The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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In response to a kind request from Philippa Winkler regarding the Norwegian stand on Sanction, I would register my own views in part one, and in part two I mention where to find further "official" information on the Norwegian position on Sanction. Part one Since January when Norway resumed the presidency of the UN Sanction, on Iraq, Committee there has been increasing attention in the Norwegian media on Iraq. Before that many articles appeared in the daily newspapers reporting from Iraq. And within the current emphases on the so-called "smart sanctions", if they are any different from the well tested "smart bombs"!! that had so much "off-target collateral damage", the Norwegian Foreign Minister Thorbjørn Jagland made some news in the last few days . Mr Jagland states that by doing something with sanctions that affecting civilians could strengthen the possibilities for the UN to influence Iraq. How could that be, when, by what means, etc he did not elaborate. Furthermore, apart from a general statement, which says that his Ministry had studied the rejected export requests and found out that more than 80 % of the involved commodities are exportable to Iraq, no further details, proposals, mechanisms or modalities were provided on how to improve the situation. Apart from that I would make the followings: 1- The timing was clearly coordinated with latest Bush-Blair meeting and Colin Powell visit to the Middle East where the "smart sanctions" was the central issue. Obviously, it is linked also to the discussions in New York in the SC and between Annan and the Iraqi Foreign Minister Al-Sahaff, last week. 2- Regrettably, since 1990 and regarding Iraq, the Norwegian foreign policy has consistently been following the footsteps of the "Big brother"- USA. This has not changed even during the last bombing. While he was in Amman during the bombing Mr Jagland said this "do not help", but he stated to the Norwegian media-NRK- that he "agrees" with the action!! Different statements to different audience! 3- In the Saturday's (24.02) edition of the Norwegian newspaper BT, Mr. Jagland said about his proposal that "We want to put an end to Saddam Hussain using the humanitarian situation in his propaganda". This to me is more of a BR than real concern on the tragic hardship that inflicted upon the innocent Iraqis for the last ten years. Furthermore, this to me again is yet another version of the "blame game while the Iraqis dying " which we have been repeatedly hear from the Bush (father and son) , Blair and Powell (leaving aside Clinton, Albright, etc) which says: it is not the sanction or USA but Saddam who is responsible for the suffering of the Iraqi civilians. Mr. Jagland, according to the Norwegian journalist Atle Andersson "BT15.01.01", holds exactly this position. In my view Saddam is responsible no doubt. But he is not alone at all and this does not relieve the British and American governments, and those who support this war of genocide, from their direct responsibility in the war of genocide against the Iraqi people. 4- Finally, when the issue of the depleted uranium surfaced in the Balkan region we witnessed considerable concerns about this danger. Well, Iraq- the testing ground- presented over the years ample evidences on the effects of the depleted uranium on its people. Views, by non-Iraqi specialists, expressed in many debates in the Arabic channels (Al-Jazeera, ESC, etc) tells that WHO did not pay attention to what the Iraqis have been saying about the detrimental effects of depleted uranium for years. (can we in all fairness consider this as another example of a "Big-brother" obedience which has bearings on Mr. Jagland smart sanctions: WHO is chaired by a former Norwegian Prime Minster, Mrs. Gro Harlem Burndtland). Recently, 23rd February, a member from the Norwegian Doctors against Nuclear War wrote that WHO shall investigate if there is a link between the depleted uranium and the increasing incidents of cancer in the children. Time will tell whether Mr. Jagland, and his team, have workable and functional proposals that can put an end to the ordeal of the Iraqis and permits their country to return to normality. Or it will turns out to be a "catch-22" or another SC resolution (similar to 1284) that give the American and the British alibi for further bombing and prolong sanctions. Many commentators from the Arab countries (as the famous weekly programme, Ra'ess al tahrir- meaning Chief Editor, by the Egyptian journalist Hamdi Kandeel has said in last week edition: now you will use the smart sanctions after you used stupid ones for ten long years. Latest statements coming from Baghdad put too much doubt on the feasibility of the new smart sanctions. Part two For more and probably better information regarding the official Norwegian positions I would recommends you establish contact with the followings: 1- The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD), e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org or http://odin.dep.no/ud/ 2- Mr. Ole Peter Kolby, the Norwegian ambassador at the UN, floor 39, New York. 3- Arve Apold (coordination list on Middle East specialist in Norway) on the following e-mail address: email@example.com I hope you find this information useful for your work and good luck. Ahmed M. Jiyad Norway. ----- Original Message ----- From: "pjw8" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: "Ahmed M. Jiyad" <email@example.com> Sent: Saturday, March 03, 2001 6:44 PM Subject: Norway's position on sanctions? > Hi Ahmed, > my name is Philippa Winkler and am a co-editor of HIDDEN > CASUALTIES (1994) which is about the impacts of the gulf > war on Iraq. I enjoyed reading your message below. > My PhD thesis is on the sanctions and i compare > value systems of diplomats from Norway, the US and UK > who want to keep the sanctions, with > activists in the West who early on in the sanctions regime spotted the > genocide. > I would very much like to obtain Norwegian governmental > statments on sanctions on Iraq on the internet, but can't > find it on the Norwegian government site. Is there some > other website i could access that could give me that information > ? I am looking at the years from 91 to 98, but anything > will do. > Just in case you think i am an academic "leach", i should tell > you that i combine research with activism, and initiated > the action at the UN Commission on Human rights to condemn > sanctions, this is coming to a head this March thanks to the > human rights attorney Karen Parker. > Sincerely, Philippa Winkler (born in the UK, now residing > in Flagstaff, Arizona) > > > >===== Original Message From "Ahmed M. Jiyad" <firstname.lastname@example.org> ===== > >I would like to make the following on the posting by Mark Galloway, dated > 28.02.01: > >1- In as much as I understand and share with Mark his "sentiments" regarding > the despicable regime in Iraq, I think it is rather unfair and indeed > incorrect to deny the intellect of and undermines the Iraqi people when he > says " This situation > >remains until today, so that the average Iraqi has been brought up without > any possibility of thinking for himself or taking responsibility in a way > which the average Westerner assumes is normal.." As an Iraqi I felt offended > by such a statement, > >which reflects serious lack of knowledge on Mark's part. > >2- It seems to me that his information on Iraq is rather outdated at best. At > the outbreak of Iran-Iraq war there were more than 800 foreign companies > implementing hundreds of development projects. Foreign expatriates working in > the country during > >that decade were estimated between a minimum of 2 millions and a maximum of 4 > millions workers. Though that war was a serious setback, development efforts > continued at a lower scale and that with war escalating cost had contributed > to push the > >country into the web of indebtedness. Up to the invasion of Kuwait, Iraq was > not "isolated" or "kept closed" country by any standard as Mark claims. In > fact Iraq have had large number of trade, technical and economic cooperation > agreements with > >most countries: east and west, north and south. That was not accomplishments > of the regime and its hegemonic monopoly of political power, but due to the > geo-political significance of the country, its economic and resource rich > potential and its > >hard working men and women: teachers, en > >ineers, doctors, scientists, economists, etc. Furthermore, economic realities > began to force the regime to change its economic policy. Starting from 1982 > with modest liberal policies that ended with the quickest and most radical > privatisation > >programme in the Arab countries, in a comparative sense. Between 1987 and > 1990 some 80 SOEs- state owned enterprises- were sold to out to the private > sector or converted to mixed-sector companies with private investors have a > pivotal position. By > >the end of 1992 the number of private companies reached a record of 5308 > firms capitalized at about $8 billion, with the government having minority > interest in 42 companies only. From petrol stations through hospitals to > swimming pools all were put > >for privatisation. I could go further and elaborate more, but I hope at this > point I made it clear for Mark that there has been significant developments > and serious changes. But! > >3- However, in addition to the war of genocide against the Iraqi people which > both the regime in Baghdad, UK and USA are taking part in it, the Gulf war, > the sanction and the continued bombardment of the country had aborted the > development efforts, > >destroying both the economic infrastructure and the social fabric, and > pushed the country many decades back to backwardness and unsustainable > indebtedness. > >4- Finally, one should be objective at all times and accurate as much as > possible. Taking position against the regime in Iraq does not justify, or > constitute a base to, undermining the Iraqi people. Being inaccurate extends > no help to anti-sanction > >campaign. > > > >Ahmed Jiyad > >Norway > > > > > >----- Original Message ----- > >From: "MarkGalloway" <email@example.com> > >To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> > >Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2001 4:19 PM > >Subject: Re: Cash component - comment > > > > > >> > >> > >> > >> It is useful to understand how isolated Iraq has been, and not just in the > >> last 10 years. I made my first visit in 1979, shortly after Saddam had > >> consolidated power. Until 1978, the files of the company for whom I then > >> worked were littered with notes on the impossibility of obtaining visas and > >> making any kind of contact with those in authority. The country had been > >> kept closed since the revolutions of the 1950s. I found a people dominated > >> by State organisations. Even those with ostensible authority, such as the > >> General Manager of the National Insurance Company, had minimal power, and > >> quite trivial issues could only be decided at Ministerial level. This > >> situation remains until today, so that the average Iraqi has been brought > >> up without any possibility of thinking for himself or taking responsibility > >> in a way which the average Westerner assumes is normal. > >> > >> Lifting sanctions and opening trade relations will be only a small > >> beginning, since trade with Iraqi State importing organisations cannot be > >> described as "normal". For many years, all imports have been in the hands > >> of no more than half a dozen State enterprises, primarily: > >> > >> the State Trading Enterprise for Foodstuff > >> the Iraqi Grain Board > >> the State Enterprise for Steel and Timber > >> the State Enterprise for Construction Materials > >> the Southern Oil Company > >> > >> It will take a lot more to open the country and persuade the people to take > >> even the smallest element of power back into their own hands. The one > >> encouragement I have is that the close Tikriti family members have gained a > >> taste for big money making and so we may see some glorious capitalist > >> tendencies in the near future. This may not be quite what everyone has in > >> mind, but typically it opens the door a fraction for the man in the street > >> to try his own hand at making business. The process of change then becomes > >> more difficult to stop. Right now, it does not pay to be ostentatious, even > >> if you are amongst the small minority who can still live comfortably. > >> Saddam and his cohorts frequently demand and take things which catch their > >> fancy, eg a new car. Apparently it is impossible to stop, although on > >> occasion a limited amount of "compensation" appears - you might get a > >> Toyota to replace a BMW. > >> > >> Registering a private company is a difficult and time consuming affair. > >> > >> Seen in this light, sanctions have been a very useful weapon for Saddam to > >> maintain control. > >> > >> Greetings, > >> > >> Mark Galloway > >> > >> > >> -- > >> ----------------------------------------------------------------------- > >> 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 > >> > >> > > > > > >-- > >----------------------------------------------------------------------- > >This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq > >For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org > >Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: > >http://www.casi.org.uk > > Philippa Winkler > "kiss the mountain air we breathe" > > -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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