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Liberal Democrats support lifting of non-military sanctions on Iraq

The Liberal Democrats, the UK's third party, is currently holding their
annual conference.  Menzies Campbell, their Foreign Policy spokesman, has
just delivered a speech, available in full at

In it he devotes a section to Iraq, calling for the lifting of the
non-military sanctions on Iraq.  I reproduce that section in full below.

I would encourage list members to take this opportunity to thank Menzies
Campbell and the LibDems for this new position.  They are now the first
major UK party to adopt this stance.  This, I think, is wonderful news.

The Rt. Hon. Menzies Campbell MP can be reached at House of Commons,
Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA.  The Liberal Democrat party can be reached
at Liberal Democrats, 4 Cowley Street, London SW1P 3NB, Tel: 020 7222
7999, Email:

Colin Rowat

Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq               fax 0870 063 5022
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393 King's College  
Cambridge CB2 1ST             tel: +44 (0)7768 056 984
England                       fax: +44 (0)8700 634 984

The Rt Hon Menzies Campbell MP, address to Conference 

18th September 2000
Rt. Hon. Menzies Campbell MP
Conference Speech - Bournemouth

...I am convinced by the effectiveness of deterrence.

Which is why I want now to talk about Iraq.


Liberal Democrats supported the UN-led action in the Gulf War - we were
right to do so. 

When Saddam Hussein sought to flout the will of the UN by expelling
inspectors and manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, Liberal
Democrats supported military action.  We were right to do so. 

If today Saddam Hussein were threatening Kuwait by massing troops on its
borders, I would be telling you we should be willing with others to face
down that threat by military means. 

But we owe it to ourselves, and to the suffering people of Iraq to keep
our policy under review. 

What does that policy towards Iraq amount to now?  Containment - and
nothing more. 

Successive Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reports reveal the
shocking catalogue of unspeakable terror and evil which Saddam Hussein
continues to impose upon his own people.  Their daily lives, save for
those whose welfare and loyalty are essential for the survival of the
regime are blighted by poverty, malnutrition and ignominy. 

The ordinary people of Iraq are the oppressed not the oppressors. 

Their suffering is not caused by sanctions - it is caused by the evil
exploitation of sanctions by Saddam Hussein. 

But, remove the sanctions and you remove the opportunity for that

Remove the sanctions which are used by the regime in Iraq to justify the
systematic degradation of the Iraqi people by its own government and you
take that weapon away from Saddam Hussein. 

Remove the sanctions and you will find a collective and sympathetic sigh
of relief from Arab governments throughout the Middle East who believe the
Iraqi people have suffered enough. 

So today I say that it should now become the policy of the British
Government that sanctions other than those directly relevant to military
or military related equipment should be lifted. 

The removal of non-military sanctions will not prejudice the policy of

Deterrence allied to the credible threat of military action is a
sufficient basis for containment. 

Non-military sanctions do not hurt Saddam Hussein and the elite who
surround him. But they are used by him to hurt his own people.  After ten
years it is time to deny him that opportunity. 

Now let me turn to Sierra Leone...

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