News Release

* Back from Jenin * Chinese Leader’s Visit * Pakistan Referendum

KATHY KELLY, JEFF GUNTZEL
Members of the activist humanitarian group Voices in the Wilderness, Kelly and Guntzel recently got back from Israel and the Occupied Territories. Kelly, the group’s co-founder, said today: “We returned from the Jenin camp with ample evidence that the Israeli government ordered Israeli occupying forces to attack and destroy a civilian neighborhood in the Jenin refugee camp. We would never want to see a single civilian in Israel punished because of their government’s actions. Yet we must ask why the United Nations continues to uphold a dangerous and repugnant double standard by imposing lethal punishment on Iraqi civilians ostensibly because of their government’s refusal to comply with UN demands for weapon inspections. With Israel refusing to cooperate with the UN, will economic sanctions be imposed on it?”
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HENRY ROSEMONT
Author of A Chinese Mirror: Moral Reflections on Political Economy, professor of philosophy emeritus at St. Mary’s College in Maryland and consulting professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, Rosemont said today: “Usually, being named number two in the Chinese hierarchy while number one is still operative is a death knell. But thus far Vice President Hu Jintao is an exception. In some respects, he views the U.S. ‘war on terrorism’ favorably since the Chinese leadership is concerned about the Muslims in western China wanting more independence; the war on terrorism also deflects from China being seen as the major threat. At the same time he has to be nervous about U.S. military adventurism. U.S. troops are now in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Australia, and there’s the Seventh Fleet. That fairly well encircles China. The U.S. is pulling out of the ABM treaty and is building NMD. That might be acceptable to Russia; they have thousands of warheads and mutually assured destruction is preserved. But China has less than 40 nuclear missiles. Further, as the U.S. pressures China, like it did the Soviet Union, to increase manufacture of weapons, it could be an economic disaster — as it was for the Soviet Union.”

HUSAIN HAQQANI
Visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former adviser to the two democratically elected previous Pakistani leaders, Haqqani said today: “Obviously today’s referendum is a one-sided exercise. No campaigning was allowed against the president, or for a boycott. The government has been saying that the illiterate masses cannot be trusted, so we need a ‘guided democracy,’ but the referendum is a convoluted statement while people are used to symbols on the ballots. There are reports of ballot tampering, fixing of quotas for public servants to mark ballots and use of state funds for Gen. Musharaf’s campaign. The Pakistani constitution says that the president should be elected by the parliament and bars a serving military officer from being president. The real crisis of Pakistan, which is the legitimacy of its government, will hardly be resolved by this referendum.”

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