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> Dear members of CASI, > > I am concerned about the way that the argument against sanctions is being > put forward in the House of Commons. > > Open criticism of the sanctions regime and exposure of the DU issue within > the House is very important, and George Galloway has always been one of > the most outspoken. However, I am alarmed by the tacit support shown by > George Galloway for the Iraqi government, implicit in the words "The > character of the Iraqi regime has been effectively carpet bombed on many > occasions by hon. Members throughout the House." > > It is highly inappropriate to express solidarity with the Iraqi regime on > two main counts: > > 1) The known facts about the Iraqi regime, particularly given the British > Government's current position of no tolerance. It is not possible to > underestimate the criminality of Saddam Hussein and the RCC power base. > Suggestions that the character of the regime has been "carpet bombed" > indicate that its brutality has been underestimated (or that two decades > of terrible human rights violations are not a matter for international > concern). > > 2) The feelings of the Iraqi community in exile towards the Iraqi regime. > Any defence of the Iraqi regime, no matter how indirect, destroys the > credibility of western anti-sanctions campaigns in the eyes of the Iraqi > community in exile. Among the several millions of Iraqis currently living > outside Iraq are many hundreds of thousands of people whose basic human > rights have been violated by the regime, often with shocking cruelty. As a > result of statements of solidarity with Saddam Hussein by key > anti-sanctions campaigners, many Iraqis in the UK (who invariably express > hatred for Saddam Hussein etc), harbour deep doubts about the intentions > of western anti-sanctions campaigns. For example, at a gathering of the > Iraqi community in Britain earlier this year, I found that despite their > own opposition to the sanctions, key members of the community were > convinced that organisations such as the Emergency Committee on Iraq and > CASWI were, although opposing sanctions, actually supporting the regime. > > The sanctions directly violate the basic rights of the civilian population > within Iraq, and cause huge suffering for Iraqis both within and outside > the country. Therefore, opposition to the sanctions is clearly the most > relevant stance for us as stakeholders in the policies pursued by the > British government. However, the understanding and support of the Iraqi > community in exile is vital, and therefore we need to make our position > regarding the Iraqi government very clear. For this reason I suggest that > we avoid deriving campaign support from speeches or articles which contain > any hint of tolerance for the Iraqi regime. > > I would welcome comments and suggestions as to how to tackle this issue. > > Harriet > ______________________________________________________ > > Harriet Griffin > Research Assistant > Environmental Change Unit > University of Oxford > 5 South Parks Road > Oxford OX1 3UB > United Kingdom > > Phone: ++ 44 (0)1865 281210 > Fax: ++ 44 (0) 1865 281202 > E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org > ______________________________________________________ > -- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email email@example.com, NOT the whole list. Please do not sent emails with attached files to the list *** Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html ***