The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

November letter-writing KEEP UP THE PRESSURE!

Hello letter writers. Glenn from Voices here.

This is the next batch of notes for the monthly letter-writing that we are
organising. With flights going in to Baghdad in increasing numbers, now's
the time to keep the pressure on the Foreign Office.

(November letter notes are below if you want to skip the intro bit.)

Thank you all of those who sent copies of their letters and the few
responses that have begun to come from the Foreign Office. Responses will be
thoroughly dissected and points addressed - we'll keep you posted.

In the mean time, one tip. Despite the natural desire that we all have to
scream at our policymakers to BLOODY WELL STOP THIS INHUMAN POLICY! please
keep your letters as polite as you can. That way any responses they produce
have to at least pretend to be thoughtful - we make the FCO WORK to justify
their policy.

One response came back that because the letter-writer alleged that the FCO
had been 'telling lies' they saw no point in responding. They're taking
their ball and going home. This lets them off the hook too easily. We want
to try to make sure that as many people at the FCO as possible are faced
with the consequences of their actions again and again - they can't be
allowed to think that the issue has 'gone away' for a while. The more people
at the FCO who have to think through all the issues and compose lengthy and
convincing justifications about this unjustifiable policy, the more effect I
think we'll be having.

Keep up the pressure!


November voices Letter to MPs
Please draw your MP's attention to the Minister of State Peter Hain's
statement on Iraq
on 23 October 2000, as reproduced on the official Foreign Office website -
available from http://

Please address one or more of the following 3 and a half points:

Peter Hain failed to address the results of a recent survey of child hunger
in Iraq by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and  the UN World
Food Programme (WFP).
The FAO/WFP study found that 800,000 children under the age of five continue
to be chronically malnourished.
This represents one in four Iraqi children under the age of five. (The
FAO/WFP report, released on 13 Sept. 2000, is available at: )
Your MP may not be aware that chronic malnutrition in Iraq is very largely
the result of contaminated drinking water, or that it can lead to lifelong
physical and mental stunting.

Point 2 HOLDS
Mr Hain says, correctly, that in the coming year, 'more than $16 billion'
will be  available to Iraq (under Oil-for-Food) for humanitarian goods. He
alleges - without giving details - that 'some of it is being held back by
Iraqi bureaucracy, preventing the Iraqi people from receiving the support
which we in the international community,  and Britain especially, want to
give them'.
Mr Hain does not point out that according to the new UN Humanitarian
Coordinator for Iraq, Mr Tun Myat, speaking on 19 October, the Sanctions
Committee is currently holding back $2.25 billion worth of humanitarian
goods from Iraq.
Mr Myat said that some of these holds 'pertained to critical items'. (His
remarks can be found at )
Britain and the United States are primarily responsible for the holds
imposed by the Sanctions Committee. Perhaps you could suggest to your MP
that s/he ask a Parliamentary Question (PQ) of the Government, asking for a
list of the holds being imposed by the
British Government at 1 November 2000.  Tun Myat has just reported to the
Security Council that all the necessary arrangements have been made to
ensure that goods imported under oil-for-food are used for the agreed
purposes. Perhaps you could suggest a Parliamentary Question on whether the
Government accepts the new arrangements as satisfactory. If so, will holds
be lifted? If not, why not?

Mr Hain draws attention to the US State Dept.'s allegation that a luxury
safari park built for the Iraqi leadership enjoys 'the latest irrigation
systems' while the ordinary people of Iraq 'are denied access to proper
water and sanitation'.
He does not mention the fact that the UN Secretary-General drew attention in
September to a lack of adequate maintenance, spare parts and staffing in
this sector, and the absence of 'key complementary items' placed on hold by
the Sanctions Committee, without which the decay of the entire water and
sanitation system is 'accelerating.' Mr Hain is seeking to evade Britain's
share of responsibility  for chronic malnutrition among children in Iraq. We
must not let him.

Also, allegations of expensive Iraqi government projects such as safari
parks imply that a simple diversion of funds from such projects to the
general population will solve the humanitarian crisis. As the minister knows
any funding for such projects would have to come from smuggled oil. The
British government's own figures estimate that smuggling by the regime
amounts to some $1 billion per year (less than half the amount of 'holds' in
the Sanctions Committee). UN reports indicate that the current $16 billion
per year under Oil for Food is not adequate to address the humanitarian
consequences of the sanctions, and that only a reflating of the Iraqi
economy and massive investment can achieve this. Does the minister therefore
believe that diverting the alleged $1 billion of smuggled resources - that
is, increasing the humanitarian goods by ONE SIXTEENTH - can solve the
humanitarian crisis? If so, what is the basis for this belief?

This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
For removal from list, email
Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]