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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 -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.