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Re: France on sanctions

On Wed, 13 Jan 1999, Robin Green wrote:

> France proposing to end weapons inspections?!? I am genuinely surprised 
> at this - 

It's not completely irrational. The Economist magazine has claimed that
France is owed money from lucrative Iraqi contracts, and presumably it
stands to win more.  It would probably like to normalise relations with
Iraq as soon as possible; an end to UNSCOM would be a first step to
removing sanctions. Historically, France has armed Iraq and might hope of
doing so again in future, even if this might not be allowed while Saddam
is in power. 

Alan Bates said: ... "The best chance of sanctions being lifted is if the
campaigners against the sanctions accept the realistic view that we cannot
just walk away and allow Iraq to continue to possess weapons of mass

Saddam's arsenal is indeed a problem, but 'we' have our own, the
justification being that it is needed for deterrence.  Iraq, too, might
reasonably claim that it needs a deterrent. The competing claims of Iraq,
Israel, Pakistan - to say nothing of conventional arms in the region - can
only be solved as a whole;  this, I suggest, is the 'common sense' view of
Iraqi disarmament.  We should have no truck with a view that makes Iraq
the new cold war pariah; Britain and America use it to justify their own
militarism and war crimes to a gullible population. 

Jeff Vernon

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