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22/4/06 
STOP THE WAR COALITION NEWSLETTER No 2006/9: Worse than under Saddam Hussein
  

Date: Sat, 22 Apr 2006

April 22 Email office@stopwar.org.uk Telephone 020 7278 6694 Web www.stopwar.org.uk

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IN THIS NEWSLETTER
1) WORSE THAN UNDER SADDAM HUSSEIN
2) SUPPORT MALCOLM KENDALL-SMITH
3) MILITARY FAMILIES UNPRECEDENTED PROTEST
4) BUNKER BUSTERS: THE MOVIE
5) US MARCH FOR PEACE, JUSTICE AND DEMOCRACY
6) STOP THE WAR ANNUAL CONFERENCE

1) WORSE THAN UNDER SADDAM HUSSEIN This week, Daniel Pipes, adviser to George Bush and a leading proponent of the Iraq invasion complained about “the ingratitude of the Iraqis for the extraordinary favour we gave them: to release them from the bondage of Saddam Hussein’s tyranny.” The reasons for that “ingratitude” are given below in the shocking statistics which show that, three years after the US/UK invasion, Iraqis are far worse off now than they were under Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime.

There can be no clearer indictment of those who took us into this illegal war Ů not least our prime minister Tony Blair and the Labour MPs who supported him — nor can there be any clearer vindication of the anti-war movement, which predicted the horrors that continue to be inflicted on the Iraqi people. We always opposed Saddam Hussein’s tyranny, and wished for his overthrow as much as anyone, but it was obvious that getting rid of a tyranny was the last motive in the minds of George Bush and Tony Blair, as is shown from US/British support for tyrants around the world, not least in earlier years for Saddam Hussein himself .

LEVEL OF VIOLENT DEATHS The level of violent deaths is far higher than in the last years of Saddam Hussein’s rule. At least 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died, most of them at the hands of U.S. forces but increasingly from terrorist groups and Iraqi government death squads. Thousands of Iraqi soldiers and police have also been killed.

CRIME AT RECORD LEVELS: Violent crime, including kidnapping, rape, and armed robbery, is at record levels. There is a proliferation of small arms, and private militias are growing rapidly. A Lebanon-type multifaceted civil war, only on a much wider and deadlier scale, grows more likely with time.

MORE IRAQIS IMPRISONED: Over 50,000 Iraqis have been imprisoned by U.S. forces since the invasion, but only 1.5% of them have been convicted of any crime. Currently, U.S. forces hold 15,000 to 18,000 Iraqi prisoners, more than were imprisoned under Saddam Hussein.

WIDESPREAD USE OF TORTURE AND OTHER ABUSES: Amnesty International and other human rights groups have cited U.S. forces with widespread violations of international humanitarian law, including torture and other abuses of prisoners.Fear of arrest and torture that have worsened since the U.S. conquest of Iraq.

INCREASED DEATHS FROM MALNUTRITION AND PREVENTABLE DISEASES: Deaths from malnutrition and preventable diseases, particularly among children, are again on the increase. The supply of drinking water, reliability of electricity, and effectiveness of sewage disposal are all worse than before the invasion.

FIFTY PERCENT UNEMPLOYMENT AND INCOMES CUT BY HALF: As much as half of the labour force is unemployed, and the cost of living has skyrocketed. The median income of Iraqis has declined by more than half. The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) reports that the Iraqi people suffer from žsignificant countrywide shortages of rice, sugar, milk, and infant formula,Ó and the WFP documents approximately 400,000 Iraqi children suffering from ždangerous deficiencies of protein.Ó

OIL PRODUCTION HALVED, RECONSTRUCTION HALTED: Oil production, the country’s chief source of revenue, is less than half of what it was before the invasion. And despite Bush administration promises to infuse billions of dollars worth of foreign aid to rebuild the country’s civilian infrastructure, only a small fraction of these ventures have been completed, and most projects have been cancelled.

ONE MILLION IRAQIS HAVE LEFT THE COUNTRY: Close to one million Iraqis, most of them from the vital, educated middle class, have left the country to avoid the violence and hardship brought on as a result of the U.S. invasion.

The above statistics are taken from IRAQ THREE YEARS AFTER “LIBERATION” by Stephen Zunes. A link to the full article can be found on the new STATISTICS page on the Stop the War website: www.stopwar.org.uk/Statistics.htm

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2) SUPPORT MALCOLM KENDALL-SMITH
Following Flight Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith’s sentence to eight months imprisonment by a military kangaroo court for refusing to serve in Iraq, messages of support have been flooding in. The email address given originally for messages of support can no longer cope with the volume. Full details of how to support Malcolm and how to donate to the fund to help pay his court costs of 20 thousand pounds are available on the Stop the War website: www.stopwar.org.uk/StoptheWar-Kendall-Smith.htm
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3) MILITARY FAMILIES UNPRECEDENTED PROTEST
Lieutenant Richard Palmer, 27, of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards died in Iraq on Saturday 15 April, the 104th fatality since the invasion in 2003. Tony Blair has never met one of the families of soldiers sent by him to die in an illegal war. On 26 April dozens of the bereaved families will go to parliament and to Downing Street to insist that Blair meets face to face those who have suffered most from his warmongering. They will be joined by the parents of British troops on active service in Iraq in what The Independent newspaper calls an “unprecedented protest, signalling growing discontent over the conflict in military circles”. FOR MORE INFORMATION AND HOW TO SUPPORT THE MILITARY FAMILIES GO HERE: www.stopwar.org.uk/
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4) BUNKER BUSTERS: THE MOVIE
Saturday 6 May has been designated an international day of protest against George Bush’s plans to attack Iran, revealed by Seymour Hersch’s article in the New Yorker. For details of protests planned in Britain go to: www.stopwar.org.uk/StoptheWar-Iran.htm

If the rumours of the Pentagon planning to use nuclear bunker busting weapons in an attack prove to be true, an animation by the US Union of Concerned Scientists shows just what horrific consequences would follow: www.ucsusa.org/global_security/nuclear_weapons/nuclear-bunker-buster- rnep-animation.html
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5) US MARCH FOR PEACE, JUSTICE AND DEMOCRACY In New York on Saturday 29 April the US anti-war movement will unite in a national demonstration calling for the end to the Iraq war and for all troops to come home immediately. With two thirds of the US people now opposed to the war and George Bush’s poll rating down to an almost unprecedented 33 percent, this demonstration will be representative of the vast majority of Americans. For details of the New York protest and news about the US antiwar movement, go to: www.april29.org/
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6) STOP THE WAR ANNUAL CONFERENCE Booking for delegates and observers to Stop the War’s fifth annual national conference is now underway. The added feature this year of workshops lead by an impressive range of speakers has generated a lot of early interest. Online registration will be available very shortly. Anyone wishing to attend the conference as an observer should reserve their place now by telephone or email to the national office, as observer places will be strictly limited and allocated on a first-come first-served basis. Groups and organisations wishing to send delegates must have re-affiliated for 2006. This can be done online at the Stop the War website.

FOR FULL DETAILS OF THE CONFERENCE AND TO AFFILIATE ONLINE GO TO: www.stopwar.org.uk/StoptheWar-Conference.htm

 
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