News Release

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.”
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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.”
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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.”
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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