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Khidir Hamza again

Dear all

A further note on the Khidir Hamza question. Although it is useful to know
(and to be able to say. That's the problem) whether or not he is genuine, it
shouldn't make any difference to the broad anti-sanctions argument.

I tend to assume that President Hussein would like to develop weapons of
dreadful potency. I assume this because, if any country or government needs
such weapons it is surely Iraq (much more than Britain or even the US)
living as it does under the perpetual threat of massive invasion.  There is
a contradiction in arguing that the persecution of Iraq can cease because
the Iraqi government is powerless, when the powerlessness of the Iraqi
government is a consequence of the persecution.

In advocating the lifting of sanctions we have to face up to the
possibility, indeed probability, that the Iraqi government will take
advantage of the situation to strengthen whatever means it has at its
disposal for defending itself.

Either that or we have to support, in principle, whatever about the
practical details, some variety of 'smart sanctions'.


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