Highway of Death Massacre Commemorative Forum

The Silent U.S. War

The Iraqi, Palestinian, and Cuban Peoples under Siege

Friday, February 23, 6:45 p.m.

Parish Hall, St. Stephen’s Church

1525 Newton St., NW (at 16th Street)

Middle Eastern Refreshments * Child Care Provided

Safa Al-Ahmed, SUSTAIN (Stop US Tax-Funded Aid to Israel Now), Member, 2001 Global Exchange Reality Tour to the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem

Hussein Ibish, Communications Director, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

Ramsey Kysia, Board of Directors, Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC); Member, 1999 Voices in the Wilderness Delegation to Iraq

Greg LaMotta, Co-Chair, Venceremos Brigade, D.C. Region; Representative, Cuba Interest Section, Invited

Stephanie Reich, Middle East Researcher; Co-coordinator, D.C. Coalition to Stop the War against Iraq 

On February 26, 1991, after cease fire had been declared in the Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm), U.S. pilots spent 48 hours relentlessly bombing tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers in retreat from Kuwait. Initial bombing blocked escape from either end of the 60-miles-long column of vehicles on the highway to Basra. Thousands of civilian refugees were also incinerated in the atrocity, which US military personnel referred to as a "turkey shoot." (Two weeks earlier, on February 13, the US had blown up 1,200 civilians when it bombed "by mistake" the Al-Amariyah Air Raid Shelter in Baghdad.)

The Highway of Death Massacre symbolizes the ruthless nature of the "New World Order." In addition to its use of direct force, the US is making a silent war on peoples around the world who have shown their capacity and will to control their resources and economic and political lives. The weapon of choice sounds no alarm—"sanctions" —but its deadly nature differs from the weapons used in the Highway of Death massacre only in the time required to destroy its target.

In the last decade in Iraq malnutrition, lack of medical care, and exposure to depleted uranium from US-dropped bombs have killed over 1,000,000 people, mostly children, 5,000 of whom die each month. The death tolls raise the possibility of deliberate genocide in this oil-rich region. For decades the Cuban people have resisted a severe US blockade and have all the while extended solidarity to others, including the peoples of the Middle East. The Palestinian people now face siege in the form of US-enabled economic strangulation by Israel.

What is universal and what is unique in the conditions and the means of resistance in countries under siege by the US? What are the Bush Administration’s war plans and what is the relationship between U.S. policy in Colombia and the Middle East? How can we best act to help to end the sanctions and other forms of US warfare? Please join us with your questions and ideas.

Endorsers (list in formation): Al-Awda (Palestinians Right of Return Committee), D.C. Committee; All-African Peoples Revolutionary Party; Alliance for Global Justice; American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee; Conversion for Reclaiming Earth in the Americas (CREA); Dorothy Day Catholic Worker; Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC); Global Spin; Gray Panthers of Washington, D.C.; International Action Center; International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal; International Socialists Organization; Llewelyn Scott Catholic Worker; Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP); New Internationalism Project of the Institute for Policy Studies; Positive Force; Social Action and Leadership School for Activism (SALSA) of the Institute for Policy Studies; Stop US Tax-Funded Aid to Israel Now (SUSTAIN); Venceremos Brigade, D.C. Metropolitan Region; Washington Peace Center

D.C. Coalition to Stop the War against Iraq, 202-452-7454

Starr Bowie