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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] Friends, - some comments and ideas here which may be of interest. best, f. Campaign of Conscience for the Iraqi People - March 1, 2002 Update In this update: - Breaking the Isolation - A Sign of Hope - Support the Campaign of Conscience - Quaker Summit Links - Peace Pledge Update - New Web Look! - April 20 National Mobilization Against the War - Iraq News Summary BREAKING THE ISOLATION The increased volume of threats and ultimatums against Iraq, including the label of 'Axis of Evil' and public pronouncements of a regime change narrow the options for all sides and prolong catastrophe for the Iraqi people. The language sidesteps the key issue of the conflict: the absolute control of Iraq's resources by the Sanctions Committee of the United Nations. Last week the the UN office reported that 5 billion dollars of goods ordered by the Iraqi government are being blocked by the United Nations. Restrictiong these materials prevents the government from satisfying the needs of its people and directly leads to thousands of preventable deaths monthly. A SIGN OF HOPE: DIALOGUE On March 7th discussions will resume after a one-year hiatus between the United Nations Secretary General and Iraq's Foreign Minister. This should be a stepping-stone towards a dialogue with the United States. There have not been direct discussions between Iraq and the United States since the cease-fire arrangement was imposed 11 years ago. Please call the White House at 202-456-1414 or the State Department at 202-647-4000 and tell the Bush Administration to begin talks. SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN In the past few weeks, we have received endorsements for the Campaign of Conscience from Austin Friends Meeting in Texas, Charlotte Friends Meeting in North Carolina, Haverford Friends Meeting in Pennsylvania. We need your community to sign on as well. Please forward this link to your e-mail lists, www.afsc.org/conscience/join.shtm <http://www.afsc.org/conscience/join.shtm> . Our primary goal is to encourage institutions and individuals to support the sending of unlicensed relief supplies to Iraq, in willful violation of the sanctions. Our second objective is to offer a way for people to contribute to our work in Iraq and to end the sanctions. These contributions can fall outside of the willful violation of the sanctions. To learn more about the Campaign, see our About the Campaign page at www.afsc.org/conscience/about.shtm <http://www.afsc.org/conscience/about.shtm> . QUAKER SUMMIT LINKS Stories will soon appear in many publications about the Campaign's recent Quaker summit: Translating Faith into Deeds. We've put two summit summaries on-line. The first summary (www.afsc.org/conscience/news/summit-ql.shtm <http://www.afsc.org/conscience/news/summit-ql.shtm> ) will appear in Quaker Life magazine, the second, Is Iraq Next? (www.afsc.org/conscience/news/isnext.shtm <http://www.afsc.org/conscience/news/isnext.shtm> ), gives an overview of the summit, the "war on terror" and Iraq, and the Campaign of Conscience, will appear in some form in Peacework. SAY NO TO WAR: Peace Pledge Turn-In on March 25, 2002 Speculation about a US major attack on Iraq ranges from May to the fall. We need to make use of the time we have to mobilize opposition to such a tragedy. There are now 2500 peace pledge signers. We need your help with an all-out effort in the next month to increase the number of supporters for a NATION-WIDE PEACE PLEDGE TURN-IN on March 25, 2002. The turn-in will include having the pledge and the names read into the Congressional Record and visits to DC congressional offices. It will also include visits to Senatorial offices in states where we can contact activists willing to work on the project in the next month. We will have all of the signers to the peace pledge listed by state on the Campaign's website, www.afsc.org/conscience/Default.shtm <http://www.afsc.org/conscience/Default.shtm> . You will be able to download those names in order to set up meetings with your local representatives. Please contact us if you need any additional material for these meetings. There could also be more dramatic acts in an effort to get media attention like sizable numbers of people violating the sanctions by contributing something to the next delegation to Iraq. How YOU Can Help 1. Reply to this message if you are willing to help organize a delegation. Type "delegation" in the subject line. 2. Encourage more people to sign the peace pledge. They can sign the pledge on-line at www.peaceresponse.org/pledge/ <http://www.peaceresponse.org/pledge/index.shtml> . 3. Send us suggestions for other groups to contact. NEW WEB LOOK The Campaign of Conscience website (www.afsc.org/conscience/ <http://www.afsc.org/conscience/Default.shtm> ) has a new look and offers more resources for you. Here are a few of the new features: - A new all-in-one resource guide (www.afsc.org/iraq/guide/Default.shtm <http://www.afsc.org/iraq/guide/Default.shtm> ) has fact sheets, reports, issue summaries, commentary, and teacher's resources. - New fact sheets, The Deadly Effects of Sanctions (www.afsc.org/iraq/guide/deadly.shtm <http://www.afsc.org/iraq/guide/deadly.shtm> ) and Timelines on Iraq's crisis and bombings (www.afsc.org/iraq/guide/timeline.shtm <http://www.afsc.org/iraq/guide/timeline.shtm> ). - All our Campaign Updates (www.afsc.org/conscience/oldupdates.shtm <http://www.afsc.org/conscience/oldupdates.shtm> ) - A Campaign of Conscience on-line sign-up form (www.afsc.org/conscience/join.shtm <http://www.afsc.org/conscience/join.shtm> ) - And new, easier navigation. APRIL 20 NATIONAL MOBILIZATION TO END THE WAR A coalition of more than 100 organizations has endorsed a March on Washington April 20, 2002 to oppose the open-ended "war on terrorism." For more information about the event and how you can participate, see the website at www.a20stopthewar.org/ <http://www.a20stopthewar.org/> . NEWS UPDATES 1) Support or None: Forging Ahead With Plans for War The outlines of the Bush Administration's strategy to oust Saddam are beginning to emerge. According to a New York Times report, between now and May, Mr. Bush's team plans to create what amounts