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[casi] the real story behind the arrest of Dr. Huda Saleh Mehdi Amash

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Dear all,

I met Huda Saleh Mehdi Amash three times in Baghdad, and on these occasions she impressed us with 
very clear explanations on the political world-situation and the use of DU in Iraq by the US and 
the health situation of the Iraqi population in general. I remember her as a very intelligent 
person. I could easily understand why she, being a woman, was elected in the government in 2001 to 
represent the trade-unions. In this mail you can read an interview we had with her during our 
international peace mission in april 2002. On our last meeting in january 2003, she was minister of 
I was quite surprised when she figured on the US cardgame. I kept wondering why. After reading the 
next article,  I begin to understand. I suggest you to read this mail. Specially those, like 
Philippa and Jo Baker, who have a special interest in DU.
Dirk Adriaensens.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, May 7th, 2003 CONTACT:
Alexander Dwinell
On the detention of Dr. Huda S. Ammash

The U.S. publishers of Dr. Huda S. Ammash assert that there may be political motivations for her 
detention on Monday, May 5 in Baghdad by the U.S. military on allegations that she oversaw Iraq's 
purported development of biological weapons. Dr. Ammash, Dean of Baghdad University, is the author 
of "Toxic Pollution, the Gulf War, and Sanctions," a peer reviewed research paper published in 
_Iraq Under Siege_ (South End Press, 2002) an anthology that examined the effects of the Gulf War 
and sanctions on Iraq.

United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) spokesperson Hiro Ueki 
has confirmed to South End Press that based on earlier research "UNMOVIC did not single Dr. Ammash 
out for interviews because UNMOVIC did not have clear evidence to link Dr. Ammash to BW [biological 
weapons] programs" when visiting Baghdad University on January 13th, 2003.

"We are outraged at the U.S.'s extra-legal detention of Dr. Ammash and its plans to interrogate 
her. We demand that Dr. Ammash be released immediately," said co-publisher Alexander Dwinell. "The 
U.S. government is trying to silence Dr. Ammash's outspoken criticism of the U.S. role in causing 
cancers and other illnesses in Iraq through its own use of biologically hazardous weapons such as 
radioactive deleted uranium."

Dr. Ammash, an environmental biologist and professor at Baghdad University, received her <Ph.D>. 
from the University of Missouri. She has earned international respect for her publications, 
particularly her documentation of the rise in cancers among Iraqi children and war veterans since 
the Gulf
War. In _Iraq Under Siege_ she writes: "Iraqi death rates have increased significantly, with cancer 
representing a significant cause of mortality, especially in the south and among children."

When visited in Baghdad by a group of NGO representatives and former UN officials in January 2003, 
Dr. Ammash stated: "People here bear every respect for Western people and Western civilization. We 
respect your technological accomplishments and your values..Yet hatred is being manufactured by 
some to engineer a clash of civilizations."

Dr. Ammash's other publications include: "Impact of Gulf War Pollution in the Spread of Infectious 
Diseases in Iraq," (Soli Al-Mondo, Rome, 1999), and "Electromagnetic, Chemical, and Microbial 
Pollution Resulting from War and Embargo, and Its Impact on the Environment and Health," (Journal 
of the
[Iraqi] Academy of Science, 1997).

South End Press 7 Brookline Street #1, Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 547-4002 Fax: (617) 547-1333

Conference given by miss  Huda Saleh Mehdi Amash for the International Peace Mission april 2002

The academician and politician Huda Saleh Mehdi Amash on the 'arms inspections'

"They raised 280.000 questions about our instruments of  laboratory and it was necessary to answer 
until the last "

"We are proud of being able to introduce a lady to you who is at the  same time important a 
scientist and a great politician."  In this way, Doctor  Al Hashimi of Iraqi Association for 
friendship, peace and solidarity introduced the conference of Mrs. Huda Saleh Mehdi Amash on 
tuesday april 16 for the European peace delegation.  This young woman, member of the regional 
command of the socialist and Arabic Baath party will make honor to her reputation.  A literal 

Noted by Kris Merckx

Thank you for having taken the long and painful trip to arrive here.  This gives to the Iraqi 
people courage in his fight against the criminal embargo which is imposed in an illegal way on all  
the nation.  The embargo is a double crime because it prevents us from taking adequate measures 
against the consequences of the depleted uranium (DU) in the weapons used by the United States. 
Notice, that they used them while our tanks were not in Kuwait but retreating on the Iraqi 
territory. They shot more than one million balls containing depleted uranium. Different balls 
qualibres: 120 mm, 35 mm and 25 mm. 80% of the touched  tanks are still in the south. You can go to 
see them, but we do not  want you to be confronted with this danger.

