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-----Original Message----- From: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Louise <email@example.com>; David Bush (E-mail) <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 26 February 2001 03:43 Subject: QPS Media Statement >MEDIA STATEMENT CONCERNING IRAQ, > from QUAKER PEACE AND SERVICE NZ. > >We vigorously protest the recent US/UK air-strikes on Iraq. The overriding >issue for us must be our concern as ordinary people for the unacceptable >suffering of the majority of the Iraq population, struggling to survive in >their country which is now nearly destroyed by bombing and unfair >sanctions. > >The attacks have, predictably, brought wide-spread condemnation from >literally thousands of organisations and individuals and also from countries >which have previously supported the sanctions. This fast-growing >opposition might in fact advance the day when those sanctions are lifted >and sovereignty restored to Iraq. They have certainly further isolated the >policies of the United States and Britain. > >We want to highlight the report for the UN Secretary General, written by >Professor Marc Bossuyt, an authority on international law, which says that >the "sanctions regime against Iraq is unequivocally illegal under existing >human rights law" and "could raise questions under the Genocide >Convention". > >His subtext is that if the [International Criminal Court] court is to have >authority, it cannot merely dispense the justice of the powerful. A growing >body of legal opinion agrees that the court has a duty to investigate "not >only the regime, but also the UN bombing and sanctions which have >violated the human rights of Iraqi civilians on a vast scale by denying them >many of the means necessary for survival. It should also investigate those >who assisted Saddam Hussein's programmes of now prohibited weapons, >including western governments and companies." > >We abhor the hypocrisy of the rhetoric about the nastiness of the Iraqi >regime. Other countries have or have had equally bad reputations and the >US hasn't felt obliged to interfere. The stated US concern to overthrow >Saddam Hussein because of his treatment of the Iraqi people is as >contrived as the claim that the on-going air-strikes are in self-defence. >How can the perpetrators of these strikes be acting in self-defence? > >We take head of the UN source, who, insisting on anonymity, said, “The >Americans are, I am afraid, the real villains in all this”. Pointing to the >toleration of smuggling across Iraq’s borders into Turkey and Jordan and >illegal shipments of Iraqi oil, he said that many believed the real objective >was to maintain a weak but stable President Saddam Hussein in power. >This would serve America’s main Middle East policy objective, which is to >stop the emergence of any threat to Israel. > >We understand that at the time of the latest attacks, wide consultations >were being conducted to tackle the whole Iraqi issue at the next Arab >summit in Amman in a way that preserves security in the region and the >sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq. These voices should be >listened to by those, including the NZ government, who appear to be >focusing on disarming Iraq while ignoring the situation of other nearby >nuclear weapons States, notably Israel. The problem is an integral one, >and the political interests of any one State must not be allowed to interfere >in the peace process. > >We strongly support the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the >Middle East and hope that in time the Iraqi government's pre-1991 pleas >for this, and offers to open their country to inspection will be accepted. >One of the keys to the establishment of such a zone will be a similar move >by Israel. Another factor will be the monitoring of arms and arms supplies >in the area. > >As this is unlikely to happen immediately, the urgent need is to restore >Iraq's national integrity in order that repair of the infrastructure can take >place without the interference of the present sanctions administration. > >Tony Maturin, >For NZ Quaker Peace and Service. > >4 Hoggard St., >Vogeltown, >Wellington 6002. >Ph. (04) 389-4715. > -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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