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Lib-Dems on Iraq

Dear All, Here is the text of Menzies Campbell speech to the LIb-Dem 
conference earlier this year.


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 
the 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 Iraq 
people have suffered enough.
So today I say that it should now become the policy of the  British 
Government that sanction other than those directly relevant to military or 
military  related equipm 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 that opportunity.

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