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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


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.


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

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.


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, <>

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
<> .


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
<> ) will appear in Quaker
magazine, the second, Is Iraq Next?
<> ),
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,
<> .
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
<> .
3. Send us suggestions for other groups to contact.


The Campaign of Conscience website
( <> )
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
<> ) has fact sheets, reports,
issue summaries, commentary, and teacher's resources.
- New fact sheets, The Deadly Effects of Sanctions
<> ) and Timelines on Iraq's
and bombings (
<> ).
- All our Campaign Updates (
<> )
- A Campaign of Conscience on-line sign-up form
<> )
- And new, easier navigation.


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
<> .


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." (,
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 <>  for past

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
e-mail: <>
See the Campaign of Conscience on the web at
e-mail: <>

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