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Fw: QPS Media Statement

-----Original Message-----
From: <>
To: Louise <>; David Bush (E-mail)
Date: 26 February 2001 03:43
Subject: QPS Media Statement

>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
>The attacks have, predictably, brought wide-spread condemnation from
>literally thousands of organisations and individuals and also from
>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
>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
>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
>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
>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
>place without the interference of the present sanctions administration.
>Tony Maturin,
>For NZ Quaker Peace and Service.
>4 Hoggard St.,
>Wellington 6002.
>Ph. (04) 389-4715.

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