News Release Archive - 2002

Ramadan: Interviews Available

JEANNE BUTTERFIELD
Executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Butterfield said today: “The administration has taken a number of unprecedented actions which target the Muslim and Arab communities in the United States. They have denied the right to open hearings, the right to a day in court, the right to counsel. The government is not simply engaging in legitimate law enforcement profiling, but in ethnic and religious profiling.”
More Information

DR. LAILA AL-MARAYATI
Founder of the Muslim Women’s League, Al-Marayati is a physician and is on the board of Kinder USA, a new charity founded by Muslim medical professionals. She said today: “During Ramadan, charitable giving is a religious obligation for Muslims. To many, that means providing much needed humanitarian assistance to innocent Muslims who are suffering around the world, especially in places like Iraq, Palestine and Chechnya. Unfortunately, the U.S. government is intimidating the Muslim community in a variety of ways, including making the establishment and functioning of Muslim charities more and more difficult. The ‘war on terrorism’ is having effects against totally legitimate activities here and is interfering with the very practice of our faith.”
More Information
More Information

RABBI ARTHUR WASKOW
Director of the Shalom Center, Waskow has helped organize a “Multi-religious Call to Fast for Peace” with 100 leaders of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities.
More Information

YVONNE HADDAD
Professor at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University and author of numerous books including Muslims in the West, Haddad said today: “The Muslim population in the U.S. has extensive contacts with the Muslim world, and can explain to them what’s good about the United States. Muslims in the U.S. can also explain to the rest of us what’s wrong with our policies. Unfortunately, Muslims in the U.S. are not represented in the administration and have little access to it. The Muslim community feels terrorized and is largely reluctant to speak up. For many of them, the U.S. is beginning to feel like some of the repressive countries they left.”
More Information

INGRID MATTSON
Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary, Mattson said today: “Ramadan is a time for hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world to practice self-restraint. An obvious benefit of fasting is that those with material wealth might understand what the poor go through. But in Islam even poor people have to fast. The poor and oppressed are equally responsible to God. Hardship is not an excuse to take any means necessary to improve your situation.”
More Information

FAISAL ALAM
Founder and director of Al-Fatiha, Alam said today: “We try to help Muslims reconcile their sexual orientation with their religion. We frequently see people dealing with multiple levels of oppression: Islamaphobia in the mainstream and queer community, and homophobia in the Muslim community. People end up ‘coming out’ in many different ways.”
More Information
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Decoding the New UN Resolution on Iraq: Myth-Shattering Analysis at Accuracy.org/un2

Today the Institute for Public Accuracy released a detailed analysis of the new UN Security Council resolution on Iraq. The assessments feature conclusions of several legal and political analysts. The multifaceted critique is available at: www.accuracy.org/un2

Among the analysts who are available for interviews:

JAMES PAUL
Executive director of the Global Policy Forum, which monitors policy-making at the United Nations, Paul is author of a series of papers including “Iraq: The Struggle for Oil.” He said today: “This resolution takes a hard-line approach that will almost certainly lead to war. Thirteen members of the Security Council were opposed to this resolution or deeply skeptical, but Washington used intense pressure and eventually bent them to its will.”

DENIS HALLIDAY
A former UN Assistant Secretary General, Halliday headed the UN’s food-for-oil program in Iraq. He said today: “The new resolution of the UN Security Council is a charade, a device to obscure. Nevertheless it is transparent enough that one can point out the trip wires, hoops and hurdles — combined with dangerous ambiguity — placed so that Iraq must inevitably fail to avoid material breach. Then the Bush war can begin nicely covered in UN respectability — although of course it has already begun, what with the 12 years of deadly embargo, the no-fly zone bombings and now placement of army, navy and air force resources on the ground in the Gulf, Kuwait, etc.”

GLEN RANGWALA
Rangwala is a lecturer in politics at Cambridge University in Britain.

PHYLLIS BENNIS
Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, Bennis is author of the new book Before and After: U.S. Foreign Policy and the September 11th Crisis.

JIM JENNINGS
Jennings is president of Conscience International, an aid organization that has worked in Iraq.

FRANCIS BOYLE
Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law.

JOHN BURROUGHS
Burroughs is executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy.

