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Re: Delinking military sanctions:

In reference to 'blaming the victim', I think Drew's timely comments on the
anniversary of the Halabja chemical gas attacks, 
underscore the crucial point that it is not the Iraqi government - the illegimate
Baathist regime - which is the victim, but the 
people of Iraq: the Kurds, victims of a genocidal assault by Saddam, supplied by
Western industrialists, other Iraqis, by a 
decade of sanctions. 

As others have stated,  if we buy into the logic of  separating  military
sanctions from other sanctions, we are implicitly 
supporting the untenable view that the goal of Western governments is to remove
the Baathist regime. It is not and never has 
been. The sanctions, I argue, are a continuation and intensification of the
Kissinger policy of containment against Iraq. The 
objectives of this policy remain to keep the Baathist regime strong enough to
repress its own population, strong enough to keep Iran busy, but too weak to
threaten Western allies in the region. 

Any 'third way', I would argue depends not on how we define sanctions, but where
we place our solidarity. If it is with the Iraqi people, than there is no
question about opposing both the sanctions and the Baathist regime. To this end,
we do not need a 
more sophisticated or humanitarian sanctions regime, but a more sophisticated and
humanitarian policy supporting  democracy 
and human rights in Iraq. 

Ben Rempel
Winnipeg, Canada

Doug Stokes wrote:

> I read an article the other day from here:
> It seems to challenge the prevailing orthodoxy in the anti sanctions
> movement of delinking generalised economic sanctions against Iraq from
> military sanctions. Here's a snippet:
> "Blaming the victim
> >From Dec. 20, 1998--after four days of heavy bombing raids--until the end of
> September 1999, the U.S. and its British allies flew 12,157 combat sorties
> against Iraq. They dropped 10,000 tons of explosives during that period.
> The movement here must ask itself--does Iraq have the right to defend itself
> against such attacks? Does it have the right to lock its radar on hostile
> planes flying over its territory? Does it have the right to fire back?
> If the movement supports "military sanctions" against Iraq, then we are
> taking the side of the aggressor against the victims. This approach implies
> that Iraq is somehow more "evil" than other states and concedes that
> Washington has some justice on its side. Iraq has not bombed the U.S. or
> Britain or anyone else. We must not fall in the trap of blaming the
> victims."
> I would be interested to hear any views on this.
> Doug.
> >From: Mark Tribe <>
> >To: "Hamre, Drew" <>
> >CC: 'Iraq-CASI - Discussion' <>
> >Subject: A third way?
> >Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 22:36:56 +0000 (GMT)
> >
> >Dear All,
> >
> >I would appreciate any replies to my following train of thought.
> >
> >
> >The US and UK governments want sanctions in place to prevent Saddam
> >Hussein building up any form of military threat. All the funds from oil
> >sales are kept under UN control and tight monitoring of all imports takes
> >place to meet this end.
> >
> >Would the following steps relieve this suffering and yet still prevent
> >military imports;
> >
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