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Beyond the Battlefield: The Real Cost of War

by Susie Shannon Tuesday, Dec. 03, 2002 at 9:25 PM

Former Iraq U.N. Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter Will Update Los Angeles Audience on Dec. 7, 2002 -One Day Prior to Release of Weapons Report

Los Angeles - Former U.N. Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter will be giving an update on the latest reports from Iraq and Washington at a conference entitled: "Beyond the Battlefield: The Real Costs of War" organized by Southern California Americans for Democratic Action.

The conference will be take place at the Westwood United Methodist Church, located at 10497 Wilshire Blvd. (at Warner) from 10:30 am until 3 p.m on December 7, 2002, just one day before the release of the U.N. Declaration of Weapons Report from Iraq.

A press conference will take place at Westwood Methodist, 3:30 pm with Scott Ritter, James Kenneth Galbraith and others.

"The truth of the matter is that Iraq today is not a threat to its neighbors and is not acting in a manner which threatens anyone outside of its own borders," announced Scott Ritter, the former Chief U.N. Weapons Inspector who came to national attention recently for his outspoken comments opposing war with Iraq.

"When speaking of international law as set forth by the United Nations Charter it is impossible to come up with any scenario today that would justify military action against Iraq based upon its current behavior. ..it's not too late to send a message that this is not a war that we will stand for."

The conference will also feature a host of other knowledgeable speakers, including leading economist James Kenneth Galbraith; Antonio Villaraigosa, Speaker Emeritus of the CA Assembly; L.A. Councilmember Eric Garcetti; columnist Arianna Huffington; and former State Senator Tom Hayden along with other community leaders.

This public forum will explore the economic, political and social ramifications that war with Iraq would have on our domestic agenda and foreign policy initiatives.

"The casualties of war go beyond the loss of human lives. Internationally, they include the loss of our safety, the militarization of nations due to the deepening of world tensions, and post-war devastation which becomes increasingly horrific. What is left behind are fields of land mines and half-exploded munitions, skies blackened by burning oil fields, and countries stripped of their ability to perform simple agriculture to sustain themselves," said Susie Shannon, Executive Director of So. Cal. ADA.

"The cost on the domestic front is the constant threat to our civil liberties, a ballooning deficit that threatens the well-being of our economy, the de-funding of critical social programs, and a manufactured mandate in support of pre-emptive attacks."
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