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http://www.bostonphoenix.com/archive/features/00/05/04/tji/HUMAN_RIGHTS.html The Boston Phoenix 5-11 May 2000 Features Human rights Irrationality and Iraq by Laura A. Siegel Scott Ritter led the United Nations weapons-inspection team in Iraq until he quit in August 1998, claiming that the United States was using the team to spy on Saddam Hussein. His experiences in Iraq have left Ritter convinced that UN sanctions against Iraq should be lifted. As the Phoenix went to press, Ritter was scheduled to testify before Congress on this topic May 3. He spoke with the Phoenix last week. Q: If sanctions continue, is war inevitable? A: Absolutely. Innocent people are going to continue to suffer for two or three years, but eventually there will be a moral and economic imperative for the rest of the world to begin doing business with Iraq. Trade will be uncontrolled. Iraq feels threatened [by Iran, Syria, Israel, and Saudi Arabia]. Iraq is not going to sit there in the face of an Iranian threat. Q: Should sanctions be lifted without further disarmament? A: Disarmament has already occurred. I don't believe the intent [of the UN resolution] was to get the world tied up in a hunt for nuts and bolts and pieces of paper. Iraq has no long-range ballistic missiles, no warheads that could go on these missiles, no means of producing chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. That doesn't mean they can't reconstitute them -- which is why it is very important to get a viable weapons-inspection program back in Iraq. Q: You wrote, "When it comes to Iraq, a politics of irrationality reigns supreme." Why? A: It began in the 1980s -- we were supporting Iraq blindly against the Iranian threat. Once Iraq invaded Kuwait, it threw the Bush administration for a loop. How to respond? Demonize Saddam Hussein. Hussein was suddenly called the Middle Eastern equivalent of Adolf Hitler. But [when Iraq left Kuwait] Saddam Hussein was still there -- it was like we'd lost. The US became focused on how to get rid of Saddam. Q: So should we give up on getting rid of him? A: Getting rid of Hussein is illegal as hell. People talk about "rogue states" -- what defines them as "rogue states"? Total disregard for international law. We have shredded the fabric of Iraqi society. The only good news is that Iraq is ready to rebuild. You want to get rid of Saddam Hussein? Lift the economic sanctions. The expectations of regrowth are so high that Hussein . . . will have to privatize. You're basically talking about turning power over to the people, [which will create] a viable middle class, [which will lead to] democracy. Q: Why hasn't the press covered this more? A: If these were Serbian white kids or Jewish white kids dying, Americans would be repulsed. We're a society that seems to feel the price of life is cheaper in Iraq than in Europe or America. It's not newsworthy unless you can get the candidates and the president to talk about Iraq. That's the last thing anyone wants to talk about, because you can't defend what we're doing. ----------------------------------------------- FREE! The World's Best Email Address @email.com Reserve your name now at http://www.email.com -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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