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re: Alternative name for 'smart sanctions'

With regard to the messages from Dr Herring and Nathaniel Hurd about the 
need to find an alternative to the term 'smart sanctions':

The simplest way to deal with this problem of language is surely to use the
term that is generally used, complete with its propaganda loading, and put
inverted commas round it, as in 'international community'. Alternatively
there's the longer and more neutral 'proposed reforms in the sanctions

I'm not sure however that this list has yet discussed these reforms as they
need to be discussed. CASI declares itself to be in favour of, or at least
not opposed to, 'military sanctions' and many of us have expressed
abhorrence of the Iraqi government. The essence of the new proposal as I
unerstand it is to tighten the control exercised by the 'international
community' over the finances of Iraq. The essence of current Iraqi policy is
to maximise the flow of revenue outside the control of the 'international

The main objection that has been raised to 'smart sanctions' has been that
Iraq needs a large influx of investment to rebuild the infrastructure
destroyed in the Gulf War. Theoretically this could be done under the new
proposals - if the Iraqi government were prepared to surrender its
sovereignty, its control over Iraqi finances, to the 'international
community' (when our government blames the Iraqi government for the
suffering of the Iraqi people it is because they refused to do this at a
much earlier date. It has always been the essence of the 'oil for food'
proposal originally put forward in the immediate aftermath of the war).

Most of us I think find that notion offensive. John Smith and the Sheffield
group are able to object to it on the basis of their commitment to the
principle of national sovereignty.

But then we should be clear what we are arguing: that the Iraqi government
should have the freedom to rebuild the infrastructure of the country as it
sees fit, untrammelled by the interference of the 'international community'.
We are arguing for greater freedom for the Iraqi government to do what it
wihes with 'its own' revenue - and with no guarantee that it will devote
itself to rebuilding the infrastructure of the country (except the immense
work the same government had achieved in this respect prior to the Gulf

But where does that leave the CASI commitment to military sanctions (which
would require extensive oversight of 'dual use' resources)? And where does
it leave our abhorrence, and presumably distrust, of the Iraqi government?

I'm not going to attempt to answer those questions here (and I'm not sure
that I can do much better than to say we're as bad as Saddam Hussein, or
what about Israel? What right have we to act as judges etc?). I think
they're difficult and real problems which we face every time we engage in
argument with our opponents. I would be very interested to know what other
list members think about them.

Peter Brooke
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