The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Dear M and all, This is my last message, I promise. To clarify what I meant: I can imagine the following dialogue between anti-sanctions campaigner (anyone on soc-casi-discuss) and someone pro-sanctions or unsure what to think: M: 'We must lift sanctions because they're causing a humanitarian disaster in Iraq - on the scale of genocide.' Other: 'Genocide? How do you define that? How can you compare it to the Holocaust? That's an insult to the Jews, Gypsies and others killed by the Nazis. What proportion of the population has been killed by sanctions? Is that really a large enough proportion to justify the term "genocide"? Doesn't genocide require the intent to kill off a large proportion of the population? Do you really believe any one on the Security Council has the intent to do that to the Iraqi people? Can you prove it?' etc etc I'm sorry that M (and perhaps others) thought I meant that _anti-sanctions campaigners_ were somehow avoiding dealing with the real issues by debating the term 'genocide'. I hope the above dialogue makes clear that I meant that potential converts might use the term as a way of disengaging from their responsibilities. Whether or not the scale of the mass killing in Iraq qualifies as genocide is a 'side issue' to the families who are suffering there today. And it is a 'side issue' in the attempt to persuade people that (a) sanctions should be lifted and (b) they personally should do something about it. I totally agree with M that the movement should develop the widest possible understanding of the forces lying behind the sanctions, and that it is important to explain the wider context of Western policy in the Middle East. However, I do not think the use of the term 'genocide' adds to our understanding of US/UK policy making, or the continuities between the sanctions policy and other military and economic policies towards Third World nations. best wishes to everyone Mil PS It is of no significance to the debate, but I feel obliged to confess that I am a man and not a woman. My apologies. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full archive and list instructions are available from the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi