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Action Alert - Update - Military Attack on the People of Iraq?

Peace Movement Aotearoa

PO Box 9314, Wellington. Tel (04) 382 8129, fax (04) 382 8173,

Issued 12 November 1998

The government of Iraq's decision to no longer co-operate with UNSCOM inspectors unless the economic sanctions are reconsidered will, we hope, be resolved by diplomatic means.

However, the US government is reinforcing its armed forces in the Gulf - they announced yesterday that they are immediately sending an additional 100 warplanes, more Patriot missile batteries and 3,000 soldiers to join the US forces in the Gulf; the aircraft carrier Enterprise is on its way to join the US warship strike force, and is expected to enter the Gulf on 23 November; the Marine Corps helicopter carrier Belleau Wood is expected to arrive there on 26 November.

Yesterday UNSCOM, IAEA monitors and UN relief personnel were shifted out of Baghdad to Bahrain, strengthening the view that an attack might be imminent.

It is not clear at this point if this is belligerent posturing or active warmongering ; nor is it clear if the Russian and other governments who are opposed to the use of force will be able to negotiate a peaceful solution to the immediate crisis as they did last February.

A meeting of the UN Security Council was scheduled for noon today; given the opposition of the French, Chinese and Russian governments to an attack, it is hoped that the Security Council will not support military action. However, the US government has said it does not need UN agreement to launch an attack.

what you can do now

Make sure your voice is heard and your views on this are known (various contact details for this are below).

Points you could make include:

  • that the Iraqi government has asked for the economic sanctions to be reviewed and that this seems a reasonable request given the various UN reports which detail the horrendous effects the sanctions are having on the health and well being of the Iraqi people. Their refusal to co-operate was with only one aspect of the international monitoring which is going on in Iraq - the IAEA inspections and fixed camera monitoring continued until the withdrawal of the various inspectors and monitors by their respective employers.
  • the desirability of negotiation over military action. Bombing achieves nothing except further hatred - in this case of the US and its allies - nor does it solve anything. Bombing / cruise missile attacks, like the sanctions, are an assault on the civilian population - the people of Iraq have suffered enough at the hands of the US since 1991. Attacks on the people of Iraq have not worked in the past to get rid of the Hussein regime, which appears to be the US government’s main aim, such attacks act to strengthen rather than weaken the position of the regime. It is the stability of the region that will be weakened, with unpredictable and possibly catastrophic results.
  • the total hypocrisy of the US position (as the nation with the largest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction).

who to contact

  • Your MP, Jenny Shipley and Don McKinnon stating clearly your opposition to NZ armed forces being sent to the Gulf and to any NZ government support for a military attack.

    Jenny Shipley, Prime Minister, fax 04 473 7045;

    Don McKinnon, Minister Of Foreign Affairs And Trade, fax 04 471 1444;

  • The Cabinet and tell them about your opposition to NZ armed forces being sent to the Gulf and to any NZ government support for a military attack. You can do this by phoning / faxing them collectively via the Cabinet Office : tel (04) 471-9743; fax: (04) 472-3181/6332;
  • National media - contacts for the nationally distributed papers are : Christchurch Press, fax (03) 364 8492, ; Dominion, fax (04) 4740257; Evening Post, fax; (04) 474 0237, <>; Herald, fax (09) 373 6434; Sunday Star Times, fax (09) 309 0258. Press Association, fax (04) 473 7480; Radio New Zealand, fax (04) 473 0185.
  • The US ambassador - Josiah Beeman, US Embassy, 29 Fitzherbert Tce, Thorndon, Wellington; tel (04) 472 2068; fax (04) 471 2380.
  • President Clinton, The White House, Pennsylvania Ave, Washington DC; fax + 1 202 456 2461 or email

what you can do if there is an attack

  • Continue making your voice heard and your views known as publicly as you can.
  • Act together with like-minded people !
Confirmed emergency arrangements for any attack against the people of Iraq are listed below - if you are in a town or city not mentioned, and would like to join this protest, please send PMA the details of your arrangements as soon as possible.

On the day of an attack : AUCKLAND - meet at 4-30pm outside the US consulate (cnr Shortland Street); GISBORNE - meet at 5pm outside the Army Hall (cnr. Fitzherbert & Stout St), vigil every day at 5pm during the attack; WELLINGTON - meet at 5pm by the Cenotaph, vigil there every day at 5pm for the duration of the attack; TAKAKA - meet at 5pm at the Village Green; DUNEDIN - meet at 5-30pm, at the lower Octagon.

Bring your own banner, poster, candles - whatever you need to state your opposition to the bloodshed.

Part of the international protest vigils network to stop the attacks on the people of Iraq.

You can also sign the International Declaration in Opposition to the Economic Blockade on Iraq.

More information is found on this website at:
PMA Action Alert - Wellington - Alert - Iraq (12/11/98)
Iraq Alert (5/11/98)
Attack on Iraq (1/8/98)
Anti-Gulf War Action Alerts

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