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RE: Lifting Sanctions on Iraq - dissident view PART ONE

A brief response to Mark Parkinson's posting of 26 August, in which he

"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 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

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 |

personal | 07768 056 984 (UK mobile) | (917) 517 5840 (USA mobile) | (707)
221 3672 (US fax) |

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Mark Parkinson
Sent: Sunday, August 26, 2001 2:44 AM
Cc: Alexander Sternberg
Subject: Re: Lifting Sanctions on Iraq - dissident view PART ONE

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