During the explosion of the balls, uranium oxide is formed, a white powder which does not dissolve 
in water. This is why it remains in the environment.  It can be inhaled, passes through the lungs 
in the blood circulation until it reaches the bones or the kidneys. Where it will remain 
definitively. It diffuses radioactive rays inside the body there. The radiation will only decrease 
by half after more than 4000 million years (the 'half-life time'). This represents more than the 
duration of existence of our planet. [ 1 ]

An Iraqi team showed for the first time in 1993 the use of depleted uranium. Previously the United 
States denied the existence of such projectiles. Then, they have, with the assistance of German 
scientists, pretended that the level of pollution is not harmful. Another Iraqi team, thereafter, 
showed the contamination of animals and plants. Thus pollution enters the food chain. The next 
answer of the Americans was: 'There will only be a prove if you isolate uranium from contaminated 
tissue of the body'.  Eh well, a Canadian doctor, Harry Sherma of the University of Waterloo, 
showed the presence of depleted uranium in the urine of 30 veterans of the Gulf War. They secrete 
on average 2 micrograms per ml of urine per day, and this 8 years after the War of the Gulf. You 
can imagine the consequences of the daily exposure to the radiation which causes cancer and  which 
affects the immune system too. You will note the great  incidence (= presence) of cancers and other 
diseases around the city of the south, Bassora, where the war prevailed.

The Embargo blocks the fight against cancers of uranium

Anti-oxidants like the vitamins E, A, C and the  betacarotene can protect people against cancers. 
But the embargo did not enable us to protect ourselves by these vitamins, present in healthy food.  
The famous program ' Oil for food' (OFF where the  authorized sale of a quantity limited of oil in 
order to be able to buy food and drugs) brings to Iraq neither enough of food, nor enough drugs. 
This term was deliberately used to manipulate the international opinion, to give the impression 
that the Iraqi people would have from now on to eat.

Food that is given us consisted only of flour and yeast to make bread, sugar, oil.. But for us, 
food before the war meant also: meat, dairy products, vegetables, fruits, poultry...  But we could 
not any more get these products, and thus people of the south diffuse the contamination. I met an 
American woman working in a humans rights organisation. She did not know that the program OFF 
allowed us neither drugs nor a complete food, although she had worked herself for the UN. I said to 
her: 'Just read the MOU, the memorandum of understanding on the OFF-program and you will see.'

Chemotherapy is not sufficiently available. Some of the cancerous patients reacted well to new 
cytostatic [ 2 ]   Texor or Texotir (French mark).  Their tumours decreased....  after having 
received some amounts thanks to the efforts of friends like you. But the reserve became scare, the 
tumours reappeared and the patients died.

         The use of weapons of depleted uranium is not  prohibited explicitly. But there is a 
general prohibition on weapons which cause 'extensive damage and of long duration'.  This is here 
certainly the case.  As to 'long duration': the radiation decreases only with half that in 4,5 
billion years.  And do the cause 'extensive damage'? Certainly because it continues to cause 
cancers during all these years to millions of people.

The United States want to get rid of the old resolution of  the United Nations

They now seek old and new reasons to attack Iraq.  The only true  reason is that Iraq said NO to 
the new imperialism, but also because we want to defend our sovereignty and our freedom. The hidden 
intention of the United States is that they want to obtain a new  resolution of the United Nations. 
Indeed, the resolution of 1991  accepted by the UN and Iraq was completely implemented by Iraq. It 
is time now that UN lift the sanctions.

The resolution, precisely in article 14, mentions that if Iraq destroys its weapons of massive 
destruction, these latter must also disappear from all Middle East, therefore also in Israel. Time 
to carry out also this article has come. Especially as the international pressure to do that grows.

