Iraq: What's Missing From the Hearings?
- August 1 - As the Senate Foreign Relations Committee continues to hear testimony
from the individuals it has selected, the following analysts are available for
PHYLLIS BENNIS, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and co-editor of Beyond
the Storm: A Gulf Crisis Reader. Her testimony was put in the Congressional
Record on Wednesday; she was not asked to testify.
KATHY KELLY, email@example.com,
Coordinator of Voices in the Wilderness, a group which has challenged the economic
sanctions against Iraq, Kelly has been to that country over a dozen times, most
recently in June. She will be in New York City after 1 p.m. on Thursday.
Ritter, who was a chief UN weapons inspector in Iraq, is the author of Endgame:
Solving the Iraqi Problem Once and For All.
HANS VON SPONECK,
As a former UN Assistant Secretary General, Von Sponeck headed the UN "oil-for-food"
program until he resigned two years ago in protest over the continued sanctions.
He was in Iraq in July.
President of Conscience International, a humanitarian aid organization, Jennings
has led medical and public health workshops in Iraqi hospitals since 1991, training
500 Iraqi doctors and nurses in child survival techniques. He said today: "Any
new war with Iraq would only bring a fresh humanitarian catastrophe. We are still
dealing with the devastating effects of the last war and the subsequent harsh
embargo on vulnerable women, children, and the aged. Since the Gulf War, the death
rate for children under age 5 in Iraq has risen from 56 per thousand to 131 per
thousand. One in every eight Iraqi children dies before his or her first birthday.
Sixty percent of mothers are anemic, and one child in three suffers from chronic
malnutrition. The incidence of childhood cancer and leukemia has more than tripled
in the Basra governorate..."
RAHUL MAHAJAN, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Mahajan is author of The New Crusade: America's War on Terrorism and the
forthcoming Desert Deception: Myths and Realities About the War on Iraq.
Mahajan said today: "Myths impede discussion about Iraq. Myths like: The economic
sanctions would be lifted if only Iraq had complied with the weapons inspectors.
(The U.S. government repeatedly stated the sanctions would continue regardless.)
Myths like: Inspectors are not in Iraq because Iraq kicked them out in December
of 1998. (Actually they were withdrawn by UNSCOM head Richard Butler, just before
the Desert Fox bombing campaign.) It was also under Butler's watch that inspectors
were used for espionage, something many have forgotten about. Also, the Pentagon
continues to bomb Iraq about once a week in the 'no-fly' zones. These hearings
add more layers of myth instead of unraveling them."
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