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Bishops and Sanctions

The following Reuters Report was taken from ABCNews Site on Nov 15th

A copy has also been sent tho Lloyd Axworthy MP, Canadian Minister of
Foreign Affairs


Peter Griffith

WIRE:11/15/1999 19:19:00 ET
Bishops want to end economic sanctions on Iraq
WASHINGTON, Nov 15 (Reuters) -
America's Roman Catholic  bishops on
Monday called for an end to economic
sanctions on  Iraq, saying the "moral
obtuseness" of U.S. policy caused
undeserved suffering among the Iraqi people.  

The bishops, meeting in Washington, also
faulted U.S. and  British air attacks on Iraq.  

"The comprehensive sanctions against Iraq have long since
ceased to be a moral tool of diplomacy, because they
have  inflicted indiscriminate and unacceptable suffering on
the Iraqi  people," Bishop Joseph Fiorenza said in a
statement approved by  the National Conference of
Catholic Bishops.  

"After more than nine years of unparalleled and unmerited
suffering, it is long past time to end the economic
embargo  against Iraq," the statement said.  

The United Nations imposed sanctions against Iraq after
Baghdad's troops invaded Kuwait in August 1990. Iraqi
health  authorities said on Monday that nearly 1.2 million
Iraqis have  died of health problems caused by the
sanctions over the past  nine years.  

The bishops said it was primarily up to Iraq to resolve
lingering disputes left from the 1991 Gulf War, but said
economic sanctions had not been effective.  

"Political and military sanctions remain acceptable;
comprehensive economic sanctions are not," the bishops'
statement said.  

"It's time for a new approach to Iraq," they said. "We
cannot turn a deaf ear to the suffering of the Iraqi people
or a  blind eye to the moral obtuseness of current U.S.

The bishops said they were also concerned about ongoing
air  attacks on Iraq, saying this "low-level warfare" should

"The moral justification of such attacks is, at best,
unclear, yet the risks to Iraqi civilians are real," the
bishops said.  

U.S. and British planes have launched scores of attacks
on  Iraqi air defence and other targets in the north and
south of  the country this year in response to attacks on
their planes  patrolling no-fly zones. 

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