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jaw jaw

Message text written by "Mark Parkinson"
From my limited experience (British) diplomats develop a 
love for the people and countries they work in. What is 
happening to the people and culture of Iraq must be deeply 
tragic to a former ambassador.>

Undoubtedly. I am not going to give here a personal memoire of 5 years in
Iraq but suffice it to say that over this period my wife and I formed many
enduring friendships with Iraqis and still retain a deep interest in and
affection for the land, its history and its peoples.

<I'd be interested in hearing what Sir Terence thinks about 
the sanctions and how we can more effectively lobby for 
their removal from all except WMD.>

Sanctions were a necessary evil. Once the UN Security Council set off down
the road of making demands on Iraq for compliance with SC Resolutions,
sanctions were the only means, short of military intervention, to back them
up. They were intended only as a short-term measure. They have long since
outlived their usefulness: hence all the efforts, particularly by the UK,
that have been put in over the last year or two to find an alternative
approach, which would effectively lift sanctions from imports of all those
things that affect the daily life of Iraqis, while retaining strict
controls on "military" goods. The lobbying that needs to be done is more
with the Iraqi regime which has consistently blocked all measures aimed at
alleviating the suffering of the Iraqi people.

<Jaw jaw is better than war war so how can we get our 
government talking to the GOI (like we're encouraging India 
and Pakistan to talk to each other)?>

As a diplomat by formation I agree entirely that dialogue is ultimately the
best way. However I am also a realist and I find it hard to imagine that
for the foreseeable future a British Government would be willing to open a
dialogue with the present regime in  Iraq, which would almost certainly be
castigated by the media and public opinion as "appeasement" of an abhorrent
regime. There are no votes in such a course. 

<On a personal note, did you appear on Newsnight at the time 
of the crisis in the Gulf?<

Almost certainly not, as I was by then Ambassador to Oman.

Terence Clark 
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