March 21, 2002

Miscellaneous Subjects #136: Preventing a New Humanitarian Catastrophe in Irak

Hello everyone

The warmongering noise from Washington must now adjust to the fact that the rest of the world definitely opposes any U.S. attack on Irak. Many other critical issues also need some serious reality checks in the US government - like the runaway global warming (see Collapse of Antarctica Ice Shelf below)...

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator


1. Cheney fails to win Arab endorsement
3. Campaign of Conscience Newsletter
4. Toxic Indifference
5. Collapse Of Antarctic's Larsen B Ice Shelf Revealed


British Men Less Fertile Than Hamsters

White House Stonewall

Some Democrats Wary of Bush's Colombia Aid Plan

Carlyle Group Cashing in Again


Sent by "Donald Stacey" <>


Cheney fails to win Arab endorsement (20 Mar 2002)

By Robert Fisk

Rarely can a US Vice President have met such a devastating rebuff from America's Arab allies; not a single Arab king, prince or president has been prepared to endorse a US attack on Iraq. Even in Kuwait - where Dick Cheney arrives today before going on to Israel - an opinion poll suggests that more than 40 percent of its citizens are hostile to Washington's policies. In every Arab capital, Cheney has been politely but firmly told to turn his attention to the bloody Palestinian-Israeli war, and to forget the "axis of evil'' until President Bush brings Israeli allies into line.

All Cheney's efforts to pretend that the conflict in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel, are separate from Iraq - or "two tracks" as the American cliche would have it - have failed. Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah met Cheney at the end of a long red carpet at Jeddah airport, but the Saudi press were not so polite. Editorials in other Gulf papers uniformly condemned any assault on Iraq. Prince Abdullah has gone out of his way to explain to American television audiences why he opposes military action against Saddam Hussein, while Americans have been told that they cannot use the massive Prince Sultan airbase in the Kingdom for any war against Baghdad.

Repeatedly, Arab leaders have turned Cheney's arguments about America's "war on terrorism'' around. For them, the terror is being inflicted upon the Palestinians by the Israelis, and Cheney's reminders of Saddam's brutality carry little weight. If Saddam is overthrown, Iraq could break apart, the US Vice President was told several times, with incalculable effects on Iraq's Muslim neighbors.

Even the small United Emirates had no time for the Cheney argument. The Vice President's spokeswoman, Jennifer Millerwise, said that Cheney "made the point that Al-Qaeda can't be allowed to reconstitute'' in the Middle East, a remark that was smartly followed by a statement from UAE President Sheikh Zayed Ibn Sultan Al-Nahayan. He was, the government said briskly, opposed to military action in Iraq.

The Arabs might be forgiven their confusion over Cheney's objectives. If America wishes to pursue its "war on terror'', what has Iraq got to do with it? Where is the evidence that Saddam was involved in the crimes against humanity on Sept. 11 last year? There is none. So, Cheney has invented a new dogma for the Arabs - and for the US servicemen, who gathered to listen to him aboard the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis in the Gulf. "The United States will not permit the forces of terror to gain the tools of genocide'' he announced.

Saddam has "weapons of mass destruction'' - though that is not the view of some members of the old UNSCOM inspection team - and they could fall into the hands of Osama Bin Laden. Since Bin Laden hates Saddam and has gone on record as saying as much, just how the Iraqi weapons, if they exist, would reach America's nemesis is unclear.

And the Arabs have been asking themselves what this new "genocide" is supposed to be. Who is threatening genocide in the Middle East? Who is being attacked? The Kuwaitis, of course, still believe that Saddam threatens them, but their government has been shocked at the opinion poll which showed such anti-American sentiments amid a population that was liberated by a US-led coalition only 11 years ago.

