News Release

Iraq: * Medicine * Inspectors * ‘No-Fly’ Zones

DANNY MULLER
RAMZI KYSIA
In Baghdad: KATHY KELLY
Muller, Kysia and Kelly are members of the Voices in the Wilderness campaign. The U.S. government has given Voices delegates until tomorrow to pay $30,000 in penalties for taking medicine to Iraq.
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ALICE SLATER
Director of the Global Resource Action Center for the Environment, Slater said today: “No one is talking about our own violations of obligations to disarm, for example under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Our government is violating international law, even as it accuses Saddam Hussein of doing so. We see U.S. officials trying to upset the current disarmament process in Iraq; they are looking for the slightest excuse to invade Iraq…. The U.S. undermined the biological weapons disarmament process, saying that it was overly intrusive on corporate rights of privacy; the U.S. ousted the head of the chemical weapons inspections process, in effect because he was doing too good a job.”
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WILLIAM RIVERS PITT
Author of the new book (with Scott Ritter) War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn’t Want You to Know, Pitt said today: “Iraq does not retain the functional capability to create weapons of mass destruction. The previous weapons inspectors destroyed a great deal, and any weapons that Iraq might have been able to hide have been degraded. The inspectors will do their job to make sure that the country is not a threat. The claim that Saddam Hussein has connections to Al-Qaeda is laughable. He is a secular dictator. Bin Laden has said that he would like to see Hussein dead. Saddam does not present a threat to the U.S. — his chief interest is his own self-preservation and he knows attacking the U.S. would destroy him. A major attack on Iraq would result in resentment and more terrorism here at home.”
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MICHAEL RATNER
President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Ratner said today: “Iraq’s alleged firing on U.S. and British warplanes is not, contrary to the U.S. position, a breach of the newly passed UN Security Council Resolution 1441. Paragraph 8 of that resolution decides only that ‘Iraq shall not take or threaten hostile acts’ against those persons upholding ‘any Council resolution.’ Even assuming paragraph 8 applies to non-inspection type resolutions, there is no resolution that authorizes U.S. and British warplanes to fly over the sovereign territory of Iraq. In 1991 the U.N. did pass Resolution 688 which demanded that Iraq stop the repression of the civilian population and particularly the Kurds. This resolution did not mention ‘no-fly’ zones nor did it specify any enforcement actions. So the U.S. and British warplanes should not be flying over Iraq at all…. Under international law, Iraq has a right to defend its sovereign territory. Also, even were 688 somehow impliedly to authorize the flights for the purpose of protecting the Iraqi population, that purpose has become a pretext. In an October 3 New York Times article it was acknowledged that U.S. pilots were using southern Iraq for ‘practice runs, mock strikes and real attacks’ against a variety of targets. In other words, they are using the territory of Iraq to practice for the planned war.”
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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