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Submit letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. To be considered for publication, letters must include the writer's name, full address, and daytime phone number for verification only. Home addresses and phone numbers of letter writers will not be published. All letters are subject to editing. http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/editorial/537289 April 28, 2000, 9:35AM Iraqi Spirits: Saddam's regime gets drunk while Iraqis suffer Saddam Hussein's biggest headache as a world-class dictator may not be from United Nations sanctions or the periodic U.S. and British air strikes against Iraq's air defense facilities. He and his murderous gang in Baghdad may be suffering from the mother of all hangovers. Saddam and his cohorts drink more than 10,000 bottles of whiskey, 350,000 cans of beer and 700 bottles of wine per week, according to State Department spokesman James Rubin. That's a whole lot. Probably more than is even consumed in Austin when the Legislature is in session and the lobbyists are pouring. Rubin says Saddam and his friends are getting drunk in "opulent" new palaces (49 have been built since the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf War) while innocent Iraqi men, women and children suffer and die from the lack of adequate food and medical supplies. "The important point here is that the regime is getting drunk while it claims that its people don't have enough to eat," Rubin said. Rubin's remarks were unusually blunt and hard hitting, coming as they did from a spokesman for Washington's normally soft-speaking diplomats. But Washington is on the defense today against a growing sentiment in many countries of the world to end the trade sanctions against Iraq. The U.S. position that the sanctions must be maintained to serve as a restraining leash on Saddam's behavior and future military capability, suffered a serious blow recently with the protest resignations of two U.N. aid officials. They claimed the sanctions hurt only innocent Iraqi civilians and not Saddam and his gang. Rubin was trying to show the world that Saddam has more than enough money to help his people, if he really wants to help them. Saddam has spent billions of dollars on lavish places and massive amounts of alcohol, instead of buying food and medicine. Unfortunately, the world has not noticed. Saddam is coldly using the suffering of innocent Iraqi men, women and children as a wedge to divide the United Nations and end the sanctions. And Saddam hopes to make the United States out to be the guilty party behind all the horror and suffering he has caused. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi