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11 points on "the UN Security Council review of Iraq policy"

The following passage was included in a recent mailing to members of Sheffield
Campaign Against War in the Gulf

What are the prospects for a significant change in UN policy towards Iraq? The
depth of the divisions on the UN Security Council was revealed on May 18, when
the Security Council extended its “oil-for-food” programme for another
six-months. “Russia, China and France stressed that while oil-for-food eased some
of the suffering of the Iraqi people, only the lifting of sanctions could solve
the country’s humanitarian crisis.
“The steps being taken within the framework of this program hardly guarantee the
physical survival of the population,” Russian envoy Andrey Granovsky said. Russia
has drafted a resolution, backed by China and France, that would suspend economic
sanctions against Iraq. But the United States and Britain remain vehemently
opposed …” (from Associated Press report 21/5/99).
What do you think?
What would you say if you had 30 seconds on a phone-in programme? To stimulate
your thoughts, here are eleven points, an extrapolation from what we know to what
we don’t know.
1. It is better that millions of Iraqis starve than that Clinton and Blair should
lose face.
2. The US and UK have lost control of the UN Security Council.
3. In the the December bombing and since, in Yugoslavia and in Iraq, the US/UK
alliance has shown its determination to act outside of the UN and its Security
Council, and to violate whatever international laws get in its way.
4. The US/UK alliance has no intention of returning control over Iraq policy to
the UN; rather, with imperial arrogance they demand control over the UN’s Iraq
5. The governments of Russia, China and France are complicit in the policy of
bombing and starving Iraq, and have only recently withdrawn their support for
genocidal sanctions.
6. If the UK punches above its weight on the world stage, an important factor is
the extent of its imperialist interests in the Middle East. What underlies the
UK-US alliance is material self-interest, not the whims of lightweight
7. The UN Security Council “review” is a charade.
8. To end the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, US/UK policy must be defeated.
9. Military defeat is impossible, this policy must be defeated politically.
10. What are the prospects for this? The US and UK are seriously exposed in Iraq.
Their Iraq policy has been a giant failure. Their war on Iraq continues, but has
lost moral credibility and legal authority. They are already paying a big
political price for their actions, as millions of people around the world
radicalise in response to what they see happening.
11. “It is not knowledge we lack. What is missing is the courage to understand
what we know and draw conclusions” – Sven Lindqvist, in “Exterminate all the
 Campaign News was written by Sheila Abdullah and John Smith

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