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Two unrelated notes: (1) There's a financial aspect to Saddam's suspension of OFF exports that shouldn't be ignored. It's widely suspected that Saddam's wealth stems chiefly from the manipulation of oil futures, which respond dramatically as Iraqi crude is withdrawn from the market. Anyone holding (appropriately placed) oil futures prior to yesterday's announcement stood to make millions. Oil prices are currently at a 9-year high, and they jumped roughly $1 per barrel on the basis of the Iraqi announcement. Saddam's manipulation of oil futures was much discussed in the 1991-1996 timeframe as OFF was being negotiated (though note that Boutros Boutros-Ghali (in 'Unvanquished') discounts this as unrealistic due to Iraq's isolation). No matter whether Saddam benefits from such price shifts or not, his *leverage* over oil markets is very real ... and this leverage is due, ironically, to the consolidation of his authority under sanctions. There is no other political figure in the Mideast with the clout to unilaterally stop ALL oil exports from their country, seemingly at a whim. No matter the ruler, for anyone other than Saddam it would be suicidal. And Saddam himself would not have dared make this move prior to sanctions. He continues to be a monster of our own making. (2) A candidate for the U.S. Presidency, Pat Buchanan, has reiterated his opposition to sanctions in Iraq. Following are excerpts from a news report on Buchanan's foreign policy and from the statement itself. Regards, Drew Hamre Golden Valley, MN USA --- Snipped from http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/p/AP-Buchanan.html November 22, 1999 Buchanan Eyes Iran, Iraq Dialogue By The Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) -- Reform Party presidential contender Pat Buchanan declared Monday that the longstanding U.S. policy of ``dual containment'' of Iraq and Iran is unsustainable and he suggested opening a dialogue with the oppressive nations. Delivering a foreign policy speech, Buchanan asked: ``If we can engage China and North Vietnam and even North Korea, why can we not at least talk to Iran and Iraq?'' ... --- Snipped from http://www.gopatgo2000.com/library/speeches/19991122.htm "A New Americanism" Patrick J. Buchanan ... Under the Christian conditions for a just war, the targeting of innocent civilians is forbidden. But who is suffering, who is dying from the sanctions we impose on Serbia and Iraq? We read of tens of thousands of deaths among Iraqi children. Is it moral to cause their deaths because these toddlers refused to rise up and oust Saddam, which the mighty Army of Desert Storm was itself reluctant to do? America is a good country; she does not make war on children. ... As for our policy of "dual containment" of Iran and Iraq, it is sterile and unsustainable. Like the British, we are one day going home, and we ought not to be devising schemes to extend our stay. -- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email firstname.lastname@example.org, NOT the whole list. Please do not send emails with attached files to the list *** Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html ***