News Release

Missions to Baghdad: Value in Dialogue?

JAMES ABOUREZK
Members of Congress have been attacked for speaking out against U.S. policy while in Iraq. Former Sen. James Abourezk, who visited Iraq in mid-September, said today: “We’ve arrived at a very scary state in this country where people opposed to the administration are accused of not being patriotic. The real act of patriotism is not to fall into line behind a president who is desperately trying to get us into a war — but to raise questions to save lives and our national morality.”

EDWARD L. PECK
Peck is a former chief of mission to Iraq and deputy director of the White House Task Force on Terrorism in the Reagan Administration. He is available for a very limited number of interviews. He said today: “Having these congressmen over there is a fantastic thing. They should talk. You don’t lose a thing by talking.”

CHRIS TOENSING
Toensing is editor of Middle East Report.
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JOAN CAMPBELL
Director of the Department of Religion at the Chautauqua Institution, Campbell is a former Secretary General of the National Council of Churches. She said today: “We must pursue every diplomatic effort to avert war. We should truly work with the UN, not simply issue demands.”

LEAH WELLS
A teacher and peace education coordinator of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Wells just returned from Iraq. She said today: “There’s no dialogue between students in Iraq and the United States. All they have grown up knowing is sanctions and bombing and my students have grown up hearing that Iraq is simply a country of 25 million Saddam Husseins.”

ANTHONY ARNOVE
Editor of the book Iraq Under Siege, Arnove said today: “Rep. Jim McDermott has been criticized for saying ‘I think the president would mislead the American people’ about the reasons for going to war. In fact, Bush has already been deceiving the U.S. public as he tries to sell the country on a war against Iraq. Speaking in Phoenix on Sept. 27, Bush said that Saddam Hussein is ‘a man who loves to link up with Al Qaeda.’ Bush is untroubled by the lack of any evidence for this claim. Bush has also dissembled about the U.S. withdrawal of United Nations weapons inspectors in 1998. Bush said in January 2002, ‘This is a regime that agreed to international inspections, then kicked out the inspectors.’ In reality, the inspectors were pulled out by the UN at the behest of the U.S. in anticipation of the planned U.S. bombing of Iraq in December 1998. And, as the Washington Times reported Sept. 27, a report Bush cited as saying that Iraq was only six months away from developing a nuclear weapon in 1998 doesn’t exist, according to the alleged source of this information, the International Atomic Energy Agency.”
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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