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Dear Folks, Here's what the Liberal Democrats Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Menzies Campbell, had to say about Iraq at todays conference (copied and pasted from the Lib Dem web-site). As you can see Campbell's no dove (he supported Desert Fox) and believes the "suffering [of the ordinary people of Iraq] is not caused by sanctions" but "by the evil exploitation of sanctions by Saddam Hussein." Nevertheless he *is* calling for the lifting of all non-military sanctions. Note the reference to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty. What he doesn't say is how he squares his rosy view of British culpability with HRW's assessment that "human rights principles have been consistently subordinated to political considerations in the [UN Security] Council's approach to Iraq" (HRW, Save the Children Fund UK et al., letter to the Security Council, 22nd March 2000). Gabriel. SPEECH EXCERPT FOLLOWS : 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 exploitation. 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 containment. 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. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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://www.casi.org.uk