News Release

Delegation to Iraq: Interviews Available


On Thursday two more members of a delegation organized by the Institute for Public Accuracy returned to the United States from Iraq. The delegation included Rep. Nick Rahall, D-WV, who returned on Tuesday. Other delegation members now available for interviews are:

A former senator and author of Advise & Dissent: Memoirs of South Dakota and the U.S. Senate, Abourezk said today: “I am pleased that the Iraqi government has decided to again admit UN inspectors. We hope it will lead to a genuine reduction of tensions, not just a postponement of military action. In any case, a new U.S. attack on Baghdad would be a mistake for humanitarian reasons. The reality is that the people of Iraq have still not recovered from the 1991 war. Few people in the West realize that one in every ten Iraqi children dies before his or her first birthday, the lingering result of infrastructure degradation, unclean water, and communicable disease spread in the wake of the 1991 war. One child in three suffers from chronic malnutrition, according to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq. I learned of the disturbing evidence of the effects of Depleted Uranium contamination on the environment, and on leukemia and cancer rates in children. The U.S. military used DU in its artillery shells in 1991, resulting in deformed births throughout southern Iraq. If the U.S. does start a new and unprovoked war, it will stand in violation of international law, the UN Charter, and basic humane values.”

Executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, Solomon said today: “Much of our discussion with Iraqi officials involved urging them to agree to unfettered access for UN weapons inspectors…. A couple of days later, Iraq chose a longshot for averting war — appreciably better than no chance at all, but bringing its own risks. Several years ago, Washington used UNSCOM inspectors for espionage totally unrelated to the UN team’s authorized mission. This fall, inspectors poking around the country could furnish valuable data to the U.S., heightening the effectiveness of a subsequent military attack…. Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz told our delegation that a comprehensive ‘formula’ would be needed for a long-term solution; presumably the formula would include a U.S. pledge of non-aggression and a lifting of sanctions. No such formula is in sight. Instead, the White House remains determined to inflict a horrendous war. Meanwhile, the Democratic ‘leadership’ in the Senate is lining up to put vast quantities of blood on its hands.”
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President of Conscience International, a humanitarian aid organization, Jennings is in Iraq until Sunday. He said today: “President Bush claims, as his father did, that he ‘has no quarrel with the Iraqi people.’ But every family I meet here in Iraq is suffering from what he is doing. The economic sanctions the U.S. government insists on mean malnutrition, prohibitions on desperately needed medicines, a lack of employment and people having to sell their belongings just to survive. Yesterday I had people beg me for cancer medicine. The UN’s ‘661 committee’ is blocking many such necessities — this is uncivilized behavior.”

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