It is symbolic that the one Middle East nation that supports a strike at Iraq is Israel - whose own war with the Palestinians has so angered America's Arab allies. Destabilization is the word the US Vice President has been hearing from the Arabs. Cheney will, therefore, hear what he wants to hear from Sharon, the man whose reoccupation of Palestinian territory has done so much to destroy Cheney's mission. (The Independent)



March 10, 2002



(1) The United States government has consistently rejected international calls to pursue justice and peace from within available international diplomatic, political, legal and human rights frameworks;

(2) The United States government has consistently chosen military means of achieving its goals, bombing civilians and non military targets, causing and contributing to injury, starvation, death, and the dislocation of millions of innocent people, primarily women, children, the elderly and the infirm;

(3) Direct and indirect United States government military action and aid, including the arming and training of non US combatants, has resulted in the above as well as destruction of land, homes and critical infrastructure such as water, electricity, roads, and communications affecting the world's poorest and least able to resist;

(4) As a direct result of US-sponsored sanctions, infant and child mortality rates doubled in Iraq over the past decade and an additional 500,000 children died--which makes these sanctions a genocidal weapon of mass destruction;

(5) The UN says, "Nothing speaks louder than resource allocation in favour of children." In 2000, 149 million children were malnourished; 1.1 billion people still lacked access to safe drinking water; 100 million children did not attend primary school; 880 million adults worldwide were illiterate. But despite the astonishing fact that

"The cost of realizing universal access to health, water and sanitation, and education was estimated by the United Nations and the World Bank to be an additional $70 to 80 billion per year (in 1995 prices),"

The United States spends $380 BILLION on defense annually. In other words, the United States could single-handedly resolve the world's basic health, water, sanitation, and education deficits in one year--if its spending priorities were directed by humanitarian principles;

(6) The UN further writes: "The global commerce in and proliferation of small arms and light weapons, along with landmines and unexploded ordnance, continue to threaten children's lives on a daily basis. Conflicts have also often been sustained by economic interests, driven by greed and aiming at the control of natural resources." Yet the United States is the world's number one producer and seller of arms, manufacturing half of all weapons sold on the world market--for $19 billion in 2000;

(7) The United States government is daily expanding its threat of military action worldwide, most immediately toward Iraq, but also threatening the peoples of numerous countries, for example Somalia, Yemen, Colombia, Iran, the Philippines, Indonesia, North Korea, the former Soviet Georgia, Palestine and others;

(8) The United States government is also threatening other means of achieving its goals, such as the destabilization or overthrow of governments and the installation of those it deems acceptable. Previous similar efforts by the United States throughout the twentieth century have resulted in catastrophic violence toward civilian populations. Most recently, Afghanistan's Northern Alliance troops, supported by US special forces, are routinely raping Pashtun women and children, especially the most vulnerable in refugee camps;

(9) Policies of the current United States government are enacted unilaterally despite international opposition; contrary to international law, treaty, and available non military remedies; without appropriate Congressional oversight, authorization, and accountability; and in a manner preventing democratic domestic discussion, debate, and participation in the decision-making process by US citizens;

(10) Current United States government unilateral foreign policies have been opposed by leaders worldwide, including in Britain, France, Germany, South Korea, Spain, Japan, China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the European Union, and other countries. As expressed in a New York Times editorial January 31, this policy of using power and intimidation threatens international relations, endangers the US public by increasing resentment toward the United States, and harms ordinary people in target countries. "Sept. 11 does not give Mr. Bush an unlimited hunting license."


WE OPPOSE United States military action against Iraq and other countries;

WE OPPOSE the United States government's foreign policy of militarism, that is, violence, arms proliferation, war and internal destabilization by political, economic, and covert means, as well as its attempts to overthrow governments, especially considering that other means of achieving justice and peace are available but have been rejected by this administration and by Congress;

WE OPPOSE the egregious imbalance in United States government budget priorities and its misuse of resources--our resources, our tax dollars--supporting destruction, death and international ill will;

WE OPPOSE United States government unilateralism, and its refusal to participate as an equal, not controlling, partner in the development and application of international standards, law and treaties;

WE DEMAND an open democratic process wherein these and other critical issues are presented to the public for comprehensive discussion and debate;

WE DEMAND, as a critical requirement of informed participation in the democratic process, that relevant information be made available the US public;

WE DEMAND that the United States Congress exercise its representative, oversight and leadership responsibilities;

WE DEMAND, that our government: abide by international treaties and norms; consult and collaborate with all governments as the basis of its foreign policy, for the purpose of achieving within the international context justice, equality, and human rights for all the world's peoples.

The Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace Olympia, Washington, USA


"The Limits of Power." New York Times, Editorial, January 31 2002,A26. "The application of power and intimidation has returned to the forefront of American foreign policy...The evolving Bush doctrine implies a preemptive use of conventional force...Sept. 11, however, does not give Mr. Bush an unlimited hunting license," the possible consequences of which could include "loss of allied support, a deepening of antagonism toward the United States and anarchy in the target countries themselves."

Daley, Suzanne. "French Minister Calls Us Policy 'Simplistic'." New York Times, February 07 2002, A10. Foreign ministers, prime ministers and other national leaders in France, Britain, Germany, Spain, and the European Union denounce the US unilateral expansion of the "war on terrorism" from Afghanistan to Palestine, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and elsewhere.

Filipov, David. "Warlord's Men Commit Rape in Revenge against Taliban." Boston Globe, February 24 2002, A1. The troops of US-supported, Northern Alliance warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum are routinely raping Pashtun women and children, especially the most vulnerable, those who have fled to refugee camps. Dostum's troops disarmed Pashtun families with the assistance of US special forces.

Human Rights Watch. "Stop Threatening International Court, U.S. Officials Told." Human Rights Watch, 1998. HRW called upon Congress to support the ICC. The US was one of only seven countries to vote against the ICC treaty in Rome on July 17. The others were China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar, and Yemen. Virtually all of America's allies voted in favor of the court, which will prosecute future cases of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

International Court of Justice (World Court).

Pear, Robert. "Upon Closer Look, Bush Budget Cuts Include Risks." New York Times, February 05 2002, A19. Bush proposed budget cuts funds for teaching hospitals, doctor training at children's hospitals, workplace safety, highways, low-income heating assistance, OSHA and safety standards enforcement, public housing, and community development block grants. The defense budget would be increased 14% to $379 billion.

Purdum, Todd S. "U.S. Weighs Tackling Iraq on Its Own, Powell Says." New York Times, February 07 2002, A10. Secretary of State Colin Powell says that Bush is "set on a 'regime change' in Iraq and warned that it was something the United States 'might have to do alone'."

Schweid, Barry. "Saddam Must Go, Powell Insists." Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 07 2002, A4. Bush is considering a "full range of options" for removing Iraq President Saddam Hussein. "Regime change is something the United States might have to do alone," Powell said.

Shanker, Thom. "Global Arms Sales Rise Again, and the U.S. Leads the Pack." New York Times, August 20 2001, A3. In 2000, global arms sales grew 8% to $37 billion, with the US leading. The US manufactures and sells half of all arms globally with contracts at just under $18.6 billion, Russia a distant second with sales of $7.7 billion. The largest market is developing nations: 68% of US arms are sold in this market.

United Nations. "We the Children: End-Decade Review of the Follow-up to the World Summit for Children. Report of the Secretary-General." United Nations, 2001. "The cost of realizing universal access to health, water and sanitation, and education was estimated by the United Nations and the World Bank to be an additional $70 to 80 billion per year (in 1995 prices)."

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). "The Impact of Sanctions: A Study of UNICEF's Perspective.". New York: UNICEF, 2002., The effects of economic sanctions.

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). "Iraq Surveys Show 'Humanitarian Emergency'." UNICEF, 1999.

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). "Results of the 1999 Iraq Child and Maternal Mortality Surveys." UNICEF, 1999.

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). "Child Mortality: Iraq. Country Tables." UNICEF, 2001.

