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RE: Reject inhuman sanctions on principle

You will often here people opposed to the lifting of sanctions remark that although they "feel sympathy for the suffering of the Iraqi people the sanctions are a means to an end", or in other words "the end justifys the means". What they are saying fundamentaly is that starvation and denial of medicine are a justifiable means to an end. The end being either the removal of  Hussein or at least to make him let in UN inspectors. Many people will then argue against this by saying "Yes but sanctions aren't working and therefore we must lift them". That sanctions arent working is patently true but this should not be the point. It is, and should be a point of principle for all citizens/countries that you cannot use starvation and denial of medicines as a coercive force. Whether the sanctions are in place for ten days or ten years the principle remains the same. Cubas UN ambassador Ricardo Alarcon put the point powerfully and elequently to the Sercurity council "Cuba regards it as completely inadmissible the very idea of claiming that hunger can be used to deprive a peoples of what is an absolutely fundamental human right of every single human being in every part of the world and in any circumstance-that is, the right to to receive adequate food and appropriate medical care. We do not beleive that anyone has the political, juridicial, or moral authority to apply inhuman measures such as those whose sole and exclusive victims would be innocent civilians" Consistent with that position , the Cuban Government refused to cancel its food export agreements with Iraq or to withdraw its volunteer medical brigade from Iraqi hospitals. ( I believe many of this brigade are still in Iraq). So to reiterrate my point the effectiveness of sanctions should not be the issue, it is the principle that must be upheld, in order that any future impositions of inhuman sanctions by the US or other nations are met with immediate condemnation rather than a 'wait and see' attitude that many, even those now opposed to sanctions, express.


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