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Release: Sept. 11, 2000

U.S. and Iraq issues discussion to take place Sept. 14-15

IOWA CITY- Phyllis Bennis, Middle East, U.N. and Iraq scholar will join U.S.-Iraq relations writer Anthony Arnove in leading "Two Nights of Discussion on the War Against Iraq," Sept. 14-15, a free and public event to raise local awareness of Iraqi humanitarian and other issues. The discussions are co-sponsored by the University of Iowa student organization Iowans for Peace with Iraq and nine UI and local organizations.

Local citizens should care about events in Iraq, says organization member and event organizer Yelena Perkhounkova, and Mike Zmolek, chair of Iowans for Peace with Iraq.

"Thousands of young children unnecessarily die every month because of Iraqi embargoes and sanctions. Iraqi sewage treatment plants are out of operation. Electricity is available for only part of the day. Hospitals are without many basic supplies. These things might not have occurred had we demanded accountability from the U.S. and other governments," Perkhounkova says.

Perkhounkova, a graduate student, says a goal of the 24-member student group -- made up also of community members and others -- is to link it with similar groups across the United States to form a grassroots movement to end the siege of Iraq.

Bennis is a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., and a widely published author of issues related to the United Nations and the Middle East. Her most recent book is "Calling the Shots: How Washington Dominates Today's U.N. Arnove is editor and publisher of South End Press and recently edited "Iraq Under Siege: The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War."

Below is the program schedule:

Thursday, Sept. 14

8 to 9 p.m., Arnove will give a public reading and lecture of "Iraq Under Siege: The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War," which he edited, at Prairie Lights Books, 15 South Dubuque St., Iowa City. The reading will be broadcast live by WSUI-AM 910 and WOI-AM 640 (Des Moines)

Friday, Sept. 15

5:30 to 7 p.m., "The UN, United States and Iraq: Why Sanctions Must Be Lifted," a panel lecture led by Arnove and Bennis. Iowa City Public Library, Room A, 123 S. Linn St. Sandwiches and refreshments will be served.

8 to 10 p.m., "How and Why to Support an End to Sanctions and Bombing," A workshop with Arnove and Bennis, Gilmore Hall, Room 106.

The discussions are co-sponsored by Amnesty International, Iowa City Human Rights Commission, the UI International Programs, The UI Center for Human Rights, the Global Health Studies program, the International Socialist Organization, and United Nations Association-USA. The Venezuelan Student Association and the International Alliance for People's Movement are also event co-sponsors.