For this reason the E.U. want to attack again Iraq. And they seek all kinds of pretexts: Iraq 
should support terrorism, should still produce weapons  of massive destruction, prohibit the access 
of arms-inspectors... One pretext follows the other, that they don't have in fact anything solid. 
And indeed, for any the reasons given there exists neither an indication nor a proof.

Pilot-terrorists trained in a No-fly-zone?!

We oppose terrorism. In 1980 we were ourselves victims, when in the university a grenade was 
launched towards our actual vice-prime-minister, Tariq Aziz.  It burst among the students and made 
several deaths. And how could we give money to the terrorists?  All  the money that we receive for 
the sale of oil must pass through a French  bank. The sanctions do not allow that foreign 
currencies are traded by the Iraqi banks. So, the groups supporting terrorists can not purchase 
those funds here. The no-fly-zones imposed on us in the north and the south of our country makes 
the schooling of these terrorist pilots impossible, even if we would like to do so. In opposition 
to what occurs in the banks of  the US and other big Western banks, laundry of black or criminal 
money is impossible in our country. As the international airline companies can not use our 
airports, hijackers can't do anything here. The US don't have any proof, but in more there isn't 
any logic in their charges.

Weapons of massive destruction?  We are not even able any more to make analyses of stool!

Then the second reason.  They say that 'the regime' -so they call our government in a despising 
way- develops weapons of destruction massive.  We cannot even receive a letter of 20 grams coming 
from Great Britain or the US, because that is prohibited.  We cannot receive the instruments 
necessary to pass an auditive test to a child, or to make a stooltest in a child having diarrhoea 
because there could be "a double use " (= to make  biological weapons etc of them), but 
nevertheless we would be capable to manufacture weapons of massive destruction! In fact any import 
falls under the control of commission 661 from the UN charged  to supervise the application of the 
sanctions.  These weapons of massive destruction are very expensive and require a very 
sophisticated technology. If not, more of half of the world could manufacture some and would have 
already done it, even very poor countries like Congo, Niger...

'Arms inspections '... at the universities.

Then there would be our attitude vis--vis the arms inspections. I was personally confronted with 
this. I teach microbiology to the students of the 3rd year of medicine who have, like everywhere in 
the world, this subject in that year. As academicians we have nothing to do with the production of 
weapons. What you call 'campus', we call it 'sacred place', as for a church or a mosque. The Iraqi 
law prohibited even a traffic policeman the access to the campus, but the inspectors of weapons  
wanted to come there and they came there.  Let us make a rapid calculation now together.

There are 8 universities which have each one of the 6 faculties concerned: exact sciences, 
medicine, the veterinary medicine, engineers, agronomy and pharmacology.  That made 8 x  6 = 48

Each one of these faculties has 3 departments: chemistry, physics and biochemistry.  Therefore 48 x 
3 = 144.

On average each department has at least 10 laboratories.  Therefore 144 x 10 = 1440.  Let us say 
that on the average they have 15 apparatuses: 8 microscopes, 3 balances etc.  That gives 1440 x 15 
= 21.600

For each apparatus it is necessary to fill a form as that which I show you. There are 13 questions 
such as: which is the name of the instrument? when was it bought? from which country was it 
imported? via which port?  etc. At the end, 21.600 forms about the same number of apparatuses, with 
each 13 questions, means 21.600 x 13 = 280.800 questions.

One stupid question without answer? Prolongation of  the  sanctions!

We have here in Iraq the oldest university of the world, founded to the 9th  century. Some 
instruments are thus very old.  Thus we found a microscope of 1957 of which we did not  know by 
which port it had been imported.  Was This Dubai? Or Damas?  We thus did not answer the question. 
When the plate with the mark of  the refrigerator was broken or illegible - Westinghouse or  
Philips? -  we did not answer the question. With which consequences? That towards the external 
world the UN-officials told: 'Iraq does not comply completely with the resolutions of the UNO' and 
in that way the sanctions are each 6 months prolonged. We have been supporting this during 8 years. 
Didn't that last enough? We find that it is urgent  to examine the mechanisms of the inspections: 
is this effective? is  this really a control?

