An open letter to President Clinton

May 7, 1997

President William Jefferson Clinton

The White House

Washington D.C.

Dear Mr. President,

When you ran for the first time against President Bush , I voted for you hoping that you were indeed the president for change. .... But alas my hope and the hope of many Arab Americans in you have dwindled and faded away. We, the Arab Americans, were hoping that humanity had a place in your heart, we were hoping that the children of Iraq were above politics and material interests, but we found out that material interest and politics were above humanity and the children had no place in your heart. Democracy only exists in the Constitution, human rights and prosperity were only words for national an international consumption. Mr. President, the United States has become the most oppressive country in the world, and shamelessly is letting the children of Iraq die by the thousands. The people of Iraq are suffering, starving and dying because the United States is punishing the whole nation of Iraq in order to satisfy its ego and to satisfy the Saudi Family. .... Mr. President, simply, we cannot conduct our policy on assumptions as Former U.S. Assistant Secretary Robert Pelletreau made it clear in Nicosia on April 28 ,1997. He said " U.S. policy makers believe the Iraqi army would soon be back on the borders of Kuwait should the sanctions be removed or the United States reduce its own military posture in the Gulf". "With the current Iraqi government ruthlessly and resiliently maintaining power in Baghdad....and with mistrust and lack of cohesion among various elements of the opposition, the United States sees no practical alternative to maintaining the box around Baghdad as tightly as possible," Pelletreau said in a keynote address at an international forum on Middle East Petroleum which started in Cyprus.

Mr. President, the strangulation of Iraq is causing the death of thousands of children every month. It is an act of genocide ....... We cannot let it continue.

Mr. President, the embargo that you support is a tool of death and since it was imposed on the entire nation, more than a million Iraqis had died and they are still dying. The embargo is killing babies, about five thousand children under the age of five are dying every month. They are dying in silence and the ears of America are deaf to their cries. Iraq says, Washington blocked its request to sign at least 40 contracts to buy medical supplies and equipment from Jordan, Italy and Britain last week. It did not say how much the contracts are worth. The United States also blocked requests to buy rice from Vietnam and cooking oil and soaps from Jordan. The Arab American Democratic Committee hopes that you have a change of heart and hope that the children of Iraq will have a place in your heart. The power is in your hands to destroy the death machine, the mass destruction tool, the embargo.

God bless the peace makers. Sincerely

Ibrahim Ebeid