To sign this petition, go to

Courtesy of Mark Graffis



From: Campaign of Conscience <>
Subject: Meet with Congress & Breaking Iraq News
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2002

Campaign of Conscience for the Iraqi People - March 20, 2002 Update

In This Update:

- Peace Pledge Turn-in
- Call to End the Economic Sanctions in the International Herald Tribune
- Photos of an Installed Chlorinator
- News Briefs: Cheney's visit to the Middle East and preparations for and reactions to U.S. military intervention


Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is scheduled to enter the names of the peace pledge into the Congressional record on Wednesday 20 or Thursday 21 March - before the recess.

Recess and Meetings: Congress will be on recess from March 22 to April 8. This is the time to schedule district meetings with your representative regarding the peace pledge and its call to not expand the war into Iraq.

We have more than 3,000 names from 40 countries and 48 states. We are missing North Dakota and Wyoming. We do have support in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

This is NOT the end of the pledge. Another turn-in date will be set before the United Nations Security Council meeting at the end of the six-month oil-for-food cycle in May.

To download a list of Peace Pledge signers, see

You can still sign on-line at

Points for your meetings:

1) No to the spread of War - despite unsubstantiated allegations, and months of efforts to make a link, there is no indication of a tie between Iraq and Al-Quadea.

2) Regional Disarmament - enforce article 14 that calls for regional arms control. Article 14 of UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 687 (the sanctions resolution) identifies the goal of "establishing in the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction and all missiles to deliver them, and the objective of a global ban on chemical weapons." But this UN goal, which the U.S. formally endorsed, remains an unfulfilled ideal in the context of regional Middle East security.

3) Peaceful Alternative - engage international institutions

4) End the economic sanctions - see our resource guide

CALL TO END ECONOMIC SANCTIONS: International Herald Tribune

Today, a full-page appeal calling for an end to the economic sanctions against Iraq runs in the International Herald Tribune. The message carries the signatures of 250 prominent individuals and organizations from around the world (see it at The Campaign of Conscience is listed with institutional identification of AFSC, Fellowship of Reconciliation and Pax Christi, USA.

"How much more evidence from reputable international organizations such as UNICEF, WHO, CARE, Caritas, the IRC and Save the Children/UK is needed to convince the UN Security Council that the imposed sanctions are harming innocent people beyond any tolerable limit and violate the very international laws the United Nations is meant to protect?", asks Hans von Sponeck, the initiator of the statement in the International Herald Tribune. "The place to settle the Iraq conflict is the UN Security Council and the Arab League, not the battlefield."


Take a look at a chlorinator in Iraq. We now have a series of photographs documenting the installation of the first gas chlorinator in Iraq. Visit


Europeans' Opposition to Iraq Invasion Growing

Britain's military leaders issued a stark warning to Tony Blair that any war against Iraq is doomed to fail and would lead to the loss of lives for little political gain. While the U.S. has asked for up to 25,000 UK personnel to join an invasion force, the sources warned that Arab countries were likely to rebel over any Western attack on Iraq without a Middle East peace deal. (The Observer, March 17, 2002)

The British Secretary of State for International Development Clare Short increased tensions within the government on Sunday when she became the first cabinet minister to declare her opposition to "a blind military attack on Iraq." She said that such a move would be very unwise and hinted that she might even quit the cabinet if she thought the attack was unwarranted. "We all have bottom lines," she warned. (Al-Bawaba News, 18/03/2002)

The list of signatories of British Members of Parliament to a motion expressing "deep unease" about Mr. Blair's apparent willingness to support a military strike against Iraq had reached 107, yesterday morning. More are expected to be added. (Daily Telegraph, 15/03/2002)

A majority of British voters are opposed to British backing for American military action against Iraq, according to this month's Guardian/ICM opinion poll. The poll shows that the Germans and French are more in tune with British public opinion on this issue than Mr. Blair is. The German defense minister, Rudolph Scharping, yesterday made clear there was no majority in the German parliament for intervention in Iraq. The French have also made clear their reluctance. (The Guardian, Tuesday March 19, 2002)

