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Vigil against Iraq war, Feb.9, 4-8pm. Parl.Hill
Peace Vigil on Parliament Hill (at the Centennial Flame)
Monday, Feb. 9, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
(While Parliament is debating whether to go to war with Iraq)
Initiated by the Peace and Disarmament Committee
of the Society of Friends (Quakers)
Background on the crisis:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Eric Fawcett)
Subject: Canada must not join brutal war against Iraq!
Citizens Concerned About Free Trade (CCAFT) calls on the Canadian
government to immediately state publicly that Canada will not support
rapidly building U.S. plans to again attack Iraq.
"Iraq was devastated during the 1991 Gulf War, in a conflict so
one-sided (U.S. officials referred to it as a 'turkey shoot') that it
aroused opposition and horror around the world," says David Orchard,
national chair of CCAFT. "As part of its arsenal, the U.S. fired shells
and missiles containing over 900 tons of depleted uranium into Iraq,
leaving deadly, irretrievable radioactive material in its soil and water
Since the war, seven years of sanctions and embargo against Iraq have
bled the country white. Over one million Iraqis have died a slow
starving death, (two-thirds of them children, making a mockery of the
U.N. declaration on the Rights of the Child), and millions more are
suffering physical damage and drastically shortened lives. The majority
of the population is reduced to "semi-starvation," according to the
World Health Organization. The starvation of a population is clearly
prohibited by international law, even in times of war, yet under this
embargo a child is dying in Iraq every ten minutes.
"We are witnessing a holocaust against the voiceless people of Iraq,"
Orchard states. He concurs with the January 20, '98 statement by U.S.
Bishops to President Clinton which reads: "Epidemics rage, taking away
infants and the sick by the thousands... We call for immediate cessation
of sanctions against Iraq."
Iraq is a Third World country, smaller than the province of
Saskatchewan, with a population of 22 million and where the average
professional today, according to the New York Times, receives roughly
$2.00 per month salary. The idea that Iraq is a threat to the U.S., its
neighbours or world peace is a deliberate falsehood. As Ramsey Clark,
former U.S. Attorney General, put it recently: "Iraq is incapable of
war; U.S. claims to the contrary are a hoax." Iraq's military weapons
have been destroyed in highly publicized events broadcast around the
world. Now, stripped of any capacity to defend itself, Iraq faces an
attack of massive force by the world's superpower.
"Today's events are the latest in a long, brutal and sordid history of
British and U.S. involvement in the Middle East which dates back to
Britain's carving Kuwait out of Iraq in 1899 in order to take possession
of its oil reserves," Orchard charges.
"The U.S. wants complete control of Iraq's oil, something Saddam Hussein
refused to give when the U.S. demanded Iraq privatize the oil industry,"
he continues. "No matter what Iraq does, the U.S. will not lift its
sanctions, a fact recently confirmed by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Bill
Richardson's categorical statement: 'Iraq has no possibility of seeing
CCAFT is convinced that Iraq is no more a "threat" to the U.S. than
Cuba. One U.S. nuclear submarine could obliterate both countries. The
crippling of Iraq is to prevent Saddam Hussein from becoming a rallying
point for Arab nationalism, in the same way as the 37-year U.S. embargo
against Cuba and the repeated attempts to assassinate its leaders are to
prevent a rallying point and an alternative model for Latin America.
Two days ago, Art Eggleton, Canada's defence minister, referred to the
forthcoming bombardment of Iraq as "a mission to which he is prepared to
consider committing Canadian forces."
Orchard concludes: "CCAFT asks all Canadians to raise their voices
against any participation in the murderous one-sided assault being
prepared by the U.S. against a defenseless country. A voice of reason
and fair play from Canada could make a real difference at this moment in
history in stopping the coming rain of death over Iraq."
For more information, contact Citizens Concerned About Free Trade
(Toronto office) (416) 922-7867
**************CITIZENS CONCERNED ABOUT FREE TRADE*************
National chair: DAVID ORCHARD National organizer: MARJALEENA REPO
National office (Saskatoon) tel: (306)244-5757 fax: (306)244-3790
Toronto office tel: (416)922-STOP fax: (416)922-7883
Vancouver office tel: (604)683-FREE fax: (604)683-3749
Richard Sanders, Coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT)
COAT, 489 Metcalfe St., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 3N7
Tel: (613) 231-3076 Fax (613) 231-2614
WWW: http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/coat Email: email@example.com
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