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Subject: ENDORSE the Staffer Delegation to IRAQ Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 19:47:55 +0000 From: [email protected] Dear friends: I am writing to ask your organization to consider endorsing an independent fact-finding delegation of US congressional aides to Iraq. Despite conservative estimates that half a million people, mostly children under the age of five, have died as a result of the most comprehensive sanctions ever imposed on a nation, Congressman McDermott is the only member of Congress to travel to Iraq since the 1991 Gulf War. The staffer delegation is a step towards ensuring better Congressional oversight of a very expensive policy, both in human and monetary terms. The staffers listed below have expressed strong interest in joining the delegation, pending the approval of their bosses. Planned for late August, the trip is intended to increase congressional understanding of Iraq's humanitarian crisis and better assess the impact broad sanctions are having on Iraq's civilian population. Your endorsement expresses support for the idea of staffers traveling to Iraq to better assess the situation and does not imply a position on the issue of sanctions. If your organization has not already endorsed and would like to, please contact Shari Silberstein of the Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC) at [email protected] / tel. (202) 543-6176. Or contact Rick McDowell of Voices in the Wilderness (VitW) at [email protected] / tel. 978-544-9021. We will need to know by FRIDAY, August 30. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Erik Gustafson, Executive Director, Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC) To: Carl Levan (Rep. John Conyers, D-MI) Suhail Kahn (Rep. Tom Cambell, R-CA) Asim Ghasoor (Rep. Ciro Rodriquez, D-TX) Peter Hickey (Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-GA) Jennifer Simon (Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA) Deron Roberson (Rep. Marcie Kaptor, D- OH) Richard Boykin (Rep. Danny Davis, D-IL) Jack Zylman (Rep. Earl Hilliard, D-AL) Patrick Ronan (Rep. John Peterson, R-PA) Jan Jaffree (Sen. Carl Levin, D-MI) Charlotte Oldham-Moore (Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-MN) and others... Dear Congressional Aides: Economic sanctions against Iraq have caused abysmal civilian suffering, all the while lessening the possibility that a strengthened, prosperous middle class in Iraq could significantly change their governing structures. We write today to assure you of our enthusiastic support for your participation in a delegation of congressional staffers that would visit Iraq in August, 1999 to independently collect information about the consequences of economic sanctions. Travel to Iraq requires stamina and serious commitment, but is extremely worthwhile, in fact, crucial, if we are to make knowledgeable policy decisions rooted in full access to information. To our knowledge, since the Gulf War ended in March of 1991, only one Congressional Representative has traveled to Iraq on a fact-finding mission. Congressman Jim McDermott, a physician and a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, traveled in 1991 to investigate consequences of the Gulf War and economic sanctions. The August 27 - September 5, 1999 delegation presents an opportunity for Congressional and Senate offices to examine hard facts that are directly relevant to US foreign policy in the Middle East. Please let us know if there is any way that any of us could be of further assistance to you as you consider joining this delegation. Sincerely, initial list of endorsers: Arab American Institute (AAI) Mennonite Central Committee American Friends Service Committee Education for Peace with Iraq (EPIC) Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), Middle East Project American Arab Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC) Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Archdiocese of Detroit *Rev. John Dear, SJ, Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation *Nancy Small, National Coordinator, Pax Christi USA Margaret Galliardi, OP, Dominican Order of North America Women's Internatinal League for Freedom (WILF) LIFE for Relief and Development Conscience International Voices in the Wilderness Iraq Action Coalition Veterans for Peace Jubilee Partners Peace Action * organization listed for identification purposes only If your organization is not signed on and would like to, please contact either: Shari Silberstein, EPIC, [email protected]; tel. (202) 543-6176 or Rick McDowell, VitW, [email protected]; tel. 978-544-9021 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Erik K. Gustafson, Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC) 747 10th Street SE, Suite 2, Washington, DC 20003 tel. 202-543-6176; fax 202-543-0725; [email protected] =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Don't MISS our NEW webSITE at... www.leb.net/epic