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Dirk Adriaensens has written to say: <<I find it very strange that no-one has made any comment on the next sentence, written by Peter Brooke (News 19/26/1/2 (1)): "And that they probably won¹t amount to anything at all unless Mr Hussein really has his back to the wall. So the only serious reason they could have for going to war is that it is the only way (short of restoring full control over the Iraqi economy into the hands of the Iraqi government) of ending the murderous policy of sanctions. This should be borne in mind. Those in the US and British establishments who are arguing against military intervention are arguing for the indefinite prolongation of sanctions and the continued steady death by starvation and preventable disease of hundreds of thousands of people." I find this sentence really lugubrious. Who do you have in mind to put in Mr Hussein's place? A new Unocal/CIA oil-creature like Karzai? Why can't we let Iraq decide for itself? Is that too much to ask? I find it very strange that a part of the anti-sanctions movement agrees with the idea of overthrowing Mr Hussein.>> Peter Brooke replies: The point I was trying to make is that the 'debate' in Washington is taking place between two sides neither of which is very admirable. The one wants to kill thousands of people quickly by massive bombing; the other wants to perpetuate the present policy, which is to kill thousands of people slowly by starvation and disease. In the sentence Dirk quotes I was suggesting 1. that from a purely Imperialist point of view the option of containment is best 2. that the reasons usually given for the war option - fear of President Hussein's weapons capacity - is nonsense (at least from a US point of view. Less so from an Israeli point of view, and not at all from a Kurdish point of view). 3. that the only substantial Imperialist argument I can see for the war option is that it would end the sanctions regime. The option which I myself and, I assume, Dirk, would favour is to restore to the Iraqi government full control over the Iraqi economy. But this is not under discussion. Ideally I would like to see the policy of 'containment' (= perpetuation of the rule of S.Hussein in conditions that render the lives of ordinary Iraqis intolerable) challenged by the other nations of the world. In particular I would like to see a massive refusal to implement it, ie to break sanctions. This seemed to be happening in a painfully slow, rough and ready manner, which is why the US and the UK governments are currently trying to introduce what they call 'smart sanctions'. But the prospects of it happening on the scale that would be needed, never very great, seem to me to have disappeared altogether since the idiotic attack on the World Trade Centre and its predictable consequences. With regard to Saddam Hussein and Hamid Karzai (or you might like to substitute Zoran Djindjic): I don't know under what circumstances Dirk thinks the people (or peoples) of Iraq might be able to choose their own leader but it is possible they might prefer Hamid Karzai; just as, and for much the same reason, the French in 1940 supported Pétain and Laval. People who have been subjected to massive terror attacks of the sort favoured by the US military tend to have the heroism knocked out of them. And heroism requires faith. The Resistance throughout Europe would have been impossible without the Communist movement. Since I can't see Islam as an effective replacement for Communism I suspect that Pétain and Laval, Karzai and Djindjic, will be the models a large number of countries in the world will have to look to in this first part of the twenty first century. But please, Dirk, don't think that, just because I say that is the way things are, it means that that is the way I would like them to be. I would dearly love to be proved wrong. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.