The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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>===== Original Message From <K.A.Mahdi@exeter.ac.uk> ===== --- Begin Forwarded Message --- Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2002 17:18:16 +0000 (GMT Standard Time) From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Iraq Sender: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Message-ID: <SIMEON.10203081716.B@kamil.exeter.ac.uk> Ben Bradshaw MP Minister of State Foreign and Commonwealth Office C/O House of Commons London Dear Ben, I watched and listened with astonishment as you told the audience of BBC1's Questiontime (7 March) of your concern for the rights of the Iraqi people. This is the same twisted logic that justified bombing Vietnamese villagers to save them from communism. Coming hard on the heel of your unwarranted attack against George Galloway MP for the latter's opposition to your government's war-mongering and its genocidal sanctions, your humanitarian concern would seem hypocritical. It is worth recalling the nature of the US-British bombing of Iraq in 1991. That bombing targeted electrical generation, oil refining, crude oil export pipelines, roads, bridges, telecommunications centres, post offices, irrigation structures and water supply facilities, all kinds of industrial plant, university laboratories, an internationally inspected nuclear research facility, schools and many public buildings, and yes, the Al-Amiriyya shelter, among many other civilian targets. The rest of the war was a massacre of defenceless conscripts, tens of thousands of whom died without wanting to put up a fight, and many were murdered in captivity by your American allies. No wonder that war produced the likes of Timothy Mcveigh who enjoyed his work a little too much. It was a war against the people of Iraq and against their livelihood, deliberately waged by western governments who had previously been enthusiastic supporters of the dictatorship of Saddam Hussain. This part of history is one you now choose to forget as you try to package a threat of a rerun of that war as a humanitarian act. The propaganda of your predecessors in 1991 portrayed Iraq as having the fourth largest army in the world and a threat that can only be challenged with the most extreme of measures. The spectre of a nuclear attack against Iraq was raised. British and US forces liberally used depleted uranium ammunition, especially around the southern region and the marshes, the plight of whose people you claim to sympathise with. When tens of thousands of Iraqis saw in that mayhem, an opportunity to rid themselves of the tyrant who had ordered the attacks against Iran and Kuwait, and who led the country into the abyss, the US cynically sided again with that same dictator they ostensibly waged war against only days before. They saw in Saddam Hussain a chance of indefinitely maintaining sanctions and an excuse for maintaining occupation forces throughout the Gulf region. Let me tell you that your position has no credibility whatsoever with the people of Iraq, nor with other Arab and Islamic peoples. If the British government plans to attack Iraq alongside the present extreme right wing government of the US, you will not be able to justify that in the name of the victims. You would probably need to resort to whipping up base prejudices that devalue the lives of Iraqis. After your statements of the past couple of days, I am beginning to wonder how far you would go. I hope you would desist from deliberately whipping up another war atmosphere and get on with the job of helping to find political solutions to the wars that are already waging in Palestine, Afghanistan and elsewhere, with horrific loss of life and with no promise of security for anyone on this planet. The situation is urgent and you are coming dangerously close to committing the government to a horrendous and unforgivable act. I am therefore making this an open letter. Yours sincerely, Kamil Mahdi Dr Kamil Mahdi Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies University of Exeter Exeter EX4 4ND Tel: (44 1392) 264029 Fax: (44 1392) 264035 Secretary of IAIS tel.: -44-(0)1392-264036 Visit the IAIS website at http://www.ex.ac.uk/iais --- End Forwarded Message --- Dr Kamil Mahdi Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies University of Exeter Exeter EX4 4ND Tel: (44 1392) 264029 Fax: (44 1392) 264035 Secretary of IAIS tel.: -44-(0)1392-264036 Visit the IAIS website at http://www.ex.ac.uk/iais Dr Kamil Mahdi University of Exeter _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk