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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A brief response to Mark Parkinson's posting of 26 August, in which he wrote: "Lifting sanctions IS the magic solution! The lot of ordinary Iraqis (under SH) was very much better before the destruction of the civilian infrastructure by our leaders and the sanctions which prevented rebuilding and led to more deterioration. I should qualify this by saying that we destroyed so much that a massive input for rebuilding is needed - a figure of 30 billion dollars was mooted just after the Gulf War." I generally don't think that there are any magic wands to be found in Iraq. I thought that Prof. Niblock put it quite well at the last CASI conference (see http://www.casi.org.uk/conf2001/) when he said that lifting sanctions, on its own, left a lot of loose ends. One of these is what happens in Iraqi Kurdistan which has, under 'oil for food', been guaranteed a good share of national income. While it is indisputable that most of Iraq was better off prior to sanctions, Iraqi Kurdistan, for all its considerable warts, has experienced something new and good this past ten years. I thought that Alexander put it particularly poignantly: "but remember, for the Kurds and the rest of the Kurdistanis the issue of sanctions is seen from a position of utter vulnerability and is a question of mere survival." One possible way to reconcile the objectives of removing the obstructions that sanctions place on Iraq's reconstruction and development while maintaining income to Iraqi Kurdistan is to lift non-military sanctions but continue to pay oil revenue into the escrow account, disbursing the contents to the Iraqi government (probably the Central Bank), except for the share that goes to Iraqi Kurdistan. As at present, it could be disbursed to UN agencies operating in the North. This would be reasonably costless as the payment of oil revenues into the escrow account doesn't seem particularly costly. Problems with this proposal include: (i) the Iraqi government is squeezing UN operations in the North, which may not last much longer; would the Security Council authorise UN operations without the Iraqi government's approval? (ii) the Iraqi government may continue to circumvent UN-controlled oil sales, funnelling money away from the Kurdistan account. Colin Rowat work | Department of Economics | The University of Birmingham | Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK | email@example.com personal | 07768 056 984 (UK mobile) | (917) 517 5840 (USA mobile) | (707) 221 3672 (US fax) | firstname.lastname@example.org -----Original Message----- From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of Mark Parkinson Sent: Sunday, August 26, 2001 2:44 AM To: email@example.com Cc: Alexander Sternberg Subject: Re: Lifting Sanctions on Iraq - dissident view PART ONE -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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