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Re: [casi] the IRAQI issue

Peter Brooke, commenting on the recent letter from

A.Shames (or IRAQI) asked for comments on his/her
letter to the Independent and Daily Mail, which
argued that sanctions had had devastating weffects
on civilians in Iraq without doing much harm to
the personnel of the government. Not only that,
but from what one gathers, the government have
been allowed under the cover of the sanctions
regime to annihilate the Kurd population outside
the autonomous zone and (despite continual chatter
about the no-fly zones established to protect the
Shi'i in the South) the 'Marsh Arabs'.

A.Shames/IRAQI goes on to call for the overthrow
of the Iraqi government without harming the Iraqi
people. But he or she doesn't give any idea of how
this could be done. The US/British way of
conducting warfare is to shoot from a safe
distance with a view to demolishing the industrial
infrastructure of the country under attack. This
necessarily harms the civilian population, often,
as in Iraq, with very long term consequences. We
are told that undercover operations with a view to
assassination have been attempted, as, clearly,
have military coups organised by people close to
Mr Hussein. So does Shames/IRAQ know of another
way in which war could be waged?

My own conviction is that the best way of
protecting these populations (though they may
already be beyond protecting) is to end the state
of threat under which Iraq is living. Nothing
encourages paranoid behaviour so much as the
continual threat of instant annihilation. Ending
the threat would necessarily mean entering into
normal diplomatic and commercial relations with
the existing Iraqi government. The existing Iraqi
government may well be distasteful, but our own
record in the history, even the recent history, of
the world, doesn't give us the right to be choosy
in these matters.

Ultimately what is required to discipline
countries that mistreat their own and neighbouring
populations is a proper system of international
law. But a proper system of international law is
one under which all parties (in this case
countries) are equal. And the main obstacle to the
establishment of such a system is at the present
time the United States of America. And our Prime
Minister, in his recent very important speech in
Texas, has solemnly pledged that we (the UK) will
support the USA in everything it wishes to do.

Quoting IRAQI <>:

> Dear CASI members,
> the INDEPENDENT and the DAILY MAIL published a
> letter that I sent them last week:
> For decades the Iraqi people have paid the price
> of international politics.
> There were days when saddam was a nice guy and a
> friend to the west, even while he was killing
> Iraqis in there tens of thousands.
> Then came the invasion of Kuwait and the removal
> of saddam from the list of pals and the massive
> bombing campaign that damaged almost every
> aspect of life in Iraq, leaving the government
> intact.
> After that there were years of starvation for so
> many civilians, caused by sanctions.
> For how much longer will this be allowed to
> continue? Is the war on terrorism going to put
> the Iraqi people on the benefiting side for the
> first time?
> As an Iraqi, my first priority is not protecting
> American interests or establishing peace between
> Israel and Palestine - it is the Iraqi people.
> The best thing that can ever happen to them is
> the removal of Saddam Hussein and his
> But the way to get rid of saddam should not be
> over the bodies of innocent Iraqis. Removing
> governments can be done with and without wars.
> And wars don't have to include bombing the whole
> country.
> London
> any comments?
> Sent by Mail at, an easyGroup company.
> _______________________________________________
> Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign
Against Sanctions on
> Iraq.
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