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[casi] Peace Delegation in Iraq

August 28, 2002


*More Bombings in Iraq as U.S.-British Warplanes Hit Mosul and Suburb of
Baghdad last Tuesday*

A U.S. anti-war delegation traveling through Iraq has visited areas that
have been targeted by this week's U.S. bombing campaign. The delegation --
stationed at Baghdad's Al-Rasheed hotel until the end of the week -- was in
Basra on Tuesday. Basra is Iraq's second largest city and suffered a major
bomb attack on Sunday morning August 25th. Eight people died and many
civilians were injured, some seriously.

The U.S. delegation, which is led by Ramsey Clark, former U.S. attorney
general will be inspecting Mosul airport in Northern Iraq tomorrow August
29. The airport and its radar tower that guides civilian air traffic were
hit by U.S. missiles on August 27.

On behalf of the delegation, Ramsey Clark issued the following statement:

"We came to Basra to visit the hospitals and interview doctors and patients
about the state of health care in Basra. We had planned to come to Basra
because the region is suffering stunning cancer rates. This area in Iraq was
the site of the greatest use of depleted uranium weapons by U.S. air force
in the Gulf War eleven years ago."

"Two days before we arrived in Basra U.S. war planes struck again killing
and wounding more than twenty people. We visited one of the wounded at the
Basra Training Hospital and we interviewed workers in the area who saw and
heard the gigantic explosion at approximately 11:00 am Sunday morning August
25. While we were in Basra, U.S. war planes carried out two more major
bombing attacks against the airport in Mosul and against civil and service
installations in Al-Nukhayb, located south of Baghdad. We will inspect the
airport at Mosul tomorrow.

"People in the United States must recognize that the war against Iraq goes
on every day as the Bush administration prepares for a major land and ground
war. The economic sanctions are a central part of the decade-long war waged
against Iraq by the United States. Bombing and sanctions constitute an
integrated strategy designed to overthrow the government in Iraq and replace
it with a proxy regime similar to what exists in Afghanistan. The U.S.
government falsely declares that its campaign against Iraq is motivated by a
concern over Iraq's potential possession of non-conventional weapons. The
real goal is to dominate this strategic and oil-rich region and to destroy
any government and people that desire to maintain their independence."

"We witnessed in Basra the care provided to the large number of adults and
children who are suffering high rates of cancer. Certain childhood cancers,
for instance, have increased by a huge factor in the last few years. While
they can be treated by combination drug therapy protocols, Iraqi hospitals
are unable to effectively import all of the medicines needed for the
protocol. As a consequence, almost all the children with these cancers
perish. It is the U.S. imposed sanctions that makes access to the full
protocol impossible. Deliberately obstructing sick people's access to
medicines that would keep them alive otherwise must be understood as

"It is urgent that this country be allowed to trade, buy and sell all the
products necessary to sustain and improve life. U.S. imposed sanctions have
killed more than a million Iraqis. The near-daily bombing since 1998 has
killed hundreds if not thousands of people. The U.S. government is guilty of
violating the basic tenets of international law as a wages aggression
against Iraq. We are urging all progressive people in the United States and
elsewhere to take immediate action to end the criminal campaign against

The delegation also includes Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, an attorney and
co-founder of the Partnership for Civil Justice-LDEF and member of the
A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition steering committee; Johnnie Stevens, co-director of
the People's Video Network; Kadouri al-Kaysi, coordinator of the Committee
in Solidarity with the Iraqi People; and Brian Becker, co-director of the
International Action Center and member of the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition
steering committee.

Telephone interviews with Ramsey Clark and other members of the delegation
can be arranged through Tony Murphy at 212-633-6646.

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