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---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Duha AL-KUWARI <firstname.lastname@example.org> Duha Al-Kuwari Lancaster Peace in Iraq Campaign Our Campaign address: Lancaster Peace in Iraq Campaign(L.P.I.C) Green action LUSU-Lancaster university LANCASTER e-mail <email@example.com> Tel: 01524 65201, Ext: 55442 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- MEETING WITH HILTON DAWSON MP REPORT 8/3/98 Six students held a meeting with Hilton Dawson , the MP of Lancaster, to ask him questions about the humanitarian implications of his position on the Iraq crisis and to try to get him to justify his position.  1-Hilton Dawson voted for bombing Iraq -Hilton said “the whole threatening of Saddam is to make him comply with the UN Security Council to allow weapons inspections to all the sites where there is very strong evidence indeed that he continues to produce weapons of mass destruction . Kofi Annan has referred to the importance of diplomacy but above all the diplomacy when it is backed up with realistic threats with the use of force -He said that in the event of war, prime targets would be Saddam, the republic guards, and the assembly lines for the production of weapons. He admitted that there would be civilian casualties, and mentioned that the possibility of Saddam using civilians as human shields but seemed to think that the lives which would be lost would be worth paying for the removal of the threat posed by Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction -Hilton said that he voted and took that responsibility because he “felt that the worse alternative would be to allow this sort of weapons development program to go ahead which would undoubtedly threaten many many people across the whole middle East and possibly across the world. I did not honestly take that lightly. I was prepared to see innocent people killed in the interests of what I judge to be of greater objective”. -Our opinion: An innocent person in any place in the whole world has the right to live. Is the life of an innocent person in Iraq very insignificant compared to other lives in the world? -Our Opinion: Killing any innocent person is banned by all moral and humanitarian morals and religions -Our Opinion: Assuming Saddam has the most terrible weapons, would US and UK risk the lives of their own soldiers by sending them to war where Saddam can respond back with his nuclear and biological weapons?  2-Sanctions to cripple the economy of Iraq: -He said that the sanctions imposed on Iraq, which he thinks are the severest sanctions ever imposed by the UN in any country, are designed to hurt Iraq and to cripple the country until it comes round to agreeing or allowing position where its weapons of mass destruction can be destroyed. -He said that “ the economic sanctions on Iraq is to make life in the country very uncomfortable, to make a lot of businesses in the country absolutely impossible, to make the export of oil impossible, to bring the country into ruin if they don’t comply with UN directives. Then, I think the purpose is so important to get rid of these weapons that it is entirely justifiable to take that stand”. -Our opinion: The 22 million Iraqi innocent people are the ones who suffered for a period of 7 years from these imposed sanctions. What do those innocent people have to do with complying with UN resolutions. Lots of innocent people suffered greatly under the current Iraqi regime. Now, they have to suffer again because of the sanctions.  3-Hilton said that sanctions do not stop medical supplies and food from entering Iraq - He said that sanctions do not stop medical supplies and food from entering Iraq. He added that people are not going to live well on this, but enough to keep people alive and medical supplies can go into Iraq. -He said “There is no reason why people should be starving, or left with no medical supplies because there is no sanctions against those” -He added “What isn’t allowed for, in my understanding, of the UN resolutions is that anybody in the country should die because of lack of food and medical supplies”. -Our opinion: We told him that we have evidence that there is shortage in food and medicine supplies which is against International law that states that every human being has the right to live, eat, and be in good health. Then we showed him list of items from the book by Geoff Simons “Scourging of Iraq”. Here is a partial list of these items that had been vetoed by the UN sanctions committee: - Baby food (vetoed by US on the grounds that it might be consumed by adults) - rice, water purification chemicals, medical swabs, medical gauze, medical syringes, medical journals, drugs for agina, musteen cancer drug, incubators, catheters for babies, no cylinders for women in labor, dialysis equipment, children clothes, school books, shroud material, pencils, sanitary towels, toilet paper.  4-Discripancies between the figures we have about the death of Iraqi children and the figures Hilton has : -According to UN food and Agricultural Organization, we told him that 1/2 million Iraqi children died in 1995. Until 1997, 1.2 Million died. He was surprised at these statistics. He said what he has from the UNICEF report that 960, 000 chronically malnourished children in Iraq, 23% of children under 5 are under weight, UNICEF representative. In Baghdad has spoken of dramatic deterioration in the nutritional well being of Iraqi children. There is nothing at all in the research document he has that says that millions of people died because of sanctions. He said that the documents he has quite unbiased. According to this document, Iraq’s Health ministry claimed that more than 7000 children under 5 had died in October, 1997 because of severe lack of medicine. He asked if we give him the reference about those children dying, he will be happy to ask questions about it and get response from the government. -We told him that Iraq needs $30 billion to cover its need of food and medicine and for its infrastructure. Iraq just has one sixth of this number where large part of this money goes to UN operations. He was surprised and asked us about the source of these statistics? -We gave him the items in the sanctions from the book “Scourging of Iraq” and Cambridge document listing numbers of child mortality according to UN. We hope that Hilton makes sure of the numbers of child and adult mortality and changes his decisions with regard to the sanctions imposed.  5- Did UN ask US and its allies to bomb Iraq? - We asked him whether the current Iraqi problem is between Iraq and UN or between Iraq and the US and UK? (problem related to bombing Iraq). He answered: “To be fair, the UN security council supported the line that has been taken. There are other countries which wished to do other things but certainly the European countries supported the line that was taken by the UK and US. And they had UN backing to go ahead. Everything that the UK and US intend to do is entirely linked with UN resolutions”. -We asked him “Was this the resolution of the UN from the beginning to bomb Iraq. Did UN permit the Americans and their allies at the very beginning to go and bomb Iraq or they just took their decisions themselves?”. He replied: “The UK and US certainly felt that they had total justification from the UN, but went back to the UN to get that agreed”. -One of us told him “I do not recall Kofi Annan talked about bombing Iraq at all. He said diplomatic ways or second diplomatic ways, we never heard bombing” -He replied “No, Here is a quote “You can achieve much by diplomacy but you can achieve a lot more when diplomacy is backed up by firmness and force”. Everyone agrees with diplomacy. The resolution I voted for in the House of commons that “fully support the Government to reach diplomatic solution to the present confrontation with Iraq”. That was the first line. People did not want to go for this mainly because the destruction of the ordinary people in Iraq. Diplomacy is the first line but as Kofi Annan said it has to be backed up with the realistic threat of force” -We asked him ” US and UK were going right away to bomb but there was no diplomacy going on. Kofi Annan went on at the last minute, ditch attempt. He was not going because US or UK sent him in. He went because he believed in democracy. He did not have any backing from the US and the UK” - He replied “Of course, they did not send him. It is UN resolutions that we are talking about -When asked “If he did not decide to go, they would have gone to bomb Iraq”, he replied “It wasn’t just his decision. It was about Iraq actually agreeing to talk to him. And certainly UK backed Kofi” -When asked “So you are saying that Iraq did not want to talk to the West”, he said “to some extent” -We asked him that, in future, if the UN do not agree to bomb Iraq, will US and UK still bomb Iraq. He replied that he does not doubt there will be agreement from the UN. When the same question was repeated again” If there will not be agreement?”, he replied “The government would say, under various UN resolutions, that they’ve got that support anyway to take the action” -Our opinion: The decision of bombing Iraq was taken by the US and supported by its allies. The UN never asked US and UK to bomb Iraq. What Hilton implies is that Kofi Annan asked US to bomb Iraq and that he agrees on bombing Iraq. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email firstname.lastname@example.org, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html