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http://dirckhalstead.org/issue0212/pt_intro.html - photos

http://www.digitaljournalist.org/issue0211/sloyan.html - report

http://nationalphilistine.com/baghdad/ - Snapshots of people



 From 3- 8 January 2003 Scilla Elworthy, Director of
 Oxford Research Group, joined a group of NGO
 representatives and former UN officials to meet with
 cabinet ministers in Baghdad including Deputy Prime
 Minister Tariq Aziz, Foreign Minister Nagi Sabri and Oil
 Minister Amer Mohammed Rashid, as well as to talk with
 doctors, teachers and scientists. 

 They had the opportunity to meet ordinary Iraqis and
 visit sites recently inspected for weapons of mass
 destruction. The aim was to contribute to efforts to
 prevent war and to gather information not available in
 the western press, particularly with regard to the human

 The group included:
 Margarita Papandreou, former First Lady of Greece

 Scilla Elworthy, Director, Oxford Research Group, UK

 Denis Halliday, former Assistant Secretary-General of the
 UN and UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Iraq

 Christian Harleman, the Transnational Foundation for
 Peace and Future Research, Sweden

 Jan Oberg, Director, the Transnational Foundation, Sweden

 Zeynab Oral, Winpeace and Peace Initiative, Turkey

 Omaima Rawas, peace activist and Vice President of the
 Syrian Arabic League, Syria

 Fotini Sianou, President, Women's Committee, European
 Trade Union Confederation

 Dr. Elworthy has produced several reports since her visit
 to Iraq. These include:


 * A report from Baghdad summarising the main points
 from the visit;

 * 'The Baghdad Diaries': a detailed account of Dr.
 Elworthy's experience in Iraq;

 * 'From the Cradle of Civilisation to the Graveyard?':
 an overview of the Iraqi crisis with suggestions for
 a peaceful solution;

 * 'Iraq - A Way Out': a proposal to avoid war in the
 Middle East



 Time is short. The UNMOVIC inspectors are due to report on 27th January
 2003. Military preparations indicate that an attack may begin in early
 February. A pre-emptive attack will be a clear-cut violation of the UN
 Charter and international law. Medical and public health experts in the UK
 estimate that between 48,000 and 260,000 civilians could be killed in the
 first 3 months of conflict, and that if WMD are used, there could be up to 4
 million dead.

 What can be done to move towards a genuine solution of this conflict other
 than war and occupation

 1.The free press and NGOs must speedily step up their analysis and reporting
 to challenge disinformation about the realities in Iraq. Please distribute
 this report to all your media contacts.

 2. Whenever you hear a news broadcast on Iraq which does not mention
 something about ordinary people, call them to ask for some human interest
 stories. Iraq is not one man, it is 26 million fellow citizens. They have
 points of views, hopes, fears and dreams like all of us.

 3. The European Union has a substantial potential role to play. A consistent
 well-structured mediation process could be offered, either through key Arab
 states, or in the form of a meeting between the most senior representatives
 of the United States and of Iraq to 'explore whether all avenues short of
 war have been exhausted'. This meeting would need to be announced before
 27th January, perhaps to take place mid-February. It would need to take
 place in a very safe environment and employ state-of-the-art conflict
 resolution techniques. These moves could be supported by France and by
 Germany in their chairmanship of the UN Security Council in January and
 February 2003 respectively. Urge your EU government to support such an
 initiative, and copy your letter to Prime Minister Costas Simitis of Greece,
 15 Vassilissis Sofias Avenue, 10674 Athens,

 mailto:mail@primeminister.gr which has the current presidency of the European Union.

 4. If you are yourself willing, go to Baghdad to become part of the Civilian
 Protection that has already begun with contingents from Spain, the US and
 Austria. 5000 people are needed to stay at civilian sites such as
 electricity, water and telecommunications facilities to try to prevent them
 being bombed. Individuals taking this course of action should be aware of
 the serious risks involved. Contact either Voices in the Wilderness



 5. Call your foreign office to ask it you have an embassy in Baghdad.Many
 governments do not have any representation and thus cannot collect first
 hand facts and impressions on which to base an independent analysis. Neither
 Britain nor the US has an embassy in Baghdad, and communications have to go
 through the Polish embassy.

 6. Ask your parliamentary committee for foreign affairs whether they have
 visited Iraq to see for themselves and if not, why not. Ask them to talk to
 Iraqi people at all levels.

 7. Make it known that the 12-year sanctions regime has had the opposite
 effect to that intended; it has put Saddam Hussein in total control of the
 Iraqi people, through the rationing programme.

 8. Prime ministers and presidents worldwide need to understand the strength
 and urgency of public opposition to this proposed attack, so that they will
 actively support mediation rather than allowing themselves to be bribed or
 bullied into supporting an attack. See George Monbiot's article

 'Act now against war'


 for ideas on how to get the message across, through non-violent
 civil disobedience. He suggests disrupting the speeches of ministers,
 blocking the roads down which they must travel, blockading important public
 buildings, or airports from which troops take off.

 9. Urge your government to support the development of a new security regime
 for the whole region, honouring UN SC Resolution 687 requiring that the
 Middle East shall become a zone free of weapons of mass destruction.

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© 1998-2019 Michael Herman and www.michaelherman.com, unless signed by another author or organization. Please do not reprint or distribute for commercial purposes without permission and full attribution, including web address and this copyright notice. Permission has always been granted gladly to those who contact me and say something about themselves, their work, and their use of these materials. Thank you and good luck! - Michael