Arab Reaction

Vice President Cheney left the Middle East Wednesday, lacking a mandate for action against Iraqi President Hussein. During a 12- country, 10-day trip to Britain and the Middle East Cheney met Arab leaders who he acknowledged were preoccupied with the surging Israeli- Palestinian conflict and who said Iraq was a far less pressing priority. (Reuters, Wednesday March 20)

Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad made clear that Arabs have little patience for considering a strategy to confront Iraq while pictures of Palestinians killed during clashes with Israelis continue to dominate newscasts and front pages across the region. "The people who are dying today on the streets are not a result of any Iraqi action," he said at a joint news conference with Cheney. "The people that are dying on the streets today are dying as the result of Israeli action." (Washington Post, 18/03/2002)

Jordan's King Abdullah II is urging the Bush administration to abandon ideas of taking on the regime of Saddam Hussein, predicting that any U.S. military action against Iraq could produce an "Armageddon" in the Middle East. (LA Times, March 17, 2002)

Some Saudi sources claim that about 1 million Iraqis are so closely tied to the fate of Saddam's regime that they will not switch sides as readily as the Afghans and may fight to the death. (The Guardian, 15/03/2002)

Iraq's response to the Crisis

Iraqi Vice President Yassin Ramadan was quoted on Monday as saying Baghdad would agree only to a conditional resumption of U.N. weapons inspections. "Iraq rejects the return of international (arms) inspectors unless the locations to be searched are identified and a timetable is set up and respected." (Reuters, March 17)

Iraq's parliamentary speaker, Saadoun Hammadi, during his visit to Morocco: "Many Arab and non-Arab friends have called on Iraq to remove all pretexts for a US invasion of Iraq, so we are happy to co- operate with all countries ... including the United Nations, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to avoid new US attacks." (Daily Telegraph 19/03/2002)

The Bush Administration's Threats and Action

President Bush upped the ante in America's "war on terrorism" again, when he refused to rule out the possibility of launching nuclear strikes as part of an attack on Iraq. (Guardian, 14/03/2002) In what appears to be the first concrete indication that the US is planning a military attack against Iraq despite objections from its allies, last month CIA officers surveyed three key airfields in northern Iraq that could be used to receive arms and troops in the event of a conflict. (Al-Bawaba News, 18/03/2002)

The US government has informed Iraqi dissidents that it will convene a crucial meeting in Europe in May of up to 400 former Iraqi military officers and opposition figures to chart the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein. (Boston Globe, 3/16/2002)

Robert Baer, the ex-CIA man in Iraq during the failed uprising in 1995, says the US is not in a position to strike against Iraq because it does not understand anything about the country, 'If the US is to bomb Saddam and his army until there is no army, what comes after that? No one is discussing the ethnic composition of Iraq or what Iran is likely to do.' 'The US is in no position to re-jigger this because we don't understand anything about the country. If I were the Iranians, for instance, I would try to set up a state in southern Iraq and add three million barrels a day to my account. That could begin to rival Saudi Arabia. Of course, I don't know this is going to happen, but the US government doesn't know either. The heart of the debate is about taking out all Saddam's tanks in a couple of weeks.' (The Observer, Sunday March 3, 2002)

As part of a US attempt to build up a picture of Iraq as a threat to the region, the head of the CIA has told the US Senate that Iraq has had contact with al-Qaeda and may be working with the group. Mr. Tenet did not present any new hard evidence of Iraqi collusion with al-Qaeda to the committee. (BBC, Tuesday, 19 March, 2002)

The United Nations has started moving tens of thousands of tents and blankets to western Iran in readiness for a huge wave of Iraqi refugees who are expected to escape across the border if the US and Britain launch military action to topple the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein. Some diplomats believe the total number of refugees expected to flee across the border because of US attacks could reach 150,000, even though Saddam Hussein is expected to close the frontiers, as he did in previous conflicts. Tens of thousands of others would be displaced inside Iraq, unable to bypass or bribe the Iraqi border guards. (The Guardian, March 16, 2002)


See our archives of past updates at:


From Peter Lems AFSC Iraq Peacebuilding Program
1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
phone: 215-241-7170; fax: 215-241-7177

Join the Campaign of Conscience on the web at


From: "Jackie Alan Giuliano, Ph.D." <>
Subject: "Toxic Indifference"
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002


"We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

-- Martin Luther King Jr.

