News Release

“Global Apartheid” for Christmas? * Africa * Iraq

SALIH BOOKER
Over the weekend the White House announced the cancellation of President Bush’s January trip to Africa. Booker, executive director of Africa Action, said today: “The administration thinks they’ve addressed enough Black issues with the replacement of Lott and so they callously dump Africa again. The Bush administration is disinterested in Africa aside from oil imports and the use of African territory in Washington’s ‘war on terrorism.’ The U.S. government continues shamelessly to limit funding for AIDS programs in Africa and supports the pharmaceutical companies’ efforts to enforce draconian patent laws against poor countries seeking affordable medicines.” The Guardian in Britain reported this weekend that Dick Cheney, at the behest of pharmaceutical giants, blocked a global agreement (against the will of all 140 other countries in the World Trade Organization) to provide cheap drugs to poor countries. Booker said: “For Christmas, the Bush administration is reinforcing global apartheid.”
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DENIS HALLIDAY
Former head of the UN oil-for-food program in Iraq and former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, Halliday has just returned from Cairo, where he attended a conference on Iraq. He said today: “After my very recent visits to Tunisia and Egypt, it is evident that the Arab community now perceives the American people along with Washington as being responsible for the terrible impact of U.S. foreign policy on the Palestinians and on the people of Iraq. My previous experience when visiting Iraq last year was that the Iraqis distinguish between Washington policies and the people of America. Now, in the light of … the Republican victory last November, Americans as a whole are being held liable. This is understandable and needs to be conveyed to American listeners and viewers….”
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SIMONE CAMPBELL
A lawyer and Catholic nun, Campbell is executive director of JERICHO, an interfaith social justice group in California. She has just returned from Iraq, where she traveled with a religious delegation. Campbell said today: “There are so many things I didn’t know before I got to Iraq. I didn’t know the U.S. government has not talked to the Iraqi government since before the Gulf War. I didn’t know how devastating the economic sanctions have been. You have dentists working as bellhops in hotels because people can’t afford a dentist in Iraq. We have destroyed a country’s economy. I didn’t realize that cancer treatment protocols are not getting into the country in a useful fashion; I didn’t realize that the depleted uranium we used has apparently led to heightened cancer rates and that the U.S. blocked the World Health Organization from doing a study.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167