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On Sat, 3 Jul 1999, Harriet Griffin wrote: > > 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." Although Galloway's language was ambiguous, he certainly doesn't support the regime. In other speeches, if my memory serves me right, he has begun by condemning Saddam Hussein, as have other anti-sanctions MPs. It is vital for them to do so, for if they don't, the government immediately accuses them of being pro-Saddam by default, but it must be a bit wearying to have to start every speech on Iraq with 'Saddam is a brutal dictator but.....' Reading the context of what Galloway said, I think he meant: 'Lots has been said about the brutality of the regime, including by me. I don't have time to repeat myself, so I hope my opposition will be taken as read.' However his use of the expression 'carpet bombing' is unfortunate as it implies that it is unjust. As for his famous comment in 1991? when he met Saddam Hussein ('We salute you'), he has said that he was addressing the Iraqi people, not Hussein. >I shall start by telling the Minister what I am not going to talk about. >The character of the Iraqi regime has been effectively carpet bombed on >many occasions by hon. Members throughout the House. In the 15 minutes >available to me, I do not intend to add to the many statements, speeches >and interventions on the subject that I have made over the years. I hope >that my hon. Friend will take them as read. It is worrying, however, if Iraqi exiles have the perception that anti-sanctions groups are pro-Saddam. It is extremely valuable to have their support, since their opposition to sanctions belies the claim that sanctions might improve human rights in Iraq. The situation might be improved if: 1. The Emergency Committe is told that it is perceived by some Iraqi exiles as being pro-Saddam, so that it can work harder to change this image. 2. Anti-sanctions groups such as CASI make contacts with exile groups to open a dialogue with them. What do other people think? Eleanor Coghill -- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 ***