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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] Fyi. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, August 5 FOR MORE INFORMATION: Rania Masri: 919-419-8311 x27; firstname.lastname@example.org Tara Purohit: 919-419-8311 x25; email@example.com Chris Kromm: 919-419-8311 x26; firstname.lastname@example.org PEACE ACTIVISTS NOW TARGET WAR PROFITEERS AND "CORPORATE LOOTERS" OF IRAQ Leading anti-war groups and prominent activists sign on to campaign challenging "second invasion" of Iraq by corporate interests DURHAM, N.C. - Leading anti-war activists and organizations launched a new campaign today calling for an end to war profiteering by military contractors, and challenging what they call the "second invasion" of Iraq by powerful corporate interests seeking to control the country's oil, water and other resources. The Stop the War Profiteers Campaign, initiated by the North Carolina-based Institute for Southern Studies [www.southernstudies.org <file:///\\www.southernstudies.org> ], has been endorsed by several leading veteran, faith, labor, peace and other organizations, as well as prominent scholars and activists across the country. "A handful of Bush-connected corporations are poised to make billions in profits while U.S. troops are killed almost daily, and Iraq plunges deeper into a colonial nightmare," said Dr. Rania Masri, a campaign coordinator and program director at the Institute. "Halliburton, Bechtel, MCI and other war profiteers are part of a larger invasion by outside corporate interests hoping to control the wealth and resources of Iraq - wealth and resources that belong to the Iraqi people," Masri added. Veterans for Peace, New York Labor Against the War, Global Exchange, United for Peace and Justice, Public Citizen's Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program, and other groups have signed on to the campaign's founding statement, as well as well-known activist authors Noam Chomsky, Jim Hightower, and Howard Zinn. The campaign calls on elected leaders to take several steps to stop war profiteering at taxpayer expense and to end the "corporate looting" of Iraq, including: * Holding congressional hearings to investigate war profiteering and the secretive, closed-bid "reconstruction" contracts in Iraq given to a handful of corporations close to the Bush administration. The hearings would be modeled on those held in the 1930s by Sen. Gerald Nye to investigate the role of the "munitions industry" in warping foreign policy. * Reigning in war profiteering by military contractors - such as the $400 million in taxpayer-funded profits promised in Halliburton's biggest contract - through an "Excess Profits Tax," similar to those during the Civil War, both World Wars, and the Korean War * Halting the U.S.-led drive to hand over Iraq's industries, services and resources to powerful multinational corporations - such as efforts by occupying forces to privatize public services and strip down rules on foreign investment, before Iraq's indigenous government is allowed to take part in decision-making. The campaign opens a new front of opposition to the Bush Administration's war in Iraq, adding to charges at home of manipulation of intelligence to justify the war, and fierce resistance in Iraq to the U.S.-led occupation and delay of self-rule. "The U.S. is rushing to open Iraq to a flood of outside corporate interests, before the country's own government can take power," said Chris Kromm, director of the non-profit Institute. "If the Iraq war was really about democracy, why won't they wait and let the Iraqi people decide what to do with their economy?" Campaign leaders point to a strong historical precedent for Congress to take action against corporate interests seeking to profit off the suffering of war. Tara Purohit, an Institute associate working on the campaign, noted that during World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said "I don't want to see a single war millionaire created in the United States as a result of this disaster," and then-Senator Harry Truman denounced war profiteering as "treason." Earlier in the century, Sen. Robert LaFollette called war profiteers "enemies of democracy in the homeland." "Our country has a proud history of leaders who have stood up to the war profiteers," said Purohit. "Now it's time for today's leaders to stand up to the new merchants of misery and corporate war looters." For more information or to endorse the Stop the War Profiteers Campaign, visit <file:///\\www.southernstudies.org> www.southernstudies.org or contact the Southern Peace Research and Education Center at 919-419-8311 x27 or email@example.com Founded in 1970 by civil rights veterans, the Institute for Southern Studies is a research, education and action center based in Durham, North Carolina. The Southern Peace Research and Education Center is a program of the Institute designed to explore the South's unique ties to foreign policy and the military-industrial complex. The Institute also publishes Southern Exposure, the award-winning journal of politics and culture. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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