News Release

40 Days After Fall of Saddam Statue: Iraq * Democracy? * U.S. Role * Depleted Uranium

NADA ELIA
Elia is U.N. representative for the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association. She said today: “The New York Times reports that the U.S. and Britain have ‘indefinitely put off their plan to allow Iraqi opposition forces to form a national assembly’ and plan to ‘remain in charge of Iraq for an indefinite period.’ This is hardly unexpected given the Bush administration’s record of shifting justifications for whatever policy it wants to pursue. When U.S. claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction failed to materialize, the official spin shifted to bringing democracy to Iraq….”
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ANAS SHALLAL
Founder of Iraqi-Americans for Peaceful Alternatives, Shallal said today: “The way the U.S. government is administering its occupation shows little respect for the Iraqi people. The U.S. military is not protecting the Iraqi people, Iraqis are getting killed in carjackings and rapes at a rate that is unheard of there. Still, the real looting is happening on a more official level. It’s apparent that the U.S. is there to usurp the resources of Iraq rather than liberate the Iraqi people. It’s time for the U.S. to adhere to its promises and allow the Iraqi people to govern themselves.”

DENIS HALLIDAY
Former head of the U.N. oil-for-food program, Halliday said today: “Under L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. is pushing for a much more coercive stance than under Jay Garner — witness Bremer pushing Iraqis out of governing authority during any interim period.” [UNICEF’s executive director, Carol Bellamy, warned Sunday that postwar Iraq could slip into a “major crisis” without quick action to meet its urgent humanitarian needs. Halliday has extensive experience with the humanitarian situation in Iraq.] More Information

REESE ERLICH
Erlich is a longtime foreign correspondent who reported from Iraq for the San Francisco Chronicle and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He is co-author of Target Iraq. Erlich said today: “A recent Christian Science Monitor story revealed the U.S. expended no less than 75 tons of depleted uranium in Iraq [this spring]. The Monitor ‘found significant levels of radioactive contamination from the U.S. battle for Baghdad.’ Depleted uranium is a toxic and radioactive heavy metal used as a highly effective penetrator in U.S. machine gun and tank shells. When it hits a hard target … the dust can settle on the ground and get into the food chain. Today in Baghdad, children are playing on tanks destroyed by DU ammo and the dust may be settling on nearby food markets.” Erlich visited Iraq and Bosnia to investigate the U.S. use of DU and its long-term health dangers. “At a minimum, the U.S. should clean up the sites where DU was used in Iraq,” Erlich says.

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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