News

Subject: IRAQ ACTION DIGEST From: "Nicholas Arons, FOR" July 8, 1999 Dear Friends, A few weeks back Bert Sacks, Clayton Ramey, Doug Hostetter, and I (Nick Arons) had the opportunity to sit down for two hours with W. Scott Ritter, former UNSCOM Chief Inspector. Much maligned by the US government and now the press, he is an insightful individual who has been used by many to push for further sanctions and bombing when in fact he has called for the termination of both. I send you all the interview in a separate email. We all found the interview profoundly moving and interesting -- it is not often that the "peace movement" sits across the table from a representative of a military establishment to speak freely and frankly. We all were happy with the exchange and dialogue, and would like to push for further meetings such as this, to promote understanding, to forge bridges of solidarity with those with whom we assume we would disagree, and to better understand the many dynamics which have cast children on the balance of life and death. Oh yeah, and here is the Digest for July 8, 1999. (You can still order organizer's packets from me! They are going fast, so write soon). I. ACTIONS/EVENTS A. Forum on Sanctions -- Washington, D.C. B. Benefit Concert for Voices -- New York City (hey hey hey) C. Leafletting and vigil in NYC -- TODAY! D. Appeal to write letters to CNN for good Iraq coverage II. News Alerts A. Washington's other war aims at provoking coup in Iraq B. Human Rights Watch Report available on Iraq C. U.N. Team To Assess Needs To Rebuild Iraqi Plant D. Article by Felicity Arbuthnot on recent trip to Iraq E. Turkey hunts PKK in Iraq as Turkish Troops... F. Iraq Oil-for-Food Program Criticized G. ADC Convention Site Up H. Mubarak wants Iraq in next Arab Summit I. New DU sources/resources J. U.S. Bombs Iraqi Communications Site (story today) ____________________________________________________________________ A. WAR & SANCTIONS A Forum on Alternatives to Current U.S. Policy Towards Iraq According to the Congressional Resource Service, since the end of the Gulf War the United States has flown over 100,000 missions, and spent over $7 Billion, in efforts to contain Iraq. UN agencies, such as UNICEF and WHO, have documented over 1 million deaths, most of them children, due to U.S.-sponsored "economic" Sanctions. A growing movement exists, both within the United States and internationally, to end this War, and to work toward a humane and just solution for the conflict. Please join our panel in exploring alternatives to current U.S. policy. WHEN: Thursday, July 15th, 7pm WHERE: Luna Books, 16th & P Street, NW, Washington D.C. (above Luna Cafe & Skewers Restaurant) SPEAKERS: Phyllis Bennis, Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies Erik Gustafson, Gulf War Veteran & Director of EPIC (the Education for Peace in Iraq Center) Hussein Ibish, Media Director for the ADC (American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee) Carwil James, Steering Committee, DC Coalition to Stop the War Against Iraq This event is sponsored by the DC Coalition to Stop the War Against Iraq, meeting the first & third Mondays fo every month, at 7:30pm, at Luna Books. Please call (202) 234-2000 for more information. ******* B. Benefit for Voices in the Wilderness with Girls Against Boys + Cat Power + Joan of Arc + Ted Leo Tramps; Saturday, July 10 (I don't even know where this is -- Tramps) Among all the grand injustices being delivered upon innocent people in the world today, few if any compare with what’s happening in Iraq. Since 1996, the Chicago-based organization Voices in the Wilderness has sent almost 20 delegations of people into Iraq with medicine, toys and books, doing a conscientious end-run around the sanctions. Openly defiant of U.S. policy, VitW’s first action was to send a letter to Janet Reno detailing exactly what they were about to do – nonviolent civil disobedience, and in your face. Now the government may be preparing to issue jail terms and severe fines to VitW staff. Punk Planet, an underground magazine which has documented VitW’s efforts, put together this show to raise funds for their defense and activities. And it’s going to be a [heck] of a show. Girls Against Boys should have a batch of new songs to try out on the swooning crowd, as they look towards a new album in ’00; Cat Power, a.k.a. Our Lady of Beautiful Calamity Chan Marshall, will go it alone tonight on piano; the superb Chicago apres-rock trio Joan of Arc sees its original lineup reform for one night only; and Chisel main guy Ted Leo flies solo as well. To add context, Freedom Fighters drummer Jeff Guntzel, who went to Iraq as a member of VitW last fall, will be speaking between bands on the situation and his experiences. –Mike Wolf ******** C. New York City This week we will be leafletting about the Iraq sanctions on Thursday July 8th at University Place and 8th Street, (near NYU) from 5 to 6:30 pm. Please try and join us. Last week we were at the NY Public Library, and that was fairly successful. We are still trying to decide locations, days and times that would suit most people, so your input in deciding these would help. Shubh For more information call 718-832-6243 212-633-6646 212-420-0250 ********* D. Please write similar letters to CNN Dear CNN, Thank your for James Martone's report (CNN Today, July 1, 1999) about the price that Iraqi children are paying because of UN sanctions on their country. The report focused on the devastation to the country's education infrastructure and economy, forcing many young children to work or beg, rather than on the well-documented increase in child mortality and disease also caused by the sanctions. Nevertheless it showed in clear human terms that it is young children like Nizar, pulled out of school in order to help his mother survive, who pay the highest price of a failed, pointless and vindictive sanctions policy. Sincerely, Ali Abunimah [email protected] _____________________________________________________________ II. NEWS BRIEFS (for entire articles please access web sites or write me. preferably checking web sites, last resort email me) A. USA/IRAQ: Washington's Other War , June 29, 1999 Washington's other war aims at provoking coup in Iraq By Norm Dixon While the world's capitalist media have been dominated by the massive US-directed NATO air war against Serbia, Washington's other terrorist war has been all but expunged from the airwaves and newspaper columns. Throughout the Balkans war, US and British war planes have continued to launch daily air raids against Iraq, killing dozens of civilians. Meanwhile, onerous sanctions have also continued to cause the deaths of thousands of children and old people while the US government stymies moves to have them lifted. ----- B. