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MARCH 7, 2001
10:14 AM
CONTACT:  New Hampshire Peace Action
Patrick Carkin 603-228-0559
New Hampshire Peace Action Asks 'Is US Assisting Saddam Hussein While Iraqi Children Die?'
CONCORD, N.H. - March 7 - On Feb. 21 the London Times reported that the US has been covertly helping to stabilize Saddam Hussein's control of Iraq while Iraqi children suffer under the sanctions.

They reported:

(One UN) official said that he could not think of a single success of the policy "except in killing children."

Pointing to the toleration of smuggling (oil) across Iraq's borders into Turkey and Jordan, (the official) said that many believed the real objective was to maintain a weak but stable President Saddam Hussein in power (and to benefit the US).... "Turkey is allowed to take in all the oil it can because it provides the Incirlik base from which British and American planes patrol the northern no-fly zone over Iraq."

"You have to ask...what it is about the status quo that the Americans like."

Hans von Sponeck, one of the former "oil for food" coordinators who quit his UN position in protest of sanctions, responded, "Many have the perception that 'containment' rather than 'elimination' to date has been the preferred option. In the meantime, Iraqi civilians continue to pay the price."

New Hampshire Peace Action (NHPA) is asking that Congress investigate these claims.

Patrick Carkin, NHPA co-director and former US Army intelligence analyst, responded, "We've been stating this to Congress for over a year now. The policy helps keep Hussein in power while also keeping him contained. We're talking out of both sides of our mouth. Meanwhile, innocent children continue to die due to our actions. It's hard to believe that the US can justify preventing diphtheria vaccines for the children from entering Iraq under the guise of "dual usage," but can't stop a huge oil tanker that helps Hussein. If it's true that US forces are using this oil in Turkey then we're talking about a conspiracy on par with Iran/Contra-gate.

It's heartening to know that Powell is finally examining the sanctions in more detail. But that's just the beginning. It's morally and legally imperative that Congress investigate these claims and that Iraqi citizens no longer suffer under this policy."

These House offices have been asked to investigate: Allen (D-ME), Baldacci (D-ME), Frank (D-MA), Bass (R-NH) Hall (D-OH), Paul (R-TX), Smith (R-NJ), Sununu (R-NH), Tauscher (D-CA)

Senate: Collins (R-ME), Dodd (D-CT), Gregg (R-NH), Hagel (R-NE), Kerry (D-MA), Smith (R-NH), Snowe (R-ME), Specter (R-PA), Wellstone (D-MN)


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