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Letter sent to Boston Globe

Mark said he found it useful to see copies of letters about sanctions.
Below is copy of Boston Globe editorial about Iraq followed by letter from
me.  At least three of us send letters in response to this unsigned
editorial; the Boston Globe has yet to print any letter in response to this
editorial.  By the way, Globe has a 200 word limit on letters. 

February 13, 2000

                       Iraq's growing threat

Saddam Hussein's continuing defiance of United Nations resolutions
mandating inspection and dismantling of his weapons of mass destruction
represents the most flagrant and protracted failure of President Clinton's
foreign policy.

This was illuminated Thursday when Baghdad refused to accept even a diluted
UN inspectioncommission 14 months after Saddam kicked out the original
UNSCOM team under the conscientious Australian diplomat Richard Butler.

Since then Saddam has rebuilt facilities for his biological and chemical
weapons programs as well as missile sites. Specialists suspect he has
renewed production of anthrax, botulinum toxin and aflatoxin, and the
organism that produces plague. Weapons inspectors and intelligence
officials also have reason to fear that Iraq is working on even more
sophisticated programs to develop viral agents for use as biological

In seven years, Clinton has tried to ignore, obscure, and misrepresent the
threat from Saddam. Clinton's so-called containment policy has done nothing
more than deter Saddam from invading his neighbors again. But that policy
has not obliged the Iraqi despot to honor the UN's disarmament resolutions,
has not protected the Iraqi people from the dictator's killers and
torturers, and has not defended Americans against terrorists who may be
acting with the veiled and deniable support of a vengeful Saddam.

                       While Clinton clings to his futile containment
policy, seeking to avoid difficult decisions between now and the first
Tuesday in November, the threat grows. Saddam's regime enriches itself with
smuggling operations and by diverting money from the $10 billion in yearly
oil sales allowed under the UN's oil-for-food program. And the common
people of Iraq continue to suffer unspeakably from both sanctions and the

Saddam must be forced to permit weapons inspections or be removed from
power. The failure to contain him should be a central issue in the current
presidential campaign.

This story ran on page E06 of the Boston Globe on 2/13/2000.

To The Editor:

Does the Globe believe 22 million people's lives and wellbeing to be of no

Its editorial, "Iraq's growing threat" (Feb. 13) leaves that impression.
The Globe finds many faults with the Clinton Administration's Iraq policy,
yet glosses over the most glaring one: holding Iraq's people hostage to
Saddam's behavior.  The UN economic sanctions, maintained at US insistence,
cut civilians off from trade or contact with the outside world. The result?
Teachers forced to sell books to feed their families, doctors struggling to
get by on the equivalent of five dollars a month salary-and the deaths of
thousands of infants each year.

This is not Iraqi government propaganda. Sanctions have created a
humanitarian crisis in Iraq well-documented by the UN. Sanctions also
strengthen Saddam. They have fostered a huge black market in oil that he
controls. They also allow him to blame Iraqi suffering on the US government.

Some in Washington understand this. Recently 70 U.S. Congresspeople sent a
letter to President Clinton advocating that economic sanctions on Iraq be
decoupled from military sanctions. The premise is promising: target Iraq's
leaders, but treat its people as potential allies and as human beings who
deserve respect, not collective punishment. 

Jennifer E. Horan

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