Massachusetts National Guard Bombs Iraq
A letter to the Governor of Massacchussetts by Richard Hugus (6-26-00)
Dear Governor Cellucci:
I am writing to protest the use of the Massachusetts Air National Guard to enforce the "no-fly" zones in Iraq. The mission is scheduled for this fall for the 102nd Fighter Interceptor Wing at Otis Air National Guard Base at the Massachusetts Military Reservation. What business is it of the "citizen soldiers" of the Massachusetts National Guard to prevent the people of Iraq, a sovereign nation, from using the air space above their own land? The no-fly zones have been imposed upon Iraq unilaterally by the United States and Britain. They have not been approved by any UN ruling or international law. Nor has the United States declared a war against Iraq. The Gulf War officially ended in 1991.
Under 10 USC 12301(d) volunteer members of the National Guard may be called to active duty during peacetime only by consent of the Governor. What justification do you give for allowing Massachusetts Guardsmen to be involved in exercises that have been killing, by means of bombs and missiles, an average of one civilian per day in Iraq? Since December 1998, bombings by U.S. planes have become almost a daily occurence. Because of economic sanctions imposed by the United States, as many as one million Iraqis have already died of starvation, malnutrition, and easily treatable diseases. This is in addition to the 200,000 Iraqis killed in the Gulf War. After all this, what right does the United States have to subject civilians of this devastated country to unrestricted bombing?
As a citizen of Masschusetts, I demand that you withold your consent to the Massachusetts Air National Guard being sent to Iraq to wage an immoral, undeclared war, or else explain your reasons for allowing it.
A prompt reply would be appreciated.
Richard Hugus, Cape Cod Coalition Against Iraq Sanctions