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BBC Online Head to Head

Dear all,

BBC Online has invited Voices UK to take part in a Head to Head debate with
Peter Rodman from the Nixon Centre in Washington D.C.

Mr Rodman and I were asked to provide a 150 word initial statement. I
thought this might be of interest to the list. The full exchange will
apparently be published at the end of the week.

Thus far there seem to be some delays caused by the difference in time zones
between London and DC.

If anyone has information to share about Mr Rodman or the Nixon Centre, I'd
be glad to hear it.


Mil Rai

Milan Rai
158 Springfield Road Brighton BN1 6DG
ph (0)1273 508 331

National Office
Voices in the Wilderness UK
16B Cherwell St
Oxford OX4 1BG
01865 243 232

Introductory statement
Why we should lift the economic sanctions against Iraq

To be persuasive, an argument for lifting the economic sanctions against
Iraq must establish three propositions:

1) that there is a humanitarian crisis in Iraq;
2) that the economic sanctions are a major obstacle to the solution of this
crisis; and
3) that measures short of lifting economic sanctions cannot end the
suffering that has engulfed millions of ordinary families for the last ten

A defence of the sanctions regime only has to overturn one of these
propositions to succeed.

Alternatively, a purported 'defence' of sanctions can abandon international
law and simple morality, and assert that the basic human rights of the 22
million people of Iraq, including their rights to life, are null and void,
and they may be killed at our convenience.

I have visited children's wards in Iraqi hospitals. I've seen bone-thin
children dying quietly of hunger and disease. This is not an academic

Milan Rai
Joint Coordinator
Voices in the Wilderness UK

Voices in the Wilderness breaks the economic sanctions on Iraq by
hand-delivering medical supplies to Iraq without an export licence

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