But did Iraq give enough time to the inspectors? They wanted  6 months, we gave them 8 years! Half 
million of children died during this period. And did Iraq give them enough facilities? We gave them 
cars, their daily wages going from 1000 to 3000 dollars, and that for 1000 inspectors. All that 
paid by the Iraqis who suffered from hunger until death. The majority of people in the world do not 
know that we pay them (they take the money on our credits blocked abroad). And all that while our 
nation is dying from starvation.

That lasted for 8 years and half. Wasn't it time to say or 'the work is finished', or 'the 
mechanism is not efficient' or.. 'we are here for other thing, for instance spying'. That's the 
point of view of Iraq. We will not let die another half a million of children to let you do 
something that has nothing to do with arms inspection.

We have 104 non-governmental organizations (NGO) in Iraq. Inform the world about the problems and 
the sufferings which they face. These NGOs are really non-governmental and independent.  They are  
financed by the members. They can attend congresses and workshops abroad and can invite people from 
abroad. They represent a whole spectrum of specialists:  medical specialists (45 NGOs), economic 
actors, lawyers, artists, actors, basic scientists including informaticians, biologists and 
mathematicians. If somebody among you works in one of these sectors, that he or she contacts these 
NGO. They have enormous needs, help them!


Question of Dr. Stephanie De Maesschalck (Medicine for the  People, Belgium)

Are there investigations and studies which show that the  incidence of cancers and especially of 
leukaemia's increases?

Because some say that uranium does not penetrate in the bonemarrow where the blood cells are formed 
and thus also the leukaemia's.

Miss Huda.

Three weeks ago a conference was held on this subject and we will give you the accounts in two 
specimens. But you will go to Basorah where the majority of the cases occurred. Record simply what 
you will see there. And look also to what we, doctors, observe these last years, in our private 
clinics.  Previously we had two cases of cancer per month, currently we have two of them per day, 
and in Basora even 6 per day. When, in the same family, 15 people are affected by cancer, I think 
that things are clear.

I warn you for the dangers of depleted uranium (DU). A directive of the World Health Organization 
(WHO) says that no test can be made with radioactive products, on an individual or a group, without 
the consent of the people concerned and without the control of the International Agency for Atomic 
Energy (IAEA) in Vienna. We can't perform tests ourselves because the IAEA will not permit it..  Do 
not count on the WHO, but look at the facts. Perhaps yes, they will propose a plan of a study over 
10 years, to see whether the depleted uranium plays a role. Meanwhile the nation will die of 
leukaemia's and other cancers.

Why wouldn't DU pass into the bone marrow? If a Canadian doctor, not an Iraqi, proved that it is 
still present in the urine after 8 years, why shouldn't it pass into the bone marrow? Believe me, 
and act now.


Does the danger of depleted uranium also exist apart from the area of the south?

Miss Huda

Yes, because the particles are carried by the wind and do not stop at any border. I read in reports 
that the incidence of cancers increased in Koweit. But they cannot speak about it high, because of 
the American pressure which is very strong.

'On the base of our socialist values, we are against  fundamentalism since a long time'

Question of the German journalist Rainer Rupp (Junge Welt)

We noticed that all Western consumer products are available in the stores and that ther are 
construction sites everywhere.  It is also what the BBC showed two day ago in a  report. So, you 
cannot pretend that Iraq is short of money?

Miss Huda

The deal ' Oil for food and medicine' excludes the arrival of the money of the oil sales in Iraq. 
The products in the stores belong to private people, who buy them with the money of members of  the 
family working in Austria, Jordan, Germany, Lybia, Australia...  Those buy products for you, give 
you money to start a trade.  The State thus does not intervene there with money. The activities of 
construction or maintenance of buildings or roads are financed in dinars, that don't have any value 
out of the borders. I speak frankly with you:  with our dinars you could not finance a terrorist, 
even for one cent. We are against terrorism because our civilization is 10.000 years old. Our 
ideology is in contradiction with that of the Islamic fundamentalists. It is socialist and 
progressive.  We are not  communist, but we were good friends with the Soviet Union and all the 
Communist Parties. From our values, we are opposed to fundamentalism for a much longer time.

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