Columbia, SC. Columbia attorney, CounterPunch columnist and former state senator Tom Turnipseed will be departing for Iraq on Wednesday, March 5 to remain there for a month as part of the Iraq Peace Team, a Voices in the Wilderness delegation. The Peace Team works with everyday Iraqi citizens in this time of uncertainty and threat of renewed attacks by the US military. Turnipseed opposes a US invasion on moral and religious grounds and will be an eye witness for truth as to the devastating effects sanctions and military aggression have had on Iraqi citizens.
Turnipseed said his research shows, “During the Gulf War we bombed Iraq’s eight multi-purpose dams, destroying flood control systems, irrigation, municipal and industrial water storage, and hydroelectric power. Major pumping stations were targeted and sewage facilities were destroyed. Article 54 of the Geneva Convention prohibits attacks on drinking water installations and supplies and irrigations works. After such deliberate destruction, we used sanctions to prevent Iraq from rebuilding, knowing epidemics would ensue. The United Nations’ Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that well over a million Iraqis have died as a result. In 2000, UNICEF said that thousands die every month, including many children who are without necessary medicine due to sanctions. The cancer rate among people of all ages, and especially the very young, has exploded due to the unprecedented bombing of Iraq with depleted uranium warheads in the 1991 War and during the sanctions period since.”
“Before we launch a new massive military attack against the people of Iraq, I am traveling with the Iraq Peace Team to see first hand the damage the United States has inflicted on Iraqi citizens by twelve years of hostile acts. My first grandson and third granddaughter are due to be born while I am away, but my grandchildren are the main reason I’m going on this mission of peace.”
At the core of Tom’s South Carolina Support Team is his wife, Judy who said, “If not for the pending births, I would be going with Tom. He carries my heart and spirit with him and I will be his presence here.”
Tom will be interacting with ordinary Iraqi citizens visiting homes, hospitals and schools.
Voices in the Wilderness has campaigned to end the economic sanctions against the people of Iraq since March 1996. With nearly fifty delegations traveling to Iraq, the Peace Team is maintaining a constant presence in Iraq to stand in solidarity for peace with the Iraqi people. By reporting to their home countries the situation in Iraq, the delegates hope to bring awareness of the reality of Iraqi life, a reality not available on most media outlets.
If your news department is interested in receiving updates from Turnipseed and the Iraq Peace Team, please contact WENDY BRINKER via phone, fax or email so that a direct line of communication with assigned reporters can be established.
The Carolina Peace Resource Center is sponsoring Turnipseed’s trip abroad and is accepting donations to cover expenses. Donations can be made at their website at at www.carolinapeace.org or by calling Jerry Rudolph at 803-252-9000.