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Fwd: dsanet: Iraq and UN Sanctions

Unfortunately I don't keep as "on top of" things as I know some of you do, 
so I'm looking for a bit of help on replying to this nonsense.  Thanks very 
much in advance.

>As I see it, opposition to sanctions against Saddam's regime is presented
>here, and generally elsewhere on the 'hard' left, as an article of faith,
>without supporting evidence and logical argumentation. I am afraid that the
>language of morality employed here by Andrew simply fits into this pattern.
>For my own part, I am no expert on Iraq. There are parts of the world
>(Africa) where I have lived for some time, and have studied for an even
>longer time, but in the case of Iraq, I have no knowledge beyond what a
>generally well-read person will gather from the news media. That is why I
>have posed the difficulties I have with this 'article of faith' approach in
>terms of questions. It is not inconceivable to me that my skepticism toward
>the anti-sanctions movement might even be overcome if someone could answer
>these questions in a compelling way. But what I find is that these questions
>are generally not addressed (Jim Chapin and Bob Roman being the main
>exceptions, but then they don't assume this article of faith stance to begin
>with); instead a position of 'moral turpitude' is imputed to those who raise
>questions about the anti-sanctions movement.
>Once again, I think that these are some basic questions that must be answered:
>(1)  How is this use of sanctions different from the use of sanctions in
>South Africa, which we all supported? Of course, the ANC and the resistance
>in South Africa supported the sanctions, despite the effect they had on poor,
>black South Africans, because they believed -- correctly, we can say in
>retrospect -- that sanctions would hasten the end of apartheid. I have yet to
>see evidence that the Iraqi equivalent of the ANC and the South African
>resistance is opposed to sanctions. All I see is invocations of "ordinary"
>Iraqis, with evidence of their views little more than television interviews
>given under the watchful eyes of Saddam's secret police, in just the same way
>that the apartheid government invoked "ordinary" South Africans against
>sanctions. I would be happy to see something more convincing.
>(2) In the absence of compelling evidence, I have difficulty with accepting
>the premise that it is entirely sanctions which is causing what human
>hardship now exists in Iraq. I point simply to the recent refusal of Saddam
>to renew the UN agreement which would allow him to exchange a certain amount
>of oil for food and medicine. How much of the suffering which is going on is
>a result of deliberate policy choices by Saddam as part of a stratagem to end
>the sanctions so that he can rebuild the army and weapons of destruction? How
>much of it is a result of deliberate policy choices of Saddam to punish the
>Shia of the south and the Kurds of the north?
>(3) What is the alternative policy to sanctions? Surely no one thinks that
>diplomacy and persuasion is going to make the slightest difference to Saddam.
>Surely no one thinks that the resistance to Saddam is anywhere near
>overthrowing him. Sanctions seem far more preferable to me than military
>intervention, and I see that as almost inevitable if Saddam rebuilds his
>nuclear capability and his biological and chemical capability. I do not find
>a 'do nothing' policy (i.e., no policy at all) very compelling.
>Principled politics involves the articulation of morality and feasibility in
>political strategy. The invocation of morality absent any effective political
>strategy is the guarantee of irrelevance and marginality. What is the power
>of the prophet when no one listens?
>Leo Casey
>United Federation of Teachers
>260 Park Avenue South
>New York, New York 10010 (212-598-6869)
>Power concedes nothing without a demand.
>It never has, and it never will.
>If there is no struggle, there is no progress.
>Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation are men who
>want crops without plowing the ground. They want rain without thunder and
>lightening. They want the ocean without the roar of its waters.
>-- Frederick Douglass --

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