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH 1999 Report on IRAQ Human Rights Developments The Iraqi government continued to engage in a broad array of human rights violations, including mass arrests, torture, summary executions, “disappearances,” and forced relocations. In Iraqi Kurdistan armed Kurdish political parties and Iraqi security forces were also responsible for a wide variety of human rights violations, including the arbitrary detention of suspected political opponents, torture, and extrajudicial executions. The United Nations economic sanctions against Iraq entered their ninth year. The Security Council’s resolution 1153 increased the amount of oil Iraq could export to meet humanitarian needs, but the public health crisis facing the Iraqi population continued. ----- C. U.N. Team To Assess Needs To Rebuild Iraqi Plant Saturday July 3 10:38 AM ET By Hassan Hafidh BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The United Nations will send a team to Iraq to assess requirements to repair an animal vaccine factory which U.N. arms inspectors said had been used to produce biological weapons, a senior U.N. official said Saturday. ----- D. You can find an article by Felicity Arbuthnot (http://www.wsws.org/images/title.gif ) after a recent visit to Iraq ----- E. Article from the Independent (9/7) TURKEY HUNTS PKK IN IRAQ AS TURKISH TROOPS swept through northern Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish guerillas yesterday as reports emerged of a split among the rebels. About 10,000 troops backed by helicopter gunships are hunting down Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) guerillas nine miles inside Iraqi territory, according to Turkish news reports. Military officials confirmed troops had crossed into northern Iraq on Friday in pursuit of the rebels, but refused to comment further. ----- F. Iraq Oil-for-Food Program Criticized AP Online July 05, 1999; Monday BYLINE: LEON BARKHO DATELINE: BAGHDAD, Iraq BODY: Large amounts of food and medicine arriving in Iraq under a U.N.-sponsored oil-for-food program are substandard, damaged or unusable, a top U.N. official said Monday. ----- G. ADC Convention Site Up, Arab Daily Chronicle Back in Action ADC is pleased to announce that its archive of the 16 National ADC Convention, which was held in Arlington, VA from June 10-13 is now available on the internet. A multi-media section of the ADC website will be devoted to photos, texts and transcripts, and realaudio files of the speeches, panels and workshops from the Convention. Several panels and the speech by Prof. Edward Said are now available on ADC website and more content will be added in coming days. The Convention Section of the site is at URL , and will be growing quickly. ADC's website also welcomes back the beloved Arab Daily Chronicle, our Monday through Friday index of news articles of interest to the Arab-American community, updated daily. It had been enjoying a well-deserved break during ADC's Convention, but is now back online daily for all your news and information needs. It can be viewed at . Feedback on the Chronicle is always welcome. ----- H. MUBARAK WANTS IRAQ IN NEXT ARAB SUMMIT Egyptian president wants Iraq to attend the next Arab summit, at a level yet to be determined, says paper. http://www.arabia.com/content/news/7_99/egypt7.shtml ----- I. DU Site for News and Information A lot has been said lately about Depleted Uranium (DU) in these postings. I found this fact sheet on an official government website http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/du/du_factsheet_4aug98.html (from Erik G: [email protected]) In addition to the Veterans Administration's website on DU, I encourage folks to visit the National Gulf War Resource Center's (NGWRC) website. The NGWRC has filed hundred of FOIA's regarding Depleted Uranium (DU) and represents thousands of sick Gulf War veterans. It should also be noted that the NGWRC passed a resolution in December against the sanctions on Iraq and all sanctions that "prevent or hamper a nations ability to provide for the public health of its people." The VA is a good official site. The following is more of a government watchdog and veterans advocate site. Once at the site, click SEARCH and then type Depleted Uranium. http://www.gulfweb.org/ngwrc/index.htm ----- J. U.S. Bombs Iraqi Communications Site Thursday, July 8, 1999; 10:26 a.m. EDT ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- U.S. warplanes bombed an Iraqi communications site in the northern no-fly zone today after Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery fired on allied patrols, a U.S. military statement said. Air Force F-16s and F-15s dropped laser-guided bombs on a center used by Iraqi forces to process radar information for anti-aircraft artillery, the U.S. European Command said in a statement. The command is based in Stuttgart, Germany. The site was located southeast of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, 250 miles north of Baghdad, the Iraqi capital. All planes left the area safely, the statement said. The aircraft are based at Incirlik air base in southern Turkey. The no-fly zone in northern Iraq was set up after the 1991 Gulf War to protect Kurdish rebels from the forces of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Another no-fly zone in the south protects the Shiite minority. Both zones are patrolled by U.S. and British planes. It was the 58th time that U.S. planes attacked Iraqi facilities in the northern no-fly zone since Dec. 28, when Iraqi forces began challenging the planes. Baghdad says the zones violate Iraqi sovereignty and international law. ******************************************************************** * [email protected] * * List serve for Student Committee of the Iraq Action Coalition. * * To subscribe, send this message: subscribe stu-cmte-iac * to this address: [email protected] * * To unsubscribe, send this message: unsubscribe stu-cmte-iac * to this address: [email protected] * * Visit our website: http://iraqaction.org/students.html * * Send for your campus start up kit * by sending a message to: [email protected] *********************************************************************