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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] Friends - A recent distribution asked about organizations doing work in Iraq which might qualify for CASI funds. You may want to consider the American Friends Service Committee. A recent report from them on their current work in Iraq is pasted below. Fred Dettmer Campaign of Conscience for the Iraqi People Campaign Update ==================================================================== In This Issue: - Stay Tuned to the Big Picture - Aftermath: The Human Face of War - Help Remove the Debt - Report: The Unproven Case for War - AFSC Examines Conditions in Iraq - AFSC Health Kits Stay Tuned to the Big Picture Many people in the international community, the media, and the U.S. Congress are challenging the pretexts for war against Iraq. Iraq's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction is now seen as an exaggerated threat. We have not seen adequate concern for the people of Iraq and their safety. On May 22, 2003, the UN Security Council legalized the occupation of Iraq by approving Resolution 1483. The United States and United Kingdom, referred to as the "Authority," were given control over Iraq’s resources and a mandate to govern Iraq until a new government is established. Most Iraqis are grateful to the United States for deposing the regime and understand the necessity of the U.S. military presence. However, as U.S. tanks and Humvees step up patrols on Saddoun and Karata streets, some Iraqis ask: "When will we have the promised security? What comes next?” The occupying powers have shown little commitment to a broadly democratic process that uses Iraqi voices. In this newsletter and at the AFSC website (see below), watch for reports from our staff in Iraq, providing eyewitness accounts and analysis of on-the-ground realities. The AFSC's humanitarian relief focuses on water projects and delivery of emergency medicines: We link these efforts to advocacy campaigns to change U.S. policy. One component will be grassroots education to encourage participation in the 2004 election. To do this, we need your support. Go to AFSC website http://conscience.c.tclk.net/maaa91aaaYzema4Qsmhb/ Aftermath: The Human Face of War The Human Face of War is an alternative information web site, created and updated by the AFSC. It focuses on the humanitarian crisis caused by the war on Iraq. Although President Bush has declared that “major combat” has ended in Iraq, the war continues. Check these pages for updates on AFSC relief efforts in Iraq, political commentary, and eyewitness accounts from our staff. Some issues we will track: Will the U.S. military occupation remove the measures that damaged Iraq’s economy under sanctions? What initiatives will be employed to address Iraqis’ fears of occupation and mistrust from years of sanctions? See our latest report http://conscience.c.tclk.net/maaa91aaaYywqa4Qsmhb/ Help Remove the Debt The people of Iraq face a crushing debt, estimated to be $65 billion to $120 billion. In addition, the United Nations-controlled sanctions compensation fund could demand an additional $50 billion to pay for damage Iraq caused during the 1991 war. To address this, Working for Change has launched a letter-writing campaign on behalf of Jubilee USA. It calls for eliminating the debt incurred by the government of Saddam Hussein. “This will go a long way towards rebuilding a nation broken by decades of sanctions and war. Debt cancellation for Germany was a significant part of the Marshall Plan, which helped them [Germany] to become a strong and prosperous democracy post-WWII and can aid Iraq as well. If Iraq is ever truly to be a peaceful and prosperous democracy, its citizens must be allowed to start anew. . . ." Send a letter to Treasury Secretary Snow http://conscience.c.tclk.net/maaa91aaaYywAa4Qsmhb/ Report: The Unproven Case for War A report from a project of the Fourth Freedom Forum and the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame describes the controversy sparked by failure of U.S. and British forces in Iraq to find evidence of weapons of mass destruction: "Two contending explanations have been offered for why the Bush administration made apparently questionable claims about weapons of mass destruction. The first alleges an intelligence failure. The best analysts in the CIA simply had no foolproof way of discerning what Saddam had. They gave the administration a wide-ranging set of estimates, from benign to worst-case, and,.. the president’s advisors adopted the worst-case scenario. The second claim, more odious in form and substance, is that the administration inflated and manipulated uncertain data to make the case for war to the American people and the world community.” The Fourth Freedom Forum is a useful source of information about policies. See the full report http://conscience.c.tclk.net/maaa91aaaYywZa4Qsmhb/ AFSC Examines Conditions in Iraq Last month three staff members traveled in Iraq to assess needs and recommend next steps. They found dire conditions, with urgent need for a coordinated international response. They also saw cause for hope in actions of individual Iraqis and religious groups, and in the emergence of civil society. Sadly, the enormity of need threatens to overwhelm positive developments before they can take root and grow. This summary of findings and recommendations builds on observations of Tareq el Bakri, Middle East regional AFSC coordinator in Amman, Jordan, and Rick McDowell and Mary Trotochaud, Iraq country representatives, who will be establishing an AFSC presence in Baghdad. Beginning this month, AFSC will have two Quaker International Affairs Representatives (QIARs) based in Amman, Jason Erb and Noha Bakr. See AFSC Trip Assessment Report http://conscience.c.tclk.net/maaa91aaaYyxia4Qsmhb/ AFSC Health Kits Thank you to everybody. The collection of health kits -– destined for Iraqis affected by the war -- is a tangible people-to-people campaign. The number of people touched by this effort is represented not only in kits collected but the ripple effect of collective action. A letter from Amherst College highlights this: "424 Amhurst College students did not eat at the dining hall on April 16th, contributing their fees to the Iraq Relief Kit Fund.” A Girl Scout troop in Nashville, Tennessee, gathered kits to satisfy service requirements of the club. Faith communities held fundraisers, and a great number of schools' classroom projects featured kits collection. I am happy to report that almost 20,000 kits were collected and sent to Iraq. See delivery report of emergency medicines http://conscience.c.tclk.net/maaa91aaaYyxka4Qsmhb/ Campaign Updates are edited by Peter Lems and Melissa Elliott AFSC Iraq Peace Building Program 1501 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 phone: 215-241-7170; fax: 215-241-7177 Join the Campaign of Conscience on the web. http://conscience.c.tclk.net/maaa91aaaYysya4Qsmhb/ _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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