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Voices in the Wilderness warns:
be careful of Republicans "opposed" to invasion of Iraq

by David Smith Ferri and Danny Muller
Voices in the Wilderness
16 August 2002


Dear Friends,

We are concerned that some of our elected officials, in making statements against an invasion of Iraq, have chosen to argue that the present policy, "containment," is "working." Certainly we want congressmembers to oppose an invasion of Iraq, but not by settling for present policy, which already amounts to war.

We want to draw your attention to "Code Word: Containment" by Jeff Guntzel, posted today on the Common Dreams website. Jeff brings the cruelly punitive effect of sanctions out of the shadows, reminding us that in opposing war we cannot embrace a policy that has afflicted Iraqi people for twelve years. We hope you'll find time to:

  1. read and disseminate the article,
    "Code Word: Containment", by Jeff Guntzel,, 14 August 2002

    [Multiple formats are available on
    hypertext, text only, print ready.]

    Jeff Guntzel is co-coordinator of Voices in the Wilderness, the first U.S. grassroots organization to bring activists into Iraq to witness the effect of sanctions, to bring food and medicine to the people of Iraq, and to educate the public upon their return. Jeff can be reached at

  2. contact your congressmembers and senators and demand they oppose war in Iraq in all its forms, and in the space created by an end to sanctions, that they then move forward using the tools of dialogue and diplomacy. We need to be adamant about this.

  3. Please sign on to the Peace Pledge at An immediate step in the peace pledge involves writing letters to the editor and to community leaders. You might want to lift a quote from Jeff's article: "instead of threats, we need incentives; instead of coercion, we need dialogue; and instead of spending billions of dollars on a war that will only win us more enemies and risk plunging the Middle East further into chaos, we need to put an immediate end to the failed policy of sanctions."

    The Break Ranks -- Build Bridges fast is on Day 13. Already four representatives of the US Mission to the UN have met with three of the fasters. The US Mission staff asked that the meeting be "off the record" and we will respect this. But all at the table were challenged by a simple observation from VitW member Joe Proulx. Joe had been very quiet throughout the meeting. At the end, he averred that while much analysis can be offered regarding the Government of Iraq's responsibilities to comply with UN resolutions, we all had to recognize as we sat in a UN office that UN policies had contributed to the deaths of over a half million children.

Lastly, we have an update on our delegations. A hearty welcome home to the Twin Cities delegation, which returned from Iraq August 8th, and which did such effective people-to-people diplomacy (particularly with Iraqi artists) and media work. The members of this delegation are available for radio and newspaper interviews. Contact Phil Steger at

The next delegation to Iraq, leaving in mid-September, will focus on setting up logistics for the Iraq Peace Team. More info on this as the mid-September departure date for the first group of Iraq Peace Team "long-term" people approaches.

In these very tense times, we count ourselves fortunate to be working side-by-side with you.


David Smith Ferri and Danny Muller

Voices in the Wilderness
1460 West Carmen Ave
Chicago IL 60640

Please visit

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