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Geneva convention - Arab groups - Boutros Ghali

Away from the hurly-burly of current news, I'm sending a couple of 
observations (1&2) and a question (3).

1. The Geneva Conventions received a couple of mentions in recent postings 
(newspaper comment, Colin, Drew, Vicky). A legal clarification: the author 
of the newspaper article was referring to the UN Genocide convention of 1949 
(which s/he mistakenly thought was signed at Geneva, hence the subsequent 
confusions). The Geneva conventions (1949, 1977) relate to the methods and 
means of warfare only, and so don't touch on genocide, the author's point. 
Of course, the argument that sanctions on Iraq count as genocide is a 
different question - I would not make this claim myself as sanctions seem to 
me to be indiscriminate, whilst genocide by its very definition is not. 
Colin's point in reply - that the Geneva conventions are applicable only in 
times of war, which may not be the case now - requires clarification as 
well: the relevant parts of the GCs are applicable in armed conflicts, 
whether or not a state of war is recognised, declared or neither by either 
of the parties - and the current bombardment is, for all to see, a state of 
armed conflict. However, I tend to avoid using this argument; it would imply 
that sanctions were and would be lawful when there are no bombs falling. In 
general, I avoid legal discourse relating to economic sanctions, and 
concentrate on moral arguments: mortality rates are far more pertinent that 
contentious references to obscure charters were not designed to be relevant 
to situations like this.

2. Arab groups. Single issue pressure groups tend to exist only in 
multiparty systems, with two or three entrenched parties dominating, and 
where there is nominal freedom of expression. No Arab country even comes 
close to this. However, what you do have - throughout the Arab world - is a 
myriad of political fronts, professional organisations, students' and 
women's groups. In Palestine, at least, many of these organisations 
frequently issue resolutions and make reference to the human toll of 
sanctions. The student blocs at my current university, Birzeit U. in 
Palestine, have all done this, for example; and many have helped raise money 
for sending humanitarian supplies when the Iraqi government allowed this (a 
few high-profile shipments were sent from here - I presume sanctions 
breaking). A potential problem in cooperating with such groups for CASI 
would be that of wider agenda of these groups, which many of us in CASI may 
not agree with (Islamist, Renaissance [Ba'athist], Arab nationalist &c).
Having said that, there are Iraqi-Palestinian(&c) solidarity groups around 
the Arab world, kicking into life whenever there is an intensification of 
the bombing; I tend to avoid them, as pictures of you-know-who often appear 
at their demonstrations.

3. Boutros-Ghali earlier this year put out his memoirs on the UN-US 
non-relationship during his period as Secretary-General. A review I saw 
mentioned that he had some interesting light to shed on the US' obstructions 
in the negotiations to implement Oil for Food, implying that the long delays 
resulted from more than Iraqi obstructionism, the generally accepted view. 
Has anybody read or know more about the book?

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