|Dr. Jasim Risun with his infant child.
Risunís home was hit by a missile that did not explode.
The doctor, his wife, and three of his four children were
(Alan Pogue, Texas Observer, December 1998)
Eye witness accounts from thirty previous Voices in the Wilderness have all likened the effects of economic sanctions to a form of warfare far more lethal and destructive than even the worst of the bombardments Iraqis have endured since 1991. We continue to believe that economic sanctions are contrary to the UN charter and constitute crimes against humanity because they target innocent civilians.
Our most recent delegation returned to the US on Thursday, December 16, 1999. At a school in Mosul, three little children were so petrified by the presence of Americans that they screamed and cried and their mothers had to be called at their homes to pick them up.
Delegation members met 9 children who, during a recent US bombing, were covered in glass when shrapnel from a US bomb shattered their classroom window in the middle of the day. They saw hospitals full of dying children.
One doctor was in tears when he said that a patient, whom he held up, would die the next day for want of leukemia medication. They walked through a Mosul public hospital as air-raid sirens went off, reminding the delegation that the Iraqis face daily and deadly threats from both bombs and sanctions. Johanna Berrigan, Nick Arons, Simon Harak, SJ and Bishop Thomas Gumbleton led the delegation. They concurred that Iraqi people with whom they spoke seemed profoundly indifferent to the results of UN Security Council discussions. "I heard again and again, 'when the vote is over, we expect to be bombed,'" said Johanna Berrigan. "It was as though they expected rain."
-Kathy Kelly and Jeff Guntzel, for Voices in the Wilderness, Dec 22 1999