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[casi] FW: FWD: Iraq <fwd>

>===== Original Message From <> =====
--- Begin Forwarded Message ---
Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2002 17:18:16 +0000 (GMT Standard Time)
Subject: Iraq

Message-ID: <>

Ben Bradshaw MP
Minister of State
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
C/O House of Commons

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

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

--- 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

Dr Kamil Mahdi
University of Exeter

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