bound for Hussein's military.
Powell, addressing a House Appropriations subcommittee, made clear that
Bush's description of an "axis of evil" was not meant to paint entire
populations as enemies of the United States.
"He wasn't talking about people who are evil; he was talking about regimes
who are evil or do evil things. And I think he spoke with clear-headedness
and a realistic point of view. It doesn't mean anybody is declaring a war
on these states tomorrow. But we call them the way they are," Powell said.
© 2002 The Washington Post Company
TAKE ACTION! Write a letter to the WASHINGTON POST and EMAIL
firstname.lastname@example.org . Letters must be exclusive to The Washington Post,
and must include the writer's full name, home address and home and business
telephone numbers. Because of space limitations, those published are
subject to abridgment. Although the Post is unable to publish all letter
received, the letters are viewed as a barometer of public opinion and can
influence the Post's editorial policy.
III. NEW YORK TIMES
February 13, 2002
Gore, Championing Bush, Calls for a 'Final Reckoning' With Iraq
by Adam Nagourney
Al Gore said last night that the time had come for a "final reckoning" with
Iraq, describing the country as a "virulent threat in a class by itself"
and suggesting that the United States should consider ways to oust
President Saddam Hussein.
In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Mr. Gore
generally praised President Bush's performance since Sept. 11, but raised
questions about how Mr. Bush had worked with other nations in the war in
Afghanistan and against Al Qaeda.
The former Democratic vice president, in the first of what aides said would
be four speeches intended to set the agenda for the 2002 Congressional
elections - and perhaps for another White House bid by Mr. Gore - went to
great lengths to avoid being portrayed as criticizing a sitting president
during a war.
Nevertheless, his speech marked the first time that Mr. Gore has even
hinted at the different ways in which he might have responded to the Sept.
11 attacks had he not lost the presidency to Mr. Bush in November 2000.
In particular, Mr. Gore said the president had not paid enough attention to
cultivating the kind of multi- nation effort that Mr. Gore argued was
essential to countering a threat of terrorism, instead relying on a
"The administration in which I served looked at the challenges we faced in
the world and said we wished to tackle these with others, if possible;
alone, if we must," Mr. Gore said.
"This administration sometimes seems inclined to stand that on its head, so
that the message is, with others, if we must; by ourselves, if possible.
"The coalition so skillfully assembled by the president is one that may
dissipate as rapidly as it coalesced, unless we make an investment in its
permanence, beginning with a more evident respect on our part for the views
and interests of its members," he said.
Mr. Gore, speaking four miles from the ruins of the World Trade Center,
applauded Mr. Bush for singling out Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an "axis
of evil" in his State of the Union address. But Mr. Gore argued that there
were underlying forces in the Islamic world that were encouraging
anti-American sentiment and breeding terrorism that the United States
needed to urgently address.
"There is another axis of evil in the world: poverty and ignorance; disease
and environmental disorder; corruption and political oppression," he said.
"We may well put down terror in its present manifestations. But if we do
not attend to the larger fundamentals as well, then the ground is fertile
and has been seeded for the next generation of those born to hate the
United States of America."
Mr. Gore's speech last night pointed to what aides said would be a new
higher-profile chapter in his political life, as he seeks to emerge from
the shadows of his defeat and a war that largely froze political activity
for nearly five months. "A lot of people have let me know they wished that
I had been speaking out on public affairs long before now," Mr. Gore said
to a generally friendly audience.
Still, Mr. Gore clearly found himself in a difficult situation as he tried
to distinguish himself from an extraordinarily popular president, without
seeming to be critical of him during a time of crisis.
The former vice president, who now has a gray beard, drew rolling laugher
from the crowd with a series of self-deprecating jokes.
"I am Al Gore," he said with practiced stiffness. "I used to be the next
president of the United States."
Mr. Gore's speech lasted exactly 30 minutes. It was written with the
assistance of Leon Fuerth, who was Mr. Gore's chief foreign policy aide in
the White House.
In advocating that the administration consider whether the time had come to
try to remove Mr. Hussein, Mr. Gore seemed to be in line with Mr.Bush's
But if Mr. Gore found himself on the same side as the White House about
what to do now about Mr. Hussein, he was sharply critical of the way Mr.
Bush's father had handled the matter during the 1991 war against Iraq. Mr.
Gore noted that, back then, Mr. Hussein "was allowed to survive his defeat
as the result of a calculation we all had reason to deeply regret for the
ensuing decade - and still do."
"So this time, if we resort to force, we must absolutely get it right," he
© 2001 The New York Times
NOTE: Gore's posture is at odds with Senate Majority Leader Thomas A.
Daschle (S.D.), who on Monday said he was concerned with Bush's use of the
phrase "axis of evil." "I think we've got to be very careful with the
rhetoric of that kind," Daschle said on PBS's "News Hour With Jim Lehrer."
Daschle also said he didn't think the United States had justified taking
any military action against Iraq.
TAKE ACTION. Write a letter to the NEW YORK TIMES and affirm the caution
expressed by Senate Majority leader Tom Daschle (D-SD). Express your
opposition to Gore's cavalier statements and any targeting of Iraq in the
war on terrorism. EMAIL email@example.com or fax your letter to (212)
556-3622. Letters to the Times should only be sent to the Times, and not to
other publications. The Times will not publish open letters or third-party
letters. When writing, be certain to include your name, address and a
daytime and evening phone number. Letters should be limited to about 150
words. Writers of those letters selected for publication will be notified
within a week. Letters may be shortened for space requirements.
IV. LA TIMES
February 13, 2002
Don't Let Iraq Dictate Anti-Terrorism Policy
By Shibley TelhamiI
Even if the inclusion of Iran in the "axis of evil" were a function of U.S.
policy on Iraq, it is still highly risky. It is likely to increase Iran's
determination to acquire nuclear weapons without changing its policy on
terrorism. Moreover, in lumping terrorism with the spread of weapons of
mass destruction, we may be working in opposite directions: One task
requires the significant cooperation of states, the other targets them. We
need differentiated policies.
If there is any logic to Iran's inclusion on the list with Iraq and North
Korea, it is derived from a possible war on Iraq. Historically, the United
States sought to maintain balance in the Persian Gulf between Iraq and
Iran, not allowing either one to dominate. During the Cold War, the U.S.
supported Iran while the Soviets supported Iraq. During the Iran-Iraq War,
our policy was to ensure that neither side won decisively.
After the Gulf War in 1991, the U.S. embarked on the "dual containment" of
Iran and Iraq, largely because we worried that the weakening of Iraq and
the imposition of sanctions on it could give Iran an opportunity to assert
its power in the region. Now, with a potential war on Iraq, which at
minimum would significantly weaken it and at maximum lead to its
disintegration, the ground also is laid for weakening Iran. This, Bush
administration officials probably hope, also would alleviate the fears of
some allies in the Gulf who have always seen Iran as a threat and worried
that a diminished Iraq would increase that threat.
It seems then that Hussein, not the fear of terrorism and the spread of
weapons of mass destruction, is dictating U.S. policy. Indeed, many states
that have policy differences with the U.S. may now increase their drive to
procure nuclear weapons as the only way to deter American power. Countering
this drive through military means alone probably would increase states'
sponsorship of terrorism: If they are to be targets anyway, their easiest
method of response is terrorism.
We are capable of destroying many enemies, including Iran, Iraq, North
Korea and more, but we do not have the resources to bring stability or the
desired outcome in every region after such wars. And instability is where
Ugly as some states are, they remain the natural enemies of terrorism by
fanatic groups. Weakening and destabilizing these states will not decrease
terror. It is easier to deter states than to deter shadowy nonstate groups.
The U.S. has been the target of a single horrific enemy that has viciously
attacked us and declared war on us: Al Qaeda. Imagine if the anger of many
groups and states becomes directed at us. The recent anti-American
demonstrations in Iran are an unfortunate reminder. The horror of last
September demonstrated how easy it is to commit large-scale terror in the
age of globalization.
Osama bin Laden's horrible message to potential terrorists was not so much
a call to join his group but to demonstrate the vulnerability of even the
largest power on Earth to the acts of a few men with box cutters. In this
he succeeded, even as we have fortunately destroyed much of his power. The
danger that remains is too great to allow ourselves to be blindsided by our
obsession with Saddam Hussein.
We are a powerful country and we must use that power to defend our
interests against those who threaten us. But we do not need more desperate
Much of the world, which saw our vulnerability in the September tragedy as
a threat to the global order, was buoyed by the recovery of American power
after the Afghan success. Now is the time for prudence, not for turning
global empathy and admiration into pervasive anger.
Shibley Telhami is a professor of government and politics at the University
of Maryland. He is co-editor of "Identity and Foreign Policy in the Middle
East" (Cornell University Press, 2002).
TAKE ACTION! Email a Letter to the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure
to include your full name, street address and daytime phone number. Letters
should be no more than 250 words. Letters can also be faxed to (213)
237-7679. The LA Times also welcomes unsolicited manuscripts for possible
publication on the Op-Ed page. Unpublished manuscripts will not be returned
unless accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Call: (213)
237-2121 for instructions on how to submit material.
V. BALTIMORE SUN
February 11, 2002
Use Words, Not War, to Puncture Inflated Iraqi Threat
by Scott Ritter
ALBANY, N.Y. - The recent statement by Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri
that Iraq was not opposed to dialogue with the United States has gone
mostly unreported, largely because there seems to be no desire on the part
of the Bush administration for a diplomatic resolution to the rapidly
worsening crisis with Iraq.
Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense, prefers bombing to dialogue.
Richard Perle, an assistant secretary of defense under President Ronald
Reagan, together with James Woolsey, former CIA director under President
Bill Clinton, have undertaken a concerted public relations campaign to
lobby for a U.S.-led military attack to oust Saddam Hussein.
They have been joined by Richard Butler and Charles Duelfer, the former
executive chairman and deputy, respectively, of the U.N. Special
Commission, or UNSCOM, that oversaw the disarming of Iraq's weapons of mass
destruction programs from 1991 to 1998. Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman of
Connecticut, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and, most recently,
Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York have spoken out in strong
support for immediate military action to topple Hussein.
To hear the proponents of war tell it, the Iraqi regime presents a clear
and present risk to U.S. national security. This thinking is accepted at
face value by major U.S. media outlets with barely a token effort to dig
deeper into the actual state of affairs in Iraq. Such terms as "grave,"
"imminent," "dire" and now "axis" conjure up images of the Japanese fleet
cruising off the coast of Hawaii or German Panzer divisions charging across
Europe. However, no comparable threat like these exists.
Iraq today is, by all accounts, a "defanged tiger" in terms of conventional
military force. Its status as a "state sponsor of terror" hinges on
Baghdad's continuing to harbor Palestinian terrorists, its sponsorship of a
Marxist Iranian opposition army and a plot to assassinate President George
H.W. Bush in 1993. All of the above are offensive activities that the
United States rightly condemned. But none of these constitutes a clear and
present danger to America or the American way of life.
The remaining issue often cited as a war-worthy threat is Iraq's weapons of
mass destruction (WMD) programs. The programs, outlawed by a U.N. Security
Council resolution in 1991, were tracked down and largely dismantled by
U.N. weapons inspectors from 1991 to 1998. But the final disposition of the
programs remains unresolved since the departure of the inspectors from Iraq
in 1998. While it is impossible to know what, if anything, has transpired
inside Iraq since 1998, the lack of knowledge does not constitute a
justification for war.
When one takes into account the considerable level of disarmament achieved
by the United Nations in Iraq - more than 90 percent of Iraq's WMD programs
were dismantled, according to Rolf Ekeus, who headed the U.N. weapons
inspections from 1991 to 1997 - the picture of Iraq's WMD capabilities
becomes less threatening. Yet, according to the rhetoric put forth by those
lobbying for war, Baghdad continues to pose a threat similar to those of
Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany.
A war with Iraq without the cover of international legality, such as the
invocation of Article 51 of the right to self-defense outlined in the U.N.
Charter, might well succeed militarily, but it would be a political defeat.
International condemnation would be widespread, with the resultant
anti-U.S. sentiment encouraging the emergence of more al-Qaida-like
While Iraq's WMD programs may not pose an immediate threat to U.S. and
regional security, they remain a concern. Diplomatic engagement intended to
return U.N. inspectors back to Iraq, in exchange for lifting economic
sanctions that have punished the people of Iraq but have done nothing to
hurt the Iraqi regime, offers a path toward peace and stability that should
be vigorously pursued before any act of war.
If President Bush is serious about the resumption of U.N.-led weapons
inspections, he should instruct Secretary of State Colin Powell to pick up
the phone and give Baghdad a call. Mr. Sabri is waiting and willing to
talk, so we should call his bluff before getting mired in a bloody and
Scott Ritter is a former chief U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq and currently
is a contributing analyst for Fox News Network. He lives in Albany, N.Y.
Copyright © 2002 Baltimore Sun
TAKE ACTION! Since the Baltimore Sun does not have a wide circulation, it
is better to write your letters to the major flagship papers, such as the
New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Use quotes from Ritter's op-ed to
demonstrate opposition to the Bush plan from a former chief weapons
inspector. In addition, consider sending a copy of Scott Ritter's Baltimore
Sun op-ed and Shibley Telhami's LA Times op-ed to your members of Congress
and your local newspapers. To receive a copy, contact Sara Willi at EPIC -
VI. Letter to the New York Times
The following letter was sent by Father Simon Harak within 24 hours of the
story it responds to. It is an excellent example of an effective letter to
the editor. The more letters the New York Times receives, the more likely
letters like the following are published. Please write your own letter today.
To the Editor:
In "U.S. Goal Seems Clear, And the Team Complete" [NY Times, Feb. 13, 2002,
A18], David Sanger stated that the US will try to provoke a crisis with
Iraq by "demanding that Iraq admit into the country the nuclear inspectors
it ousted in 1998."
There are factual errors in this approach. Iraq has consistently admitted
the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] for nuclear inspections. On
completion of the most recent inspection (January 25-30, 2002), Anrzey
Pietruzewski, head of the team, complimented Iraq on providing "all help
that is necessary to perform the inspections" [Reuters, Jan 31, 2002].
Further, Iraq never "ousted" any inspectors in 1998. Richard Butler
ordered the inspectors to be withdrawn after highly controversial
consultations with US officials -- a fact recognized in a New York Times
correction on Feb. 2, 2000.
Back in 1998, UNICEF estimated that the sanctions had already caused the
death of 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five. Getting the facts
straight will help us avoid taking even more lives with an ill-advised
G. Simon Harak, S. J.
Adjunct Professor, Fordham University
Advisor, Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC)
VII. Information for Writing your own letters to the Editor
Without exception, the letters section is one of the most highly read
sections in any newspaper. Choose one or more of the above articles and
opinion pieces, and write a letter in response. Demonstrate the diverse
public concern for the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, and defend your
right to oppose the war.
NEW YORK TIMES
Note: Be sure to reference today's coverage (see articles above).
no fax provided
WALL STREET JOURNAL
fax 917/510-2880 (ATTN: Ned Crabb, letters editor)
no fax provided
Become your own media watchdog. Visit Yahoo! Full Coverage on Iraq at
For EPIC's latest action alert and updates, visit http://saveageneration.org
VIII. In Memory of the Innocent Victims of Al-Amiriya Shelter, Feb. 13, 1991
On February 13, 1991, U.S. Forces bombed Al-Amiriya Shelter in Baghdad. It
is believed that over 700 civilians perished in the inferno that engulfed
all who were trapped inside the shelter. The grief of those who mourn the
loss of their loved ones and the pain of those who still suffer under the
sanctions cry out to Heaven. In memory, many communities of conscience are
leaving candles in their windows tonight and all next week in memory of the
victims of Al-Amiriyah and to express hope that the threat of renewed war
passes. In letters to newspapers and calls to elected officials, remind
them that it has been Iraq's civilian population that has paid the price
for our nation's policies and wars against Iraq.
IX. Watch NITELINE Tonight! Special Report on Iraq
Tonight, NITELINE will be airing a special report about world opinion
regarding the President's threats against Iraq. Check your local listings
for the time and channel. Here is a brief write up from their website
Axis of Evil, Thursday, Feb. 14 - As there seems to be increasing talk in
Washington of some sort of action against Iraq and Saddam Hussein, the rest
of the world is becoming weary of expanding the war on terrorism.
Meanwhile, the nations in the President's "Axis of Evil" are also beginning
to publicly express their ill-feelings towards the United States.
Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC)
1101 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Washington, D.C. 20003