Re: Rep.Rahall's Message to Iraqi NatAssembly

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Posted by Tony zango from ? ( on Monday, September 16, 2002 at 1:21PM :

In Reply to: Rep.Rahall's Message to Iraqi NatAssembly posted by andreas from ( on Monday, September 16, 2002 at 2:00AM :


: Institute for Public Accuracy
: 915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
: (202) 347-0020 * *
: ___________________________________________________

: PM Sunday, September 15, 2002

: SEPTEMBER 15, 2002

: I want to thank you for the traditional Iraqi hospitality that
: our
: delegation has received since coming to Baghdad.

: We are all aware of the grave crisis presently facing our two
: countries, the United States and Iraq. I am concerned about the effects
: that a new war would have on both our countries. For that reason I come
: as
: an advocate of peace through dialogue.

: Ours is a humanitarian mission. I come, not as the Secretary of

: State, and not as a weapons inspector, but as a member of Congress
: concerned with peace. Basically, I want America and Iraq to give peace a

: chance.

: A few days ago, the former head of the United Nations
: oil-for-food
: program, Denis Halliday, commented on the independent American
: delegation
: of which I am a part. Mr. Halliday is a former UN Assistant Secretary
: General. On September 12, he said: "Any dialogue between the U.S. and
: Iraq
: is good and, with current and former lawmakers, it is even better." Mr.
: Halliday added: "Open-minded dialogue would prove war to be
: unnecessary."

: Instead of assuming that war must come, let us find ways to
: discover how to prove that war is unnecessary.

: A key to this terrible box that we're now locked in -- is
: dialogue.

: I would also like to quote Edward Peck, an American diplomat
: who
: is a former chief of mission to Iraq. Mr. Peck pointed out: "You lose
: nothing when you talk, but the failure to do so in this case may cost us

: dear(ly)."

: Mr. Peck encouraged this delegation from the United States,
: which
: includes: former United States Senator James Abourezk; James Jennings,
: president of Conscience International; and Norman Solomon, executive
: director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.

: We are here to try and help open doors. Doors to genuine
: dialogue.

: It is time and, in my opinion, far past time that American and
: Iraqi officials talk to each other without threats.

: We want to open doors to possibilities that will protect life
: instead of maiming and killing.

: Doors that will give peace a chance.

: We've had far too much heated rhetoric between our two
: countries.
: Another war in this region would be greatly damaging. Any new war would
: be
: a war against public health, and also against the environment.

: Iraq is the cradle of civilization. We do not wish to see
: civilization strangled in its cradle.

: Iraq was once the Garden of Eden. Humanity must not turn the
: Garden of Eden into Hell.

: The evidence from the last war is quite compelling:
: -- degradation of the infrastructure;
: -- a wrecked economy;
: -- shocking escalation of infant mortality and
: communicable disease, and many other negative health
: indicators
: for the entire population.

: We do not wish to see this devastation repeated.

: In this context, I am reminded of what Dwight Eisenhower, the
: great U.S. general and president, once said: "Every gun and rocket that
: is
: fired, every warship launched, signifies, in a final sense, a theft from

: those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not
: clothed.
: The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat
: of
: its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."

: Our delegation does not want to see a new war in Iraq. We do
: not
: subscribe to the "Clash of Civilizations" thesis which foresees nothing
: but
: war between the predominantly Islamic countries and the West.

: I hope that my colleagues in the United States Congress will
: perceive that peaceful dialogue is a more fruitful avenue than the awful

: road of perpetual warfare.

: I must say, however, that I believe the first step to restoring
: a
: relationship of mutual friendship and respect must be for Iraq to fully
: comply with United Nations mandates by allowing the return of weapons
: inspectors. That step would at least give pause to the crisis that
: threatens to engulf us.

: Then, over the next weeks and months, the participation of the
: international community may have an opportunity to succeed in defusing
: the
: crisis altogether. Perhaps this could be done by finding a combination
: of
: specific nations not directly involved in the dispute to serve as
: "honest
: brokers." Perhaps, for instance, Canada and South Africa.

: But time is now terribly short to reverse the momentum toward
: war.
: To make that reversal possible, Iraq must cooperate by giving UN weapons

: inspectors unfettered access. And in that process, "honest brokers" and
: the
: UN as an institution must proceed differently than UNSCOM did, so that
: next
: time there will be no abuses, and there will be no misuse of UN
: inspectors
: for espionage (as belatedly admitted by U.S. officials themselves and
: authoritatively reported by The New York Times and other media outlets
: in
: early January of 1999). If this work proceeds properly, Iraq will be
: able
: to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

: Then the sanctions, which have done so much damage to your
: economy, infrastructure, and health can once and for all be lifted.

: The Middle East, and Iraq in particular, is a place of enduring

: cultural richness. It is the home of the world's oldest civilizations.
: Iraq
: has bequeathed to the world three great religious traditions Judaism,
: Christianity, and Islam. This is our heritage, and the world's heritage.

: The Christian scriptures say "Blessed are the peacemakers."
: They
: do not say "Blessed are the warmongers." I happen to believe that the
: vast
: majority of the American people do not want to wage war, but would
: rather
: wage peace.

: Our delegation is here on behalf of peace. We believe that a
: new
: war is not only unnecessary, but wrong.

: I must again emphasize, however, that in my view and in the
: view
: of many of my colleagues, the way to avoid war and to secure peace is to

: allow UN inspectors into Iraq. The matter is urgent, and I therefore
: urge
: your government to implement all relevant Security Council resolutions
: without delay.

: Speaking personally, I will encourage my colleagues in the
: Congress to enter into dialogue with the Iraq National Assembly for the
: future benefit of both our nations.

-- Tony zango
-- signature .

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