It is easy to point an accusatory finger at a smokestack or other corporate polluter as the source of environmental problems. And it is true that industries put out millions of pounds of toxic substances into our world every year. It is harder, however, to flush out the destructive indifference that many people practice on a daily basis in our disconnected world.

Explore with me the idea that we must find the way - and the will - to end this indifference and challenge the assumptions we all hold dear in this week's Healing Our World commentary, "Toxic Indifference," on the Environment News Service at

Learn the truth, for example, behind the assumption that companies around the U.S. are recycling computers. It is estimated that between 1997 and 2007, 500 million pieces of electronic equipment will be discarded, containing 1.5 billion pounds of lead, 632,000 pounds of mercury, and three million pounds of cadmium, all toxic substances.

The United States cannot handle all of this waste, so this hazardous waste is ìrecycledî by selling it to countries like China and India. In New Delhi, India, children are routinely employed to burn circuit boards. In Karachi, solder is removed from circuit boards by children with blowtorches, a process that is usually done indoors with no ventilation. The children breathe the highly toxic fumes.

We have to do something to reestablish our connection with the natural world and the truth or the environmental onslaught will continue until there are no functioning ecosystems left on the planet.

I wish you peace and look forward to your comments.


Jackie Alan Giuliano, Ph.D.


Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002
Sent by Mark Graffis <>

Collapse Of Antarctic's Larsen B Ice Shelf Revealed

Satellite images have revealed the collapse of Larsen B ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula, fulfilling predictions made by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) scientists.

The collapse of the 3250 km2 ice shelf is the latest drama in a region of Antarctica that has experienced unprecedented warming over the last 50 years.

Earlier this month, Ted Scambos of the University of Colorado alerted BAS glaciologists David Vaughan and Chris Doake to images from the NASA MODIS satellite.

Meanwhile, in Antarctica, Argentinian glaciologist Pedro Skvarca realized that something was happening to the ice shelf and mobilized an aircraft to obtain aerial images confirming the satellite data.

While the collapse was still occurring, the BAS research ship RRS James Clark Ross navigated her way through the armada of icebergs to obtain photographs and samples.

Over the last month, the 200-m thick ice shelf collapsed into small icebergs and fragments. Pooling these new observations, scientists will determine when such an event last happened and which ice shelves are threatened in future.

BAS glaciologist Dr. David Vaughan said, "In 1998, BAS predicted the demise of more ice shelves around the Antarctic Peninsula. Since then, warming on the peninsula has continued and we watched as piece-by-piece Larsen B has retreated.

"We knew what was left would collapse eventually, but the speed of it is staggering. Hard to believe that 500 million billion tons of ice sheet has disintegrated in less than a month."

During the last 50 years, the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed by 2.5 ™[C, much faster than mean global warming. One response to climate change has been the retreat of five ice shelves, floating extensions of the grounded ice sheet.

In 1998, scientists of the British Antarctic Survey used numerical models to predict the future of one ice shelf, Larsen B, and said that if it "were to retreat by a further few kilometers, it too is likely to enter an irreversible retreat phase" (Dr Chris Doake, Nature Vol. 391, pages 778-780).

The rate of warming on the Antarctic Peninsula is rapid and unmatched elsewhere in Antarctica (Vaughan et al., 2001 Science, Vol. 293, pages 1777-1779).

Since it is already floating, the disintegration of Larsen will have no impact on sea level. Sea level will rise only if the ice held back by the ice shelf flows more quickly onto the sea.

The collapsed ice shelf at 3250 km2 is larger than Luxembourg (2586 km2) or just smaller than Cambridgeshire 3409 km2.

British Antarctic Survey is responsible for most of the UK's research in Antarctica. It is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council.

Related website:

British Antarctic Survey







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