to an inspection crisis- demanding that Iraq admit inspectors into the country. Mr. Bush's aides fully expect that Mr. Hussein will refuse outright or feign cooperation in the hope of dragging out the process. Mr. Bush's plan is to use either action as evidence that Iraq is hiding active weapons program, and use its resistance to justify more forceful action. (The New York Times, February 13, 2002) However, the senior administration officials said the president is not interested in mere 'behavior modification,' suggesting that even if Hussein were to agree to allow UN inspectors into his country, it might not be enough to satisfy the administration (Chicago Tribune, February 14, 2002). Following the State of the Union Address, the US resumed its extensive support for the Iraqi opposition group, the London-based Iraq National Congress. This despite the fact that INC lost credibility among major Iraqi opposition forces (Kurds in the North and Shiites in the South) after orchestrating an ill-fated uprising in northern Iraq in 1995 (which was abandoned by the CIA on US government order), and despite INC's head's financially scandalous past (conviction in a Jordanian court 10 years ago for embezzling money from depositors as well as being faulted by the State Department last December for failing to account for half of a $4 million disbursement in US funding to his group) (The Guardian, February 22, 2002). Iraq's main Kurdish parties, key local allies in any US attempt to unseat President Saddam Hussein, have voiced misgivings about taking part in a military action against the Baghdad government. Saddam bombed Kurdish villages with poison gas in 1988, but Kurdish leaders fear that an American military campaign could fail, and Saddam could take revenge on the Kurds. Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party, said: "We will not be ordered by American or any others. We will not be a bargaining chip or tool of pressure to be used against Iraq" (Daily Telegraph, London, February 15, 2002). In an interview with The Christian Science Monitor, Ayatollah Mohammad Bakr Al-Hakkim, the leader of the Iran-based Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) said, "he does not want Washington's help." Hakkim, the commander of the 10,000-strong Badr Brigade militia which has been fighting with the Iraqi regime for 22 years, told the newspaper that, "The 'Afghan model' of backing proxy forces, as the US did against the Taliban, does not apply to Iraq? such plans are very far-fetched and a bad idea." (Arabicnews.com, February 19, 2002) The Former Iraqi army chief of staff General Nizar Khazraji has been picked by the United States to run Iraq after the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein. The prestigious London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat quoted Iraqi opposition sources in Damascus that Khazraji, who lives in exile in Denmark, "is the favored candidate" among 62 ex-officers earmarked by Washington as potential leaders. (French News Agency, February 11, 2002) Khazraji was in charge of Iraq's bloody campaign against the Kurds in the North of Iraq between 1987 and 1988, which resulted in thousands of deaths. In 1993, the organization Human Rights Watch presented a report to the US congress entitled "Genocide in Iraq, the Anfal Campaign against the Kurds. The report says that General Khazraji was directly responsible for the massacre (The Swiss paper 24 hours, February 13, 2002). Also Iranian sources report that the general was not only involved in gassing the Kurds and pursued a scorched earth policy in Kurdish areas, but also ordered the live burial of many Iranian POWs (Jamejam Newspaper, Tehran, February 16, 2002). 2) World Leaders Express Opposition or Reservations to US Plans to Attack Iraq The Kuwaiti Defense Minister, whose country was the target of the 1990 invasion by Iraq, stated: "We will not allow any military operation against any state from our country without international cover" (Washington Post, February 24, 2002) Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham stated: "Nobody is supporting Saddam Hussein, but everyone recognizes in international politics you have a process where before invading a sovereign country, there has to be a reason for it, or we are going to have international chaos." (AP, February 15, 2002) The Italian government and Vatican both oppose an attack on Iraq. (Italian Newspaper Corriere della Sera, February 19, 2002) The Chinese President Jiang Zemin gave a veiled but firm warning to George Bush about Washington's belligerent policy against Iraq: negotiate and stop bullying. Later on, he made a reference to Washington's current belligerent stance against Iraq, stating, "even if China becomes more developed in the future, it will not go for bullying or threatening other countries" (PRAVDA. Russia, 2002-02-23). 3) Isolation and Crisis According to UN sources, UN Secretary-General Annan will meet Iraq's foreign minister in New York for a new 'dialogue' on March 7 that will include returning weapon's inspectors to Iraq. Iraq and Annan have held previous talks, the last ones in February 2001. (Reuters, Monday February 25, 2002) The UN's humanitarian program in Iraq has been hampered by a record $5.3 billion worth of supplies, blocked mainly by the US. The blocked items include some $4.6 billion worth of humanitarian supplies and $703 million for oil industry equipment, the UN office of the Iraq program said in its weekly report. (The Guardian, February 21, 2002) --------------------------------------------------------------------- See our achives <http://www.afsc.org/conscience/oldupdates.htm> for past updates. Please FORWARD this message to your friends and colleagues! --------------------------------------------------------------------- from Peter Lems AFSC Iraq Peacebuilding Program 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19104 phone: 215-241-7170; fax: 215-241-7177 Join the Campaign of Conscience on the web at <a href="http://www.afsc.org/conscience/join.htm">www.afsc.org/conscience/join. htm e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> See the Campaign of Conscience on the web at http://www.afsc.org/conscience/ e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk