News Release

* Supporting Troops * Rumsfeld: Lightning Rod * City Teach-in * U.S. Credibility * ‘Unavoidable’ Deaths

NANCY LESSIN and CHARLEY RICHARDSON
Lessin and Richardson are founding members of Military Families Speak Out. They have a son who has been deployed in the Gulf and just learned that he will be going into Iraq. They are in touch with over 300 other families of people from every branch of the military currently deployed in the Gulf and can help arrange interviews. Lessin said today: “The most supportive thing that anyone can do for our troops right now is to halt this invasion and protect their lives as well as the people in Iraq. We need to end not just this war, but also a foreign policy that drives these aggressive wars.” Richardson added: “If I saw my son getting into a car with a drunk driver, I would try to stop that car from moving. For me to stand on the side of the road and salute would be ridiculous.”
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NORMAN SOLOMON
Solomon is co-author of the new book Target Iraq and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He said today: “While Donald Rumsfeld serves as a lightning rod for criticism, the president of the United States has ultimate authority — and ultimate responsibility — for all major policy decisions. But the current debate over U.S. military strategy in Iraq is hollow; it routinely accepts the continuation of a war that is a flagrant violation of the U.N. Charter. The only way to end that violation — and to halt the ongoing slaughter — would be to stop the bombing and immediately withdraw American troops from Iraq.”

JANE BRUNNER
In California last night, Brunner moderated the Oakland City Council’s teach-in on the invasion of Iraq, the first such city-organized teach-in. Erlich and Zunes, below, also spoke at the teach-in.

REESE ERLICH
Co-author of Target Iraq, Erlich said today: “The credibility of the U.S. military is highly suspect. It repeatedly claimed that Umm Qasr and An Nasiriya had fallen and that there was an uprising in Basra. Video provided by Al-Jazeera, which still has a reporter in Basra, showed otherwise. Now, the U.S. military is attempting to disavow responsibility for the bombing in Baghdad that killed over 50 civilians. But Robert Fisk of Britain’s Independent is on the ground and has published what appear to be the serial numbers of the U.S. missile that struck the Baghdad neighborhood.” Erlich will be visiting Canada beginning Thursday, then continuing on to Seattle, Olympia and Portland.

STEPHEN ZUNES
Professor of politics, University of San Francisco, and author of Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism, Zunes said today: “The Pentagon claims that civilian casualties are ‘unavoidable.’ This, however, is patently false. Civilian casualties are unavoidable only if the war is unavoidable. This war was not unavoidable.” Zunes is a specialist on the Mideast, including Syria.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020