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On August 13, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (USA) capped a hard-hitting series on Iraq with an editorial calling for an end to economic sanctions. "But what's the point" one might shrug ... "What conceivable effect will press coverage from the hinterlands have on U.S. policy?" But consider this ... The following Monday, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright herself met with the Journal Sentinel's editorial board to shore up support. During this meeting, Albright was carelessly blunt about U.S. motives in continuing sanctions: "If we removed sanctions, (Saddam) would declare victory ... We would have no control over him whatsoever." I'd applaud Albright's honesty, if her statement weren't so chilling. In her Journal Sentinel comments, Albright echoes a little-noted remark she made at the close of her infamous 1996 "worth it" interview with Leslie Stahl: - begin transcript  - (Albright, responding to a question on the morality of sanctions): "It is a moral question, but the moral question is even a larger one. Don't we owe to the American people and to the American military and to the other countries in the region that this man not be a threat?" (Stahl): "Even with the starvation?" (Albright): "I think -- Leslie, it is hard for me to say this, because I am a humane person, but my first responsibility is to make sure that United States forces do not have to go and re-fight the Gulf War." - end transcript - I've always thought that this was the single most believable, most succinct statement of motive for sanctions -- not oil, not Israel, not weaponry (though they all may play a role) -- but rather simple political expedience. Conflict is avoided, and we do so on the sly. Press coverage changes this equation, and Albright's visit to the editorial board shows she is painfully aware of this fact. Regards, Drew Hamre Golden Valley, MN USA ===  Links to earlier coverage: <http://www.casi.org.uk/discuss/2000/msg00897.html> ===  Albright's visit to the Journal Sentinel (thanks to Rania Masri for this post): <http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/aug00/alsid22082100a.asp> Economic sanctions on Iraq still needed, Albright says Secretary of State says Hussein 'would declare victory' if they were lifted By Steve Schultze of the Journal Sentinel staff Last Updated: Aug. 21, 2000 The U.N.-imposed sanctions on Iraq provide the best leverage the United States has over Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Monday. "If we removed sanctions, he would declare victory," Albright told the Journal Sentinel editorial board in Milwaukee. "We would have no control over him whatsoever." The sanctions have come under criticism for imposing severe hardships on the Iraqi people, both from Hussein and from a growing number of critics around the world. Leaders of various churches have urged the end to economic sanctions, which over a decade have contributed to illness, hunger and the deaths of several hundred thousand Iraqis. Simply lifting the sanctions, however, wouldn't solve the problem, Albright said. With sanctions, Hussein at least is contained, she said. Hussein has plenty of money for food and medicine, if he chooses to use it for those purposes, she maintained. The United Nation's "food-for-oil" program has permitted Iraq to swap oil for nearly $1 billion in food and medicine since 1997. Albright said Hussein could be doing more for his people. "This business that he doesn't have money is 'barnyard expletive,' " Albright said. Huge sums of money instead are being spent on lavish palaces for Hussein and his family and massive projects such as creating artificial lakes and moving Iraq's famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon, she said. "I don't know what other options we have" besides the containment policy, she said. Albright also repeated the U.S. explanation of continued bombings on Iraq, which Iraq has claimed have been deliberately targeting civilians, as defensive. "The only time we bomb is when we are protecting our own pilots," she said. The U.S., as part of the U.N. peacekeeping force, enforces "no-fly" zones over Iraq. Albright, commenting on a recent series of articles in the Journal Sentinel on Iraq, suggested they were based on a jaundiced view of the country carefully crafted by the Hussein government to create the impression Hussein wants the world to see. She said Hussein doesn't let foreign journalists travel freely. "Inside Iraq," a three-part series by Journal Sentinel reporter Tom Heinen and photographer Rick Wood, ran earlier this month. It detailed suffering of ordinary Iraqis, based on a trip to Iraq in July in which Heinen and Wood accompanied two peace activists and a doctor from Milwaukee. They met with ordinary Iraqis as well as government and religious leaders. Albright was in Milwaukee to accept an award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The organization is holding its convention at the Midwest Express Center this week. ===  Stahl's interview with Albright appears during the CBS "60 Minutes" segment, "Punishing Saddam" (airdate May 12, 1996). Tapes are available from CBS (1-800-848-3256); the above transcript is mine. And if anyone wants a free copy of the "worth it" clip in AVI web multi-media format (roughly 1.2M), please contact me. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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