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Message text written by "Alan Bates (Nemo)" >< Surely the argument for liftings sanctions against the Iraqi people is a moral one. Namely, that it is wrong to punish the people for the crimes commited by a dictator who rules in their name, whom they have never given their consent to rule over them. Furthermore, many of the western countries (Britain and the US in particular) have done much to help Saddam maintain his grip on power both prior to and to some extent after the Gulf war (see the Chomsky interview on the Web site). The people of Iraq are being punished because we have installed a dictator who we have subsequently found not to be to our taste. And it is not his human rights abuses that have caused our government offence, only his disobedience. Of course opposing sanctions we must press upon the government any arguments we can that will pressurize them into changing their position. Our goal is to save a beleagured people. And if this includes supporting the French proposals - so be it. But that does not hide the fact that our government who: - flood favoured dictators with arms and weapons of mass destruction. - cause instability in the middle-east with our hypocritical policies. - oppose democracy in the middle east. - ignore UN SC resolutions when inconvenient (the list of examples is huge). - act aggressively without UN authority. - maintain stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction of our own. has no moral right to impose policy on Iraq. By saying that "we" cannot walk away from the fact that Saddam might re-arm, is by implication giving our government the right to decide what the Iraqi regime's policies should be. A right "we" have, in fact, assumed in the past, and have encouraged some pretty awful policies. In my opinion our government should support a movement towards some form a democratic government in Iraq - something it has always opposed. A democratic government would perhaps be less concerned with weapons and more with schools, hospitals and welfare etc. There would be less oil revenues for "our" oil companies however. The actual specific foreign policy towards the current Iraqi regime is a much wider question, wider perhaps than the campaign should concern itself with too much, other than by supporting alternative policies that would alleviate some suffering. The overwhelming argument is a moral one. Tim Lever Strathaven Scotland. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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