Last Thursday, twelve US women headed to Iraq for “Code Pink”Ñan eight-day peace mission, later joining with other female groups from Europe, Australia, and Rwanda in protesting US military action against Iraq. The US delegation, which includes women of diverse faiths and occupations from California, Texas, New York, and Washington DC, is scheduled to visit a children’s hospital, an orphanage, and a Baghdad shelter bombed in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The global coalition then plans to meet with UN inspectors and tour an Iraqi oil refinery.
According to the United Nations (UN), civilians–mostly women and children–comprise 70 percent of causalities in armed conflicts, reported the Associated Press. Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Global Exchange and CodePink: Women for Peace told the AP, “We are going to speak out as women about the terrible effects of war on women, children, families and the environment.” Code Pink has held daily vigils outside the White House protesting war with Iraq.
Benjamin argues, “If the main export from Iraq were broccoli, there would be no war pending against that country É If North Korea had oil we would probably not be sitting down and negotiating,” reported Reuters. The Feminist Majority joins the National Organization for Women and other progressive groups in urging our elected officials to employ diplomacy to the fullest extent and oppose war with Iraq.
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