MICHAEL RATNER
Ratner is president of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

RAHUL MAHAJAN
Mahajan is author of the book The New Crusade: America’s War On Terrorism.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Veterans’ Day: Interviews Available

DAVID CLINE
Currently national president of Veterans for Peace and a longtime coordinator of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Cline is a disabled combat veteran. He said today: “Bush is using the terrorist attacks of September 11 to wage endless war abroad and reduce freedom here at home. The veterans are one of the groups who have some sense of the reality of war. We’ve been used by our government to enforce unjust policies. We’re also used to justify future military attacks; the government doesn’t care about us much until they need us to wave the flags for a new generation of recruits. War is a tool for Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld now. They want to control the oil. Moreover, they are chickenhawks; they used their privilege so they didn’t put themselves on the line, even though they have been for war.”
More Information
More Information
More Information

S. BRIAN WILLSON
Willson, a former officer in Vietnam who is active in Veterans For Peace, is producing a documentary about U.S. intervention in Korea. He said today: “Many veterans intimately know the savagery of wars and their fraudulent, political pretexts. Our nation’s pathological addiction to insatiable consumption and its corresponding dependency upon war to protect disproportionate global privilege is leading to species suicide unless we experience an evolutionary shift integrating ecological mindfulness. People are capable of replacing oligarchy with participatory democracy. This is a pivotal evolutionary moment, begging people to choose nonviolence and conscious living as an alternative to mindless, impending extinction. We need genuine global justice, not more veterans or war memorials.”
More Information

ELLEN BARFIELD
Barfield was stationed in South Korea just after the 1979 coup there. She said today: “My focus this ‘Veterans’ — more properly Armistice — Day is the strong connection between U.S. training and/or supplying troops in other countries, and later terroristic acts against their own people or against the United States. A prime example of this is the U.S. Army School of the Americas/Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation at Ft. Benning, Georgia.” Barfield will be participating in a School of the Americas Watch demonstration November 15-17.
More Information

ERIK GUSTAFSON
Co-founder of the newly-formed Veterans for Common Sense, Gustafson is also executive director of the Education for Peace in Iraq Center.
More Information
More Information

MARC LIGGIN
Liggin spent five years in the Army and got out as a conscientious objector with the help of the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors organization. He now volunteers for the GI Rights Hotline. Liggin said today: “In my day job I supervise a 9-1-1 medical and fire emergency dispatch center. I can honestly tell you that working the GI Rights Hotline is a bit more stressful than working 9-1-1…. Callers often pour out their life story. I hear about the grief and pain they’ve caused themselves and their family by joining the military. Many want to kill themselves just to get out. Parents and spouses call, pleading for the freedom of their loved ones. The calls and e-mails are endless.”
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Analysts Available on New UN Iraq Resolution

As the Bush administration pushes for a UN Security Council resolution vote on Iraq, the following analysts are available for interviews:

DENIS HALLIDAY
Halliday is a former UN Assistant Secretary General and headed the UN’s food-for-oil program in Iraq. Available for limited interviews, Halliday said today: “Even if the Iraqis wanted to comply — and it’s not clear to me that they do — I doubt that they could comply with this resolution. It has components that are simply geared toward Mr. Bush’s war. If the Iraqis close the door on an inspector in a bike shop at 3 in the morning, that could be used as a pretext, as being in ‘material breach,’ for war. It’s likely that at some point [the U.S.’s UN ambassador John] Negroponte will use confused wording to argue that Iraq is in material breach and the U.S. will say one thing and the rest of the world another. Many paragraphs of this new resolution are simply dripping with double standards — much in this resolution should apply to all states in the region violating Security Council resolutions and possessing weapons of mass destruction. Whether or not Iraq complies, it is a country under threat and has a right to defend itself.”

PHYLLIS BENNIS
Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, Bennis is author of the new book Before and After: U.S. Foreign Policy and the September 11th Crisis.
More Information

RAHUL MAHAJAN
Mahajan is author of the book The New Crusade: America’s War Against Terrorism.
More Information

FRANCIS BOYLE
Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law.

MICHAEL RATNER
President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Ratner said today: “This is a resolution that will allow the U.S. to argue that it alone can decide the consequences, including war, for any failure by Iraq to adhere to the new inspection regime. The U.S. gets its ‘material breach’ language; it gets its ‘serious consequences’ language and there is no clear, unambiguous statement that it is for the UN and not the U.S. to determine the consequences for any Iraqi failure to comply with the resolution.”

JIM JENNINGS
Jennings is president of Conscience International, an aid organization that has worked in Iraq.

JAMES PAUL
Executive director of the Global Policy Forum, which monitors global policy-making at the United Nations, Paul is the author of a series of papers including “Iraq: The Struggle for Oil.”
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Interviews on Iraq: UN Endgame

“All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” — UN Charter (Chapter I, Article 2) [See: www.un.org/aboutun/charter]

JAMES PAUL
Executive director of the Global Policy Forum, which monitors global policy-making at the United Nations, Paul said today: “We understand that a deal is being struck — after tremendous pressure and who-knows-what sweet deals…. There has apparently been delay in large measure because, according to a highly-placed source at the UN, ‘every word of text change had to go back to Washington and get argued over for two days.’ But even the hawks understand that public support for a war without a UN resolution is dropping and is low; only 27 percent in a recent Pew poll said they would support the war ‘if allies don’t go along’…. Many of the worst ‘trigger’ language is out, but plenty of material remains in the resolution that the U.S. government will claim allows war, make no mistake about that. Council members know this, but now they are running for cover.” [See: www.accuracy.org/un] More Information

MICHAEL RATNER
President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Ratner said today: “What is going on here is completely outrageous. The Security Council, a body that was supposed to make war at the behest of one country illegal and impossible, is paving the way to a war of aggression. And worst of all, the U.S. will be able to argue that somehow it has its blessing.”
More Information

FRANCIS BOYLE
Professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, Boyle said today: “If the UN Security Council gives the Bush administration this legal fig-leaf for its pre-planned aggression against Iraq, the Security Council shall prove its own legal and moral bankruptcy….”

JOHN BURROUGHS
Burroughs is executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy. “If the UN is strong-armed into authorizing this war, then it will be acting contrary to the basic values of the UN Charter…. The U.S. may well get a resolution which it claims authorizes war in the case of Iraqi non-compliance; the U.S. and other countries could agree to disagree. This would undermine the United Nations….” Burroughs and other lawyers have sent letters to the members of the Security Council, available at the above web page.
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Interviews Available: Congressional Elections

GREG PALAST
Author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Palast is featured in the investigative documentary “Counting on Democracy,” which is currently being shown on PBS stations. He said today: “In 2000, Katherine Harris, Florida Secretary of State, ordered county elections officials to purge 57,000 citizens from voter registries as felons not allowed to vote in Florida. In fact, about 95 percent of these voters were innocent of crimes — but 54 percent were guilty of being African-American. Harris and the state admit that tens of thousands of black voters had been wronged, and with plantation noblesse have agreed to return them to the voter rolls — at the beginning of 2003…. In 2000, the 180,000 ‘spoiled ballots’ came overwhelmingly from the blackest, poorest, most Democratic counties. Now, the old dogs of ballot-bending are learning some new tricks. Before resigning to run for Congress, Harris leaned hard on the counties to purchase touch screen voting machines. But not just any machines. Harris first authorized the use of machines by only one company, Election Systems & Software of Omaha…. It was ES&S machines that were used in Florida’s 2002 primaries and were plagued by countless breakdowns. A report by the state Inspector General says that the company ‘bears major responsibility’ for the foul-ups. An ACLU study found that, once again, it was Miami-Dade’s black voters who were disproportionately disenfranchised by ‘lost votes’…. Most troubling of all, some of these practices are going national.”
More Information

WENONAH HAUTER
Director of Public Citizen’s Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program, Hauter said today: “The Bush administration has succeeded in driving issues of corporate power off the national agenda before this election. As a result, not only is the administration not being held accountable for their role in the debacles, but — despite the scandal of telecom and energy deregulation — the administration continues to advocate increased deregulation of these sectors.”
More Information
More Information

STEVEN HILL
Hill is senior analyst for the Center for Voting and Democracy and author of the new book Fixing Elections: The Failure of America’s Winner Take All Politics. He said today: “Even before the polls open on Election Day, we can tell you the winners in 76 percent of the races. For all intents and purposes, most House races have been over for months. No wonder that barely a third of adults will bother voting this year. More than 95 percent of incumbents will again cruise to victory, usually by huge margins. Most districts tilt strongly toward one major party or the other, courtesy of the redistricting process. That’s when legislative district lines are redrawn by the dominant political party and manipulated to favor those already in power. We need to join most other modern democracies in transforming our ‘winner take all’ elections. We should break up the single-seat districts and try multi-seat districts elected by a system of proportional representation.”
More Information
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Brazil — Beyond the Election

