Why doesn't the Assyrian Aid Society Apply?

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Posted by Jeff from bgp01107368bgs.wbrmfd01.mi.comcast.net ( on Thursday, August 15, 2002 at 6:07PM :

I heard this story on NPR. THey said that something like 12 or 14 organizations have applied for aid... aid for things that the AAS done and has done for 10 years!

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U.S. Preparing for Iraq Humanitarian Relief-Report
Wed Aug 14,11:32 PM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - The United States has launched a public bidding process for humanitarian relief organizations to work in Iraq and neighboring areas as it prepares for a possible military strike against Iraq, the Financial Times said on Thursday.

The newspaper said it had obtained a document sent by the state department to non-governmental organizations last month, which invited proposals for humanitarian assistance projects in Iraq and for Iraqi refugees in surrounding countries.

The proposal involves $6.6 million of government funds and would cover areas such as medical care and refugee relief, and longer-term issues such as dealing with land mines, the FT said. In addition, Central Command, the military operations center coordinating the war against terror, this week asked for a list of U.S. international relief organizations working in or around Iraq, senior members of non-governmental organizations told the newspaper.

Some NGOs have been hesitant to apply for the grants because they fear they could thereby be enabling a war with Iraq.

They believe Washington is trying to establish initial contact with the Iraqi people in a pre-war "hearts and minds" strategy, the FT said.

A State Department spokesman in Washington said he had no information on the report.

President Bush ( news - web sites) has labeled Iraq part of an "axis of evil" intent on seeking weapons of mass destruction. Iraq denies the U.S. charges.

Official U.S. policy has been to seek a "regime change" in Iraq, but recently Bush and U.S. government officials have sought to play down expectations of an imminent attack.

-- Jeff
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