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Posted by Tony from ( on Wednesday, October 09, 2002 at 6:00PM :




The essays (excerpted below ) in this book include both analysis and narrative reporting by individuals who traveled to Iraq between 6-13 May 1998 as an act of international civil disobedience. They took $4 million worth of medicine to Iraq without securing a license from the United States government. Thus, they openly risked a possible penalty of twelve years in prison and fines of $1,250,000. The eighty-four-person delegation to Iraq was called the Iraq Sanctions Challenge.

The writers in this book, like the delegation itself, are a remarkable grouping. They represent a broad cross-section of the U.S. public. By their racial and national diversity, their class composition, and certainly by the values they assert, the Iraq Sanctions Challenge delegates are far more representative of U.S. society than, say, the Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, or the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Some names of the Iraq Sanctions Challenge delegates are well known around the world. That is certainly true of Ramsey Clark, the former U.S. Attorney General, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of the Catholic Diocese in Detroit, and the Rev. Lucius Walker of the Pastors for Peace. But almost all the delegates are well known and respected activists for justice in their local cities and towns. The age of the delegates ranged from seventeen to eighty-six. They were Muslims, Christians, Jews, and atheists.

The Iraq Sanctions Challenge delegation received huge media fanfare throughout the Middle East. The delegates were treated with praise and admiration as they traveled through Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. In Iraq, of course, their mission was greeted with enthusiasm at all levels of society.

Although they delivered vitally needed medicine to the Iraqi people, the Iraq Sanctions Challenge was not merely, or even mainly, a humanitarian mission. It was a political protest, by another method, by those who had organized literally hundreds of street demonstrations against U.S. aggression toward Iraq. The world might not know it, because the U.S. mainstream media does not report it, but hundreds of thousands of people inside the United States have participated in such demonstrations in the last eight years.

The eighty-four delegates to Iraq could rightfully claim to speak for tens of thousands of people inside the United States. That is how many people actually participated in this Challenge. Donations and medicines were collected in every state. Rallies, meetings, press conferences, and civil disobedience actions were held in support of the challenge. Unions and elected City Councils, in big and small cities, passed resolutions supporting the challenge and decrying U.S./UN sanctions as "an act of genocide."

In addition to being a political protest and pressure tactic, the Iraq Sanctions Challenge functioned as a first-rate fact-finding mission. This book presents piercing eyewitness testimony of the status of Iraqi society after eight years of airtight sanctions. It includes the freshest testimony on Iraq by experts in their field. Doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, water treatment specialists, scientists studying the effects of depleted uranium, and investigators into the causes for a new screwworm fly epidemic in Iraq are all included in this work.

The reader of this volume will find political and historical analysis invaluable for an understanding of the U.S. government’s strategy toward Iraq and the entire region. Also included are a few articles and essays by individuals who, while not members of the delegation, have an intimate understanding of Iraq and an historic overview of the struggle against colonialism in the Middle East.

Brian Becker

Sara Flounders

Excerpts from the book follow



Preface / The Iraq Sanctions Challenge / v

Copyright/ISBN Information

Acknowledgments / vii

Contributors to This Book / x

Part I: Essays on War and Sanctions

The Devastation of Iraq by War and Sanctions

Fire and Ice / Ramsey Clark / 3

International Law

Sanctions Are Criminal / Rania Masri / 33 (excerpt)

The Perpetual Sanctions Machine

Who Is UNSCOM? / Deirdre Sinnott / 38 (excerpt)

Weapons of Mass Destruction / Richard Becker / 45 (excerpt)

Too Little, Too Late: Oil for Food / Sarah Sloan / 49 (excerpt)

The Role of AmeriCares

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing / Sara Flounders / 54

Racism And Sanctions

Demonizing Oppressed Nations / Monica Moorehead / 64

Arab Americans in the U.S. / Ahmed El-Sherif / 68 (excerpt)

From Vietnam to Iraq / Sharon Black Ceci / 72 (excerpt)

Sanctions and the Church

Failure of Moral Leadership / Bishop Thomas Gumbleton / 75

Demonstration in Baghdad

An Act of Real Solidarity / Brian Becker / 81 (excerpt)

Part II: Reports on Damage to the Infrastructure

Water Supply

The Problem of Chlorine / David Sole / 91 (excerpt)

Health Care

Hospitals Pushed Back in Time / Sapphire Mann Ahmed, M.D. / 94

Observations of a Nurse / Sharon Eolis, R.N., M.S. / 97 (excerpt)

Visit to a Psychiatric Hospital / Berta Joubert, M.D. / 101 (excerpt)

A Medical Examination / Allan Connolly, M.D. / 105 (excerpt)


Sanctions on Knowledge / Fatima Ali-Khan / 110 (excerpt)

What to Take to Iraq / Barbara Nimri Aziz / 113 (excerpt)

A Case of Enforced Poverty / Marie Braun / 119 (excerpt)

Two Young Engineers / Jack Vahan Bournazian / 122 (excerpt)

Food and Agriculture

How Food Is Distributed / Ken Freeland / 124 (excerpt)

The Screwworm Fly / Jenifer Dixon and George Pumphrey / 126 (excerpt)

The Environment and Depleted Uranium

A Weapon That Keeps Killing / Hillel Cohen / 135 (excerpt)

From Agent Orange to DU / Fredy Champagne / 140

Civil Defense

The Amariyah Bomb Shelter / Sam Marcy / 142 (excerpt)

There Was No Military Facility / Sonya Ostrom / 145

Part III: Impressions of Iraq under Sanctions

Photo Essay / 147-164

Part IV: Memoirs of Challenge Delegates (excerpts)

Journey to Baghdad: The Advance Team / Preston Wood / 167

Seeing Is Believing / Manzoor Ghori / 169

Power of Solidarity: East Meets West / Nabil Migalli / 173

A Blind Person Goes to Iraq / Edwin R. Lewinson / 176

Talking about Genocide: How Was Your Trip? / Lee and Phil Booth / 178

An Iraqi Returns to Basra / Kadouri Al-Kaysi / 181

Basra Today: Let the Children Live / Michelle Kimball / 183

How Do You Destroy a People? / Melysha Sargis / 186

For These Things I Weep / Christopher Allen-Douçot / 190

Iraq Past, Present, Future / Saad Khadim / 196

Go, You Will See the Truth / Johanna Berrigan / 198

Banning Child Sacrifice: A Difficult Choice? / Kathy Kelly / 202

Indelible Images of Iraq / 207


Organizations Opposing Sanctions / 211 (including e-mail addresses and links)

Where to Send Your Protests

Appeals and Resolutions against Sanctions / 221

UN FAO Report / 233

Charts on Malnutrition and Infant Mortality / 235

Summary of UNICEF Report / 237

Over a Century of U.S. Military Interventions / 239

Index / 245

Books and Videos / 250

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