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Campaign to End Iraq Sanctions -- Ireland 125 Winter Garden, Pearse Street, Dublin 2 ph: 01 6727803; email: email@example.com Nov 11, 2002 Press Release Contact in Baghdad: Michael Birmingham, member of the Campaign currently in Iraq. Working with UNDP and Iraq Peace Team. Al Rashid Hotel, Room 506. ph (9641) 7177440, 7188007, 7172883 Local Contacts: Sandeep Vaidya, 01 6727803, Suzie Flood 087 6532598 UN Security Council clears way for US war on Iraq In an unanimous vote on Friday, the UN Security Council approved a US drafted resolution that imposes tough and humiliating conditions on Iraq. The resolution offers the United States the fig leaf of international support to further it's long term goal of replacing the current government of Saddam Hussein with a puppet regime that is more sympathetic to US and Western oil companies. The vote on Friday was a culmination of an intense debate amongst the five veto-wielding members of the Council. The plight of the Iraqi people suffering from over 12 years of a brutal embargo was not foremost on the minds of the delegates as they debated the US resolution. The 5 permanent members were more interested in preserving their stake in Iraq's vast oil resources once a 'friendly' puppet regime was in place. The threat of war from the United States is only distracting us from our main struggle, namely to bring an immediate and a complete end to the criminal sanctions regime which has killed over 1.5 million Iraqis and takes the lives of over 4000 children below the age of 5 EACH month. A member of the UN Security Council, Ireland voted for the resolution. Brian Cowen, minister for Foreign Affairs, said "Ireland supports this new resolution because it offers the most likely means of achieving the three goals we set ourselves, namely, to obtain Iraq's compliance with it's disarmament obligations, to avoid a military conflict, and to preserve the primary responsibility of the SC…" The new resolution is not about finding Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction. The resolution was drafted in a way that would make it impossible for a sovereign nation like Iraq to fully comply. “The resolution hands Iraq an ultimatum that in the past has meant either war or surrender. It demands weapons inspectors have the right to see anything, take anything, break anything and talk to anybody - anytime, anywhere and in private. It provides that the inspectors may interview anyone inside or outside Iraq. They may also transport anyone and any family members outside Iraq for that purpose. Inspectors are to be protected by UN security guards. They may impound facilities. They may define "exclusion zones" in which all air and ground movement is restricted. They may seize, destroy or export property. The resolution gives Iraq no rights. It affirms UN commitment to the "sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Iraq and its neighbors. But that's more of a promise to Turkey that it won't see an independent Kurdistan on its border. It's also a promise to creditors like Russia that Iraq will be kept around to pay its bills.” (Investor’s Business Daily, Nov 11, 2002) As Iraq’s Trade Minister Mohammad Mehdi Saleh said, "The objective of any draft resolution will not be to verify the situation about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction but to provide some causes for the United States to attack Iraq." Former US Attorney-General, Ramsey Clark said, "On Nov. 8, after two months of threats and bullying, the UN Security Council passed a draconian inspections resolution that will give President Bush a pretext for war unless we stop him. It allows inspectors to remove any Iraqi from the country for questioning. Immediate demand could be made to interview Saddam Hussein and Iraq's generals at U.S. prisons in Guantanamo, Cuba or even Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. Imagine the U.S. agreeing to allow its officials to be abducted by a foreign power!" The resolution has loopholes to allow the United States to unilaterally declare Iraq to be in non-compliance and launch a devastating war. Several top American officials have repeatedly stated that the United States will not wait for an authorization from the UN to attack Iraq. A massive build up of US and British troops in the gulf is ongoing. Devastating effects of a new war on Iraq and the Iraqi people cannot be overestimated. The Gulf War in 1990 destroyed much of Iraq. Humanitarian organizations and UN agencies have repeatedly documented the huge death toll which resulted jointly from the sanctions and that war. Only the people of the world can stop a new US war on Iraq. A recent 'Irish Times' poll showed that Irish people are overwhelmingly against this war. Several anti-war protests have taken place in Irish cities attended by thousands of people. The anti-war sentiment is strong across Europe, Asia and even in the United States. By supporting the resolution, the Irish government has shown its complete disregard for the anti-war sentiments of the Irish people. It is important for people in Ireland to send a strong anti-war message to the Taoiseach, Berti Ahern and his government ministers to ensure that their voices are not ignored . ONLY THE PEOPLE CAN STOP A NEW WAR ON IRAQ. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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