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Gulf war anniversary
8 January 2002
" ... nothing we had seen or read had quite prepared us for the particular form of devastation which has now befallen the country. The recent conflict has wrought near-apocalyptic results upon the economic infrastructure of what had been, until January 1991, a rather highly urbanised and mechanised society. Now, most means of modern life support have been destroyed or rendered tenuous." From a description of the consequences of another US led/NZ government supported war - 'Report to the Secretary-General on humanitarian needs in Kuwait and Iraq in the immediate post-crisis environment', by Marti Ahtisaari, Convenor of the first UN mission to visit Iraq in 1991.
16 January is the eleventh anniversary of the start of the Gulf war, what was to become (although we didn't know it then) an eleven year war against the people of Iraq - waged through strafing and bombing runs by US and British warplanes every few days, and the most extraordinarily punitive sanctions regime which forbids or prevents the entry into Iraq of things such as bleach, medical supplies, and other necessities for basic hygiene and health. More than 4,000 Iraqi children die every month as a result of the economic sanctions.
If you are planning an event to mark the anniversary, can you please let us know so we can circulate the details around to other interested people in your area.
In Wellington, the suggestion is to have a candle lit vigil outside the US embassy, from 8pm to 9pm on 16 January. If you are interested in speaking there and/or helping to arrange that, please contact PMA as soon as possible.
If you are looking for more information about the 11 year war on the people of Iraq, there are background articles, statements and alerts listed at http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/iraqa.htm