PPI-023-`Peace Canada’ initiative on Iraqi sanctions


Richard Moore


            Grave human tragedy occurring in Iraq: Sanctions

                              Dan Shoom
                            Peace Canada

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Date: Fri, 1 May 1998
From: •••@••.••• (Jan Slakov)
Subject: sign on re: Iraq

From: "D. M. Shoom" <•••@••.•••> (by way of •••@••.••• (Alan
Rycroft or Kealey Pringle))
Subject: Peace Canada-- Grave human tragedy occurring in Iraq: Sanctions

We seek your help in ending a grave human tragedy occurring in Iraq.

A weapon of mass destruction is being inflicted on the people of Iraq.
That weapon is called sanctions. This collective punishment of an entire
nation has led to large-scale food and medicine shortages, epidemics,
permanent health damage and death. Sanctions, says Ramsay Clark, former
Attorney General of the United States, "are genocide as defined by the
Convention Against Genocide."

"Over 1.2 million people, the majority children, have died as a result of
medical shortages during more than seven years of U. N. trade sanctions
against Iraq," stated a United Nations report last September. UNICEF
reported in October, 1996 that "More than 4,500 children under the age of
5 are dying each month from hunger and disease ... 960,000 are chronically
malnourished, a rise of 72 percent since 1991." Sadly, this toll does not
appear to disturb the policy makers who are behind the maintenance of
sanctions. When asked, on the TV program "60 Minutes", what she thought
about the fact that more Iraqi children have died from sanctions than from
the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Secretary of State of the United States
Madelaine Albright replied, "We think it's worth it."

Sanctions are an on-going legacy of the 1991 U.S.-led war on Iraq. The
purpose of that war was to ensure that the U.S. continued to control the
region's oil supplies. During the six week attack the Allied forces
dropped 88,500 tons of bombs on Iraq, more than in all of World War two.
The 1991 bombing campaign destroyed electric, water and sewage plants, as
well as agricultural, food and medical production facilities. All of these
structures continue to be inoperative, or function at sub-minimal levels,
because sanctions have made it impossible to buy spare parts for their

Sanctions against Iraq will not bring peace or stability to the Middle
East, nor will they help the Iraqi people in the long-run. These have
never been goals of U.S. foreign policy in the region. In 1988, when Iraq
murdered with mustard gas, thousands of Kurds living within Iraq Saddam
Hussein was an ally of the U.S. in its campaign against Iran. U.S. policy
towards Iraq's oppressed Kurdish population is a history of repeated
exploitation, deceit and betrayal. At the end of the 1991 war, the U.S.
sat back while Hussein re-consolidated his grip on power by brutally
putting down rebellions by Kurds and other Iraqis.  The well being of the
Iraqi people is not the U.S.'s goal. Rather, their goal is to replace
Saddam Hussein with another ruthless dictator, one beholden to the U.S.

Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to give billions of dollars in military aid
annually to Israel. Israel is the one Middle Eastern country with a known
stockpile of nuclear weapons, a country founded upon the forced expulsion
of three-quarters of a million Palestinians, and a country that has
invaded and continues to occupy lands of its neighbours in defiance of
U.N. resolutions. But Israel is also the staunchest ally of U.S. interests
in the Middle East.

The Iraqi people are suffering from both sanctions and the Saddam regime.
The first step to relieving this suffering is to end sanctions. The next
steps involve solidarity with those Iraqis fighting for human rights and
democracy, including Kurdish self-determination.

The first step towards peace and stability in the region is the removal of
western troops, including Canadian troops, stationed in the Persian Gulf.
Foreign political and military interference in the Middle East, not racial
or religious hatred, is the primary reason for the region's violent
history this century. The next steps would involve regional disarmament,
including Israel's weapons of mass destruction, and negotiations to
resolve disputes. Since most of the weaponry used in the Middle East is
manufactured in the U.S., Canada, Russia, Britain, France, (CHINA?) and
others, we can have a major impact on bringing peace by getting out of the
business of dealing in weapons of death.

The campaign against sanctions is world-wide and is growing. In Victoria,
a petition campaign is ongoing, demanding that the Canadian government
adopt as policy our 3 demands. On May 11, at noon, we will be delivering
these petitions to the offices of the three local Members of Parliament.
The office of David Anderson, M.P. for Victoria, and the sole
representative of the government in the Capital region, is located at 922
View St. May 11 is International Mothers' Day - a day for mothers of the
world to unite against war. We have selected this day to highlight the
horrific impact of sanctions on Iraqi children. We will be telling the
government what we are demanding today: Not another child must die!

Here's how you can help:

-Please consider endorsing our list of demands. With your permission we
would like to use your name in our literature and advertisements.

-Collect signatures for our petition. Just ask any of the people listed at
the end of this letter.

-Join us an May 11 at noon when we deliver the petitions.

-Our campaign will cost money. A small donation will go a long way to
helping us publicise the genocide in Iraq and campaign to end sanctions.

-And please help to spread the word. Few Canadians, we believe, would
continue to support sanctions if they understood that we are contributing
to mass murder for the sole purpose of preserving foreign control of
Iraq's oil supplies.

We Demand:

An end to Canada's support for sanctions against Iraq
No military aggression against Iraq
Withdrawal of U.S. and Canadian troops from the Persian Gulf


Dan Shoom


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