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DECEMBER 17, 1998   3:24 PM
CONTACT: War Resisters League
Chris Ney or Ruth Benn, (212) 228-0450
War Resisters League Condemns Bombing
WASHINGTON - December 17 - The War Resisters League joins many countries and organizations in condemning the U.S. and British bombing strikes against Iraq. These attacks are in defiance of international law and usurp potential United Nations efforts to resolve the conflict with Iraq without further resort to violence.

Iraqi civilians will be the primary victims of the bombs, despite assertions from U.S. military sources and the Clinton Administration that the targets are Iraqi military sites or Saddam Hussein's palaces. These assertions remind us once again of the statement by Aeschylus: "In war, truth is the first casualty." U.S. propaganda depicting Hussein as the enemy of the American people has flooded the media for months, but the American people have seen very little of the effects of the 1991 Gulf War and eight years of sanctions on the Iraqi people-effects that include a death toll of more than 1 million Iraqi civilians. As we engage in the many activities of this holiday season that involve children and songs and cards proclaiming "peace on earth," let us keep in our minds the daily death toll in Iraq that is paid for by U.S. tax dollars.

President Clinton claims that Iraq will be a threat to its neighbors so long as Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. We agree. We believe that any country with weapons of mass destruction is a threat to world security. The way to peace in the Middle East and around the world does not begin with weapons, but with disarmament.

The War Resisters League calls for:

o An immediate end to U.S. military threats and attacks against Iraq.

o Withdraw U.S. forces and end U. S. arms sales in the region and around the world; in addition we call for a worldwide embargo of arms sales to the entire Middle East region.

o Work in partnership with the international community for negotiated settlements and regional disarmament.

o End the sanctions against Iraq that have killed more than 1 million people, including 700,000 children.


o Contact our office (212-228-0450) for information about actions in your community. War Resisters League is working in coalition with many groups including Peace Action, Fellowship of Reconciliation, American Friends Service Committee, Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee and Friends Committee on National Legislation for a National Day of Mourning, the first called for Saturday, December 19, 1998.

o Call the White House comment line, (202) 456-1111.

o Call your Senator or Congress person. Demand that the administration seek a diplomatic solution to this crisis.

o Send material aid to Iraq. The embargo prevents basic humanitarian supplies, including medicines, from reaching the Iraqi people. Voices in the Wilderness coordinates shipment of supplies; call them at (773) 784-8065.

o Leaflet and vigil anywhere people are gathered. Join with others groups in your community to call for an end to the use of military force in Iraq.

o Stay informed. The Nonviolence Web has an Iraq crisis page. Check it out at

o Half of your tax dollars pay for current and past wars, not including money for military action in Iraq. Refuse to pay all or part of your income taxes in protest. Contact WRL for more information.

Join us in the struggle for a just and peaceful world.




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