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APRIL 25, 2003
11:57 AM
CONTACT:  Institute for Public Accuracy
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
* Aziz's 'Urbanity of Evil' * Kelly Back from Iraq's '12-Year War'
WASHINGTON - April 25 -

    Solomon, co-author of Target Iraq, participated in three meetings with Tariq Aziz last fall and winter in Baghdad. He said today: "With Aziz in custody, top U.S. officials are patting themselves on the back. But they have only proven that victors are able to imprison the vanquished.... Aziz epitomized the urbanity of evil. He was articulate and deft at rationalizing government actions that caused enormous suffering. His similarities to top U.S. officials are much greater than we're comfortable acknowledging." Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.

    Co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness and the Iraq Peace Team, Kelly returned last night to the U.S. from Iraq. Throughout the invasion of Iraq, Kelly was based out of the Al-Fanar Hotel in downtown Baghdad. She saw, firsthand, civilian casualties and the destruction of homes, hospitals and marketplaces. Kelly and her fellow Iraq Peace Team members also spent days talking with U.S. soldiers who were stationed in front of the hotel.

    Kelly wrote regularly while in Baghdad and her writings, as well as those of other Iraq Peace Team members, can be accessed at and

    Kelly visited Iraq many times over the last several years. She said today: "The Gulf War never ended -- it was a 12-year war. What people in the U.S. never knew about is the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died as a result of the sanctions. The responsibility for those deaths lies as much at the steps of U.S. policy makers as it does before Iraqi leaders. Impoverished Iraqis blamed their local elites for their plight, not realizing what U.S. policy was in terms of maintaining the sanctions no matter what. Never again should economic sanctions be used in such a manner."

    The U.S. government has recently called for the lifting of the sanctions on Iraq. On April 22, Ari Fleischer said: "The sanctions should become history, too, because the Iraqi people need help. And removing the sanctions leads to help for the Iraqi people.... Why should any nation support imposing sanctions on the Iraqi people now?" But for years U.S. government officials claimed the regime of Saddam Hussein and not the economic sanctions were responsible for the suffering of the Iraqi people. For example, Condoleezza Rice said on October 15, 2001: "We do not believe that they [the sanctions] were harming the Iraqi people..."


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