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will sanctions ever be lifted

Although this letter must be seen in the context of the impeachment
problem in the US it shows some understanding of the concerns of
Iraq. I would certainly like to see Mr Blair questioned in a similar
way. In particular I would like to know the answers to the following
in the case of the UK:

 Is it true that for seven years our government refused to have
direct contact with Iraq? Is it true that our government refused to
allow Iraq to state its case before the Security Council? Is it true
that we even forbid our ambassador to the U.N. to talk to the Iraq
ambassador? If so, why?

December 18, 1998
The Honorable Trent Lott
Majority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, D.C.

Dear Trent:

Congratulations on your courage in questioning both the timing of
President Clinton's military attack on Iraq and the policy on which
it is based. You have made the point that skepticism about the
timing is justified because, in your words, the president had
already "burned" us once by mistakenly bombing a pharmaceutical
plant in Khartoum, Sudan, while deceptively representing to the
American public and the world that he had conclusive proof that the
plant was a facility for producing weapons of mass destruction.

Far from being attacked for speaking the truth-as you are by
Democrats and even some Republicans-I believe you deserve praise and
the gratitude of the American people and our party for your
courageous act of questioning the bombing of Baghdad "at midnight."

During the past two days, reports coming out of the Pentagon and
from a former U.N. weapons inspector raise a number of serious and
troubling questions that, in my opinion, vindicate your skepticism.
These questions are so troubling that I believe they warrant
immediate congressional inquiries. Therefore, I urge you to convene
congressional hearings to dig into these questions as soon as

Let me list just of few of the troubling questions arising from
President Clinton's actions in Iraq during the past month.

 Did the White House "orchestrate a plan to provoke Saddam Hussein
into defying United Nations weapons inspectors so that the president
could justify air strikes on Iraq" as reported on the front page of
today's Washington Times?"

 If the Administration's "ultimate aim was to remove those weapons
[of mass destruction]," isn't it contradictory that "the strikes
avoided the plants [suspected of producing chemical and biological
weapons] out of fear of unleashing plumes of poisons and killing
civilians," as reported in a front-page article in today's New York
Times. Isn't this contradiction prima facie evidence that bombing
Iraq is inappropriate if the objective is to eliminate hidden
weapons of mass destruction and facilities to create them?

 Did United States officials consort with Richard Butler and UNSCOM
to devise inspection scenarios guaranteed to provoke Iraqi actions
that could be portrayed as less than "totally cooperative"?

 Did United States national security officials assist Richard Butler
in any way, shape or fashion to author the U.N. report that found
Iraq in violation of its pledge to give UNSCOM complete and total
cooperation? Did U.S. officials have any communications with Richard
Butler or his staff with respect to the inspections or the report
relating to them between November 15 and December 13; and did any
U.S. official play any role in shaping the text of Richard Butler's

 Did the president set the Iraqi air strikes in motion on Sunday,
December 13, 1998 even before Richard Butler's report was submitted
to the Security Council, as reported by The Washington Times on
December 17? If so, why, and why did the White House Spokesman
maintain that the president did not order the strikes until
Wednesday, December 16, based on the U.N. finding of noncompliance?

 How does the White House assertion that the president ordered the
air strikes based on the U.N. finding of noncompliance square with
the statement by Israeli spokesman Aviv Bushinsky that President
Clinton discussed preparations for an attack with Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just minutes before Mr. Clinton flew home
from Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport on Tuesday, December 15?

 Why did Richard Butler take it upon himself, without telling his
superiors at the U.N, to begin shutting down his inspection
operations and removing his inspection team prior to Security
Council consideration of his report? Did he have prior notice that
the U.S. intended to initiate air strikes?

 Is there a danger that the administration seeks to use the
resolution of support for our troops passed by the U.S. House of
Representatives yesterday as a Gulf-of-Tonkin-like resolution to
justify continued, open-ended military engagement (including the
introduction of ground forces) in Iraq?

 Is it true, as U.N secretary-general Kofi Annan and Iraqi
Ambassador Nizar Hamdoon contend, that there were between 200 and
300 separate inspections between November 15 and December 13 and only
five cited instances of "non-cooperation." Is there substance to the
claim of Iraqi foreign minister Mohammed Said Al-Sahaf that even the
cited instances were contrived?

 Is it plausible that the Iraqi government believes that nothing it
can do will cause the United States to allow the economic sanctions
to be lifted, given past statements of U.S. officials and the
recently passed legislation appropriating $97 million specifically
devoted to overthrowing the current Iraqi regime? (For example, as
early as 1993, President Clinton said, "I have no intention of
normalizing relations with him [Saddam Hussein]"; and on March 26,
1997, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said: "We do not agree
with the nations who argue that if Iraq complies with its obligations
concerning weapons of mass destruction, sanctions should be lifted.")
Is it realistic to expect any regime to cooperate with U.N inspectors
if it believes the United States has de facto declared war on it and
that nothing it can do will lead to a lifting of the sanctions?

 Is it true that for seven years our government refused to have
direct contact with Iraq? Is it true that our government refused to
allow Iraq to state its case before the Security Council? Is it true
that we even forbid our ambassador to the U.N. to talk to the Iraq
ambassador? If so, why?

 Is it true that, "Around 4,500 children under the age of five are
dying here every month from hunger and disease," as stated in a 1996
U.N. report on Iraq?

 Finally, now that the UNSCOM inspectors have left Iraq and bombing
has begun, what is the "end game"? What specific purpose is the
bombing meant to achieve: to get the inspectors back into Iraq, to
topple Saddam Hussein, to inflict punishment? Or does it have no
more purpose beyond venting frustration from years of failed policy?

 Trent, we stand at a crossroads on foreign policy, and there are
differing opinions on which path we should take. Before we make that
choice, it is important that Congress deliberate and chart the road
ahead. I urge you again to hold congressional hearings.

I am going to send Bob Livingston a copy of this letter and urge him
to hold congressional hearings as well.

Your very good friend,

Jack Kemp

Mark Parkinson
Head of IT and Computer Services
Bodmin Community College
Cornwall PL31 1DD
United Kingdom
tel: 01208 72114
fax: 01208 78680
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