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Dear all Good news that the possible coming shift in US/UK policy is having the way paved by such stuff. However, the editorial raises an important issue which has to be addressed by the anti-sanctions movement - whether or not we should campaign against the retention of the oil-for-food UN account as a mechanism for controlling Iraqi revenues. My thoughts aren't very clear but go like this: ARGUMENTS AGAINST RETENTION If, in a proposed 'post-sanctions' regime, the basic oil-for-food system is to be kept, whereby Iraq's oil revenues continue to be funnelled via a UN account, this could continue to (a) hinder normal trade which is needed to reinflate the economy and boost family purchasing power (b) hinder the placing of major infrastructure/oil contracts needed to provide a healthy environment for Iraq's families and to secure revenues for this purpose (c) hinder the taking out of international loans needed for both the economy as a whole and for the infrastructure (d) and, most importantly, continue to place Iraq's economy under the control of a body dominated by the US and UK, which hold the lion's share of responsibility for the continuation of the humanitarian crisis. Apart from the last point, these are empirical matters which we could find some answers to. ARGUMENTS IN FAVOUR OF RETENTION In fairness, it should be said that if there is to be no oil-for-food structure, it is not immediately apparent how international concerns about diversion/dual-use can be addressed, as UN monitoring of the delivery of oil-for-food goods would presumably cease when oil-for-food is terminated. This is not a terribly strong argument, however, as a new UN monitoring system could be constructed along the lines already used in the current oil-for-food set-up - for suspected dual-use deliveries (chlorine, pipes used in sewage works, etc). This dual-use monitoring system could either be part of UNMOVIC or outside/complementary to it. THE EDITORIAL I am concerned by the mention in the NYT article of the need for > tight financial controls on how Baghdad spends its oil > revenues in a new sanctions regime. The tenor of the editorial seems to suggest a modified and 'revitalised' oil-for-food regime as the way forward. While I do not see this as acceptable, there is a legitimate discussion to be had about handling the dual-use issue. Milan Rai Milan Rai Joint Coordinator Voices in the Wilderness UK National Office 16B Cherwell St, Oxford OX4 1BG NEW personal contact details 29 Gensing Road, St Leonards-on-sea TN38 0HE ph/fax 0845 458 9571 (local rate) pager 07623 746 462 -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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