STEVE COBBLE
Senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, Cobble was recently in Brazil. He said Monday afternoon: “On his fourth run for president, Lula da Silva, the former leader of the San Bernardo Metal Workers Union, has won a huge victory. Brazil is the eighth-largest economy in the world and it’s clear that the overwhelming majority of Brazilians have voted against the expansion of corporate domination over their lives. Lula’s victory also means that the Free Trade Agreement for the Americas now faces major new obstacles. The opponents of unfettered corporate trade, both in Latin America and inside the U.S. — including environmental groups and the AFL-CIO — may now have an important new political force in the hemisphere to rally around…. The Brazilians have a much better voting system than the U.S. does, not to mention a superior counting system.”
More Information

ANTONIA JUHASZ
Project director with the International Forum on Globalization, which has just released an in-depth report on alternatives to the current rules and institutions of economic globalization, Juhasz said Monday afternoon: “Lula has called the FTAA the ‘annexation of Latin America by the United States.’ The tens of thousands of people gathering in Quito, Ecuador to protest the FTAA [at the Ministerial meeting this week] share his opinion, as do millions more like them around the world…. Lula’s win shines a spotlight on alternative models to corporate globalization in use throughout the world and the proposals for change put forward by peoples’ movements and civil society groups.”
More Information

MARK WEISBROT
Weisbrot is an economist and co-author of “Paying the Bills in Brazil: Does the IMF’s Math Add Up?” Co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, he said Monday afternoon: “The election of Lula da Silva by the largest margin in Brazilian history is a mandate for change, and will impact all of Latin America. The region is approaching the end of a 20-year, failed economic experiment: over the last two decades, income per person has hardly grown at all, and it is projected to shrink this year. Brazil used to have one of the fastest-growing economies in the world (from 1960-1980, income per person grew by 141 percent). Lula has pledged to lower interest rates (short term rates are now at 21 percent, among the highest in the world), restore economic growth, and help Brazil’s tens of millions of poor people. Major obstacle: an IMF agreement that tries to commit the new government to maintaining many of the failed policies of the past.”
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Decoding New U.S. Draft of UN Resolution on Iraq: Detailed Analysis at Accuracy.org/un

As the UN Security Council considers the new resolution on Iraq put forward by the Bush administration, the Institute for Public Accuracy has made available a detailed analysis of the proposed resolution. The assessments feature a number of legal and political analysts. The multifaceted critique is available at: www.accuracy.org/un

Among the points made by analysts who are available for interviews:

PHYLLIS BENNIS,
Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, Bennis is author of the new book Before and After: U.S. Foreign Policy and the September 11th Crisis. She said today: “The resolution seems to be an effort to ensure Iraq’s inability — regardless of intent — to comply with these very stringent terms…. If Washington gets its way in the Security Council, the resolution will require Iraq to accept unlimited numbers of UN military troops.”

RAHUL MAHAJAN
Author of the book The New Crusade: America’s War Against Terrorism, Mahajan said today: “The numerous provisions [of Article 7 of the resolution] add up to an attempt to provide for a military occupation without having to fight a war. Note especially the right to create ‘exclusion zones and/or ground and air transit corridors.'”

JAMES PAUL
Executive director of the Global Policy Forum, which monitors global policy-making at the United Nations, Paul is the author of a series of papers including “Iraq: The Struggle for Oil.” Paul said today: “The resolution contains thin legal cover for a U.S. unilateral war, so that Washington can claim authorization by the UN Security Council even if most Council members insist that a second resolution will be required. It also contains ‘booby traps’ that were in the earlier draft — language that would be unacceptable to Iraq and that would, even if accepted, lead to rapid provocation.”
More Information

MICHAEL RATNER
Ratner is president of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

FRANCIS BOYLE
Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law.

JIM JENNINGS
Jennings is president of Conscience International, an aid organization that has worked in Iraq.

