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Yes Alan, this time you made a sensible point, not only that it is also a very difficult point to argue and answer: If Saddam Hussein has chemical Weapons and he doesnt want to comply with UN resolutions. Let me try to answer your views in thge same order as you wrote them. 1. You point out thatIraq has got weapons of mass destruction which is a problem. However, so Does Israel. 2. You worry about the fact that Iraq's regime is in constant defiance to the UN resolutions and persecute minorities and violate human rights. I say, so does Israel, for a longer time and affecting even more people. I am not saying this to suggest that if Israel can do it so should Iraq. I am trying to say exactly the opposite, If Iraq can't do it so Isreal shouldn't. The arms race is always a phenomenom that comes with increasing instability in a region. The middle east has been evrything but stable throughout history, specially since 1948. If the western powers do not allow a balance in the region countries are going to feel threatened and begin hostile acts, like adquiring larger weapons. Since 1948 the west has NOT tried to balance the powers of the middle east, and have simply tried to alienate some, always favourying Israel. This is an act of hipocrecy and the hostility of Arabs to the west has been the result. Going back to the point of Hussein, yes he does present a threat and he is not complying with the resolutions of the UN. But from an arab government point of view he is only not complying with the resolutions of a organization that is very obviously biased in favour of its enemies. There will be no respect to this organization as long as it is run by US interests. Was the Un what it says it is, an organisation of the united nations of the world that want to preserve the planet, look for peace and stability, based on humanitarian and not political ideas it would be respected. We cannnot go on expecting everyone else to follow the rules if the big boys don't follow them. That I beleive is the way forward, to work for a UN that works on its principles so it can stop being a weak institution bullied by western powers. In the long run, all countries, will see this organism as a fair system and should respect it. Yes I know I haven't answered your point of what to do instead of bombings or sanctions to avoid Iraq having weapons of mass destruction. I beleive in a a) continuation of MILITARY IMPORT sanctions, to prevent any more weapons being produced, b) a lifting of the other economic sanctions so the population can have a breathing space and can see their leader for what he is, a secular dictator, and no longer a heroe who stands up to agression by the west. This will eventually undermine his power. c) But more importantly a search for real peace in the area. In which there is a balance of power, in which the Israelis comply with what they have to comply so that other countries stop seeing international organisations as US-led and start seeing them as benevolent institutions that look for real peace. In this scenario the weapons Iraq, or Israel or Iran may have will be obsolute, not in terms of the arms race but in terms thatthere wont be any need to use them or to spend any more in weapons. That is to be achieevd not in the area of the gulf but at a world level. The US has to be pressured to follow the UN resolutions, because we are all in this mess together and we are all to follow the rules of common sense and NOT the rules of the western interests. I know that sounds like a very neo-hippie , peace and love, 70's sort of speech but at the end of the day i am not affraid of speaking up about this issue, and giving my life to struggle for this, 'cause I beleive is the only way forward. Lets brake the structure of agressive domination and lets look for peaceful, non-hipocritical solutions to conflicts. Kifah Sasa CASI Middlesex -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email email@example.com, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html