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This is the text that I have faxed out to MPs: I had not believed myself capable of the disgust that I now feel for Britain's complicity in this short-sighted adventure against Iraq. Your policy disturbs me for at least three reasons: 1. It disregards its own concerns about `weapons of mass destruction'. In 1995 the Aum Shinrikyo sect showed that little more than a motive was required to use such weapons. How will undertaking actions which appear to much of the world as representing an anti-Arab bias and scant respect for international law not provide such a motive? 2. It undermines international institutions, particularly the United Nations. Russia now threatens not to ratify the START-2; Kofi Annan called yesterday a sad day for the UN and the world. Circumventing the Security Council, established precisely to address these situations, on the grounds of a unilateral appeal to a broader interest opposes both the letter and the spirit of the UN. It `degrades' our ability to condemn any nation's unilateral use of force, including Iraq's in its invasion of Kuwait. It is especially discouraging to see Britain act in this fashion after signs that it had been attempting to steer the US Iraq policy towards support for international institutions (e.g. supporting a trial of Hussein in the International Criminal Court rather than an ad hoc court, the US preference). 3. It enhances the risk of starvation among the Iraqi population. Since Halliday's resignation it has been common knowledge that the Food-for-Oil programme has not removed the burden borne by the Iraqi people for the past eight years (you know the numbers: between half a million and one and a half million extra dead children). For all its deficiencies, though, the FFO does stand between Iraqis and starvation. Your latest action has already endangered the functioning of this programme: Lloyd's Register has removed its inspectors from most border points; will they return? I can see none of the questions that stopped the bombing in February any better answered today. This short sighted policy, I fear, will only lead to further polarisation and instability in the region. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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