JOHN QUIGLEY
Professor of international law at Ohio State University, Quigley said today: “The draft resolution says that any failure by Iraq to comply with this and prior resolutions ‘shall constitute further material breach of Iraq’s obligations.’ This language turns any, even trivial, failing by Iraq into ‘material breach.'”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Sniper: Perspectives on Violence Around the Beltway

M. J. PARK
Park, an educator and director of Little Friends for Peace, runs a “Peace Room” based in Washington, D.C. She said today: “I’ve been working daily with my students at our Peace Room. There’s a circle of fear that’s increasing the awareness of bad people out there. The children are being deprived of their normal routine. It’s more fear than anger, though they are beginning to be angry as they realize what this will mean for Halloween…. Our society acts as though it is horrified by the sniper, but there’s a sniper video game that has as the object to kill as many people as possible. We send messages that anything is OK when you’re out to make money or get power…. Children are seeing that they need a lot of things for the daily routine and there is no way to totally protect them. We need peace education. We have computer labs and all these other facilities, but we don’t make enough room for peacemaking.”

REV. GRAYLAN HAGLER
Pastor at the Plymouth Congregational Church UCC in Washington, D.C., Hagler is participating in vigils tonight and tomorrow night with the theme “Faith Over Fear.” He said today: “We need the faith to face the difficulties and the violence before us. We have this proclivity toward violence in our society. What happens at a macro level is related to a micro level. We must have the fortitude to confront violence whether it takes place personally or globally. What we need to do is begin to reorder our priorities as a society as a whole. To my mind, there is a relationship between our wanting to invade Iraq and the violence around us. Violence filters down to our local existence.” Hagler will also be participating in protests this weekend against the planned invasion of Iraq.

WILSON RILES, wriles@pacbell.net

WILSON RILES
Principal of the new Social Justice High School in Oakland, Calif., Riles said today: “We need to examine the availability of high-powered weapons, the culture of violence that we are immersed in. It’s like a frog in water, if you heat it up gradually, it never jumps out. The violence is escalating to the extent that it is killing us.”

JOSH HOROWITZ
Executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Horowitz is available for interviews about the effectiveness of having a national ballistic fingerprint database.
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

The Planned War on Iraq: A Big Boost to Al-Qaeda? Hypocrisy on Israel and Indonesia?

ANAS SHALLAL
A “Partner for Peace” with the Seeds of Peace program, Shallal is a founder of the Mesopotamia Cultural Society and an Iraqi-American small business owner in Washington, D.C.

TAMIM ANSARY
Ansary is an Afghan-American and the author of West of Kabul, East of New York. He said today: “Reducing functioning societies to anarchy by destroying their infrastructure and killing great numbers of their citizens is likely to increase whatever legacy of grudge and grievance is already in place. It is also likely to increase the number of dislocated individuals living in furious impotence and stewing in secrecy.”
More Information

AMY GOODMAN
Host of the “Democracy Now!” radio program, Goodman has covered Indonesia for 12 years, winning several awards. She said today: “The Bush administration wants to use the bombing in Bali to restore military support to the Indonesian military. The Indonesian military has actually helped start and support some of these radical Islamic groups. Bush is using the ‘war on terrorism’ to promote the Indonesian military — which has actually brutally terrorized the Indonesian people for years.”
More Information

MARK LANCE
Associate professor of justice and peace at Georgetown University, Lance said today: “On the very day that President Bush is meeting with Ariel Sharon — prime minister of the only country in the Middle East which possesses nuclear weapons, a country violating more outstanding UN resolutions than any other, a country which has maintained an illegal occupation for 35 years … — he reiterates his willingness to invade Iraq on the grounds that it might possess weapons of mass destruction and violates international law. Such hypocrisy will do nothing to strengthen the rule of law … and much to encourage those who hate the United States.”

BARBARA LUBIN
Director of the Middle East Children’s Alliance, Lubin just returned from visiting Iraq, Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories. She said today: “We are losing sight of what the reality of life is for children in Iraq and in Palestine. In Iraq, children are going to school without pencils; there is no glass in the windows. I met with the head of the World Food Program in Iraq; he said that, contrary to much of what is said in the U.S., the Iraqi food distribution program is the best they have been involved in. But any cutoff due to war could be devastating…. We need to understand the devastation that Sharon is putting upon the Palestinians with curfews and demolishing of homes of ordinary Palestinians. There is open discussion in Israel of ‘transfer,’ the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by Israelis, should the U.S. invade Iraq.”
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167