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Dear Elizabeth and everyone else Just to add to what Colin wrote. Apologies for summarising the state of our knowledge (as far as I understand it). > LISTS There is no list of things which are _banned_. There are (long) lists of things which are _permitted_ - the 'green lists' which you can see at http://www.un.org/Depts/oip >POVERTY Ordinary Iraqi families are not deprived of common daily items such as food and clothing and so on by the sanctions committee, but by poverty. The poverty is caused by the fact that there is mass unemployment, and those people who do have jobs are paid in Iraqi dinars which don't mean much now (0.04 pence for 1 ID where 1 ID used to be 2.00 pounds sterling). Both the unemployment and the collapse of the dinar are caused by the fact that the economy has been closed down by the economic sanctions. So sanctions deprive ordinary families of resources, but not (mostly) via the Sanctions Committee Poverty is such that people have to trade parts of their (almost free) food rations in order to buy clothes, travel, etc. > INFRASTRUCTURE The child death rate has more than doubled in large part because drinking water is contaminated - because of unrepaired damage to water purification plants, water pumping stations, water pipes, sewage and sanitation services, and the electrical power system (which underpins water purification and distribution). The Sanctions Committee has blocked some contracts in these sectors, but reconstruction was until recently limited mainly by the inadequate revenues permitted or possibly with low oil prices. The Sanctions Committee did not play the major role in blocking reconstruction of the public health infrastructure, and may be about to relinquish a lot of 'holds' in these areas next month. > REFORM OR LIFT In Voices, we believe it is important not to focus our campaigning on the role of the Sanctions Committee. If we campaign against 'holds' the answer is to lift them. If we campaign against the Sanctions Committee, the answer is to reform it. But our understanding is that even if there were no holds, and the Sanctions Committee functioned exactly as it was intended to do, there would still be a humanitarian crisis. Because comprehensive economic sanctions mean a flattened economy, and that means mass poverty, and that means hunger and disease. Please see our briefing STRANGLEHOLD on the role of the Sanctions Committee http://www.viwuk.freeserve.co.uk/library/strangle_hold.html Cheers Mil -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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