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RE: Halabja & political agendas.

Just to clarify what I said.
I said if you debate one misdeed (Halabjah) you should debate ALL misdeeds
committed by all parties involved. So in the case of the US, we should not
just be talking about the genocide it has committed against Iraq, but all the
other genocides it has committed since WWII.
But this line of argumentation is not going to work either, if your goal is to
"persuade" the US/UK killers to stop killing through the use of logic.
When I've pointed out to US/UK diplomats how the US/UK armed SH in the
eighties, these guys always respond with the this is then, this is now
argument. Cleverly, they point to an ever shifting roster of personnel and
administrations that they can blame past misdeeds or "mistakes" on. Taking
that line of logic,
Iraq is not allowed to make that argument,  since it has had the same
administration since the 60s.
That is why all this debate on Halabjah is a red herring. The better argument
I have used with US/UK diplomats is, if you think SH is such a bad guy, why
are you expecting him to change? Why keep the people of Iraq hostage until the
time he becomes a nice guy? They always admit I am right, at which point,they
start blaming the people "upstairs", and confessing that personally they think
the sanctions policy is unfair to the people of Iraq but noone "upstairs" has
come up with a more creative solution !!!! I'm sorry to report this.
We are faced here with a cynicism which is beyond belief.
So you can argue the facts all you like. Facts are simply not important to
Because the US/UK are on a genocide train they don't want to get off. In
particular, in the US, the pro-Israel lobby is so strong that there is no way
they are going to let Congress stop the sanctions.
Iraq's leadership is right to take a unilateral path and simply go outside the
sanctions regime. This is what we should be encouraging other countries to do:
simply disregard the sanctions machine and trade bilaterally with Iraq. And
keep creating a legal concensus for other countries to join in, such as the
ones condemning sanctions against Iraq and DU as violations of human rights,
at the UN Commission on Human Rights, and elsewhere, including Iraq's
initiatives at the General Assembly to condemn DU. Since 1996, when I began
such initiatives at the UN Commission with Karen Parker and others, I have
seen more and more countries oppose the US on sanctions at the UN. I know it's
slow but building the legal concensus is a  confidence-building measure to
"break" the sanctions...
Philippa Winkler

>===== Original Message From Bert Gedin <> =====
>Dear All,
>My appreciation to Glen for his very thorough, and well thought out,
>research work re. the outrages committed upon the people of Halabja. Any
>serious person would accept all the factors involved, without political
>agendas, then attempt, impartially, to understand the truth of the
>situation. It is unhelpful for anyone to say worse deeds have been committed
>elsewhere, thus Halabja is a mere footnote in history. I also agree with
>John S., when he says: "Evasion of the truth is harmful to our cause."
>However, whilst welcoming someone from Baghdad, Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar, to join
>in the debate, I have mixed feelings about some of his views. In
>evaluating a political figure (e.g. S.H.), in fact anyone, it is not
>neccessary to transform him, or her, into either an angel nor a demon.
>Let the 'track record' speak for itself, bearing in mind that all the facts
>are rarely available.
>It saddens me when Ghazwan states: " killed more in 10" (years),
>meaning Iraqis. Yes, the  sanctions, as well as the bombings, have killed
>some 500'000 people, perhaps far more. But Western groups, opposed
>to the policies of the last eleven years, are not in the pockets of the
>US/UK governments, and don't deserve to be blaimed for deeds which many have
>campaigned against, sometimes even gone to prison for. Campaigning groups,
>and individuals, throughout the Western world, and further afield, very
>strongly aim to put a stop to present destructive policies against Iraq,
>harmful to Iraqi people, and to the world. - My apologies to you, Ghazwan,
>if I have misunderstood what you are saying, you may wish, at some point, to
>clarify matters further. - Philippa Winkler asks: "Why aren't we debating
>these attacks?" We are, Philippa, we are! -  Greetings,  Bert Gedin.
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