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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Dear CASI members My first reaction to reading Amnesty International (AI) report about Iraq was “TELL ME NEWS NOT HISTORY !”. It sounded the same for the last 20 years or more, however I would like to make the following points. 1- I am sure that the report was based on testimony of “Reliable?” witnesses not identified 2- I hope that AI is not objecting to the rounding up of prostitutes, pimps and closing down of brothels but are objecting to the severity of the punishment!. 3- I am not surprised that the western backed Kurdish autonomous region was also included in the report. In the 1st paragraph the report say < The two Kurdish political parties controlling Iraqi Kurdistan detained prisoners of conscience, and armed political groups were reportedly responsible for abductions and killings>. This fact was missed or (deliberately) ignored by the “internationals” in the Area. I will not speculate on the reasons and give them the benefit of the doubt and say they didn’t see it despite the fact that they live in the region but AI in London documented it!! 4- I am confident that the records of surrounding states are NOT a whole better than Iraq. This and the above point raise an important question Should AI judge the whole world by the western values. I know that some one would say but these are Universal values..Etc. How come Saudi Arabia (a pro western monarchy) has the same compliance (or non compliance) with AI standards as Iraq, Syria, Jordan or Iran despite the fact that they have a completely different political systems, ideological inclination and ethnic composition? Is this a “cultural” difference?? I don’t know! Another question why do we expect Iraq is any different from the other countries in the area? 5- The western “democracies” and “human rights champions” ignored AI reports during the 70’s and 80’s and dealt very closely with the present leadership of Iraq. Sir Terrance Clark, the Ex British ambassador to Baghdad, said in a message to CASI, Mon 14 Jan 2002, and referring to Mr. David Mellor's visit to Baghdad < He was in Baghdad on 24 and 25 February 1988 and saw the President, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Oil and Trade. I no longer recall the details but as is normal on such visits he would have been briefed over the whole range of our relations with Iraq, including trade. Indeed I remember that I also arranged a meeting for him with the British businessmen resident in Iraq, for which he would have had a trade brief> I am sure that CASI members know that the "President" was, and as now is, Saddam Hussein and the "Deputy Prime Minister" was and still is Mr. Tariq Azziz. The other champion of human rights, the USA, disregarded AI reports and singed a trade agreement with Iraq 1988. While we are at it would any one be interested to look at Egypt’s record or Saudi Arabia’s record these are the best allies of the US and UK in the Arab world. Again Why Iraq?? . 6- It looks like UNICEF, UNESCO, FAO, WFP and the rest of the UN agencies are not on the list of AI “RELIABLE” witnesses. These UN agencies had documented the suffering of the Iraq civilians through the “collective punishment of civilians” under the name of sanctions. AI said in its report <Iraq remained under stringent economic sanctions imposed by UN Security Council resolutions since 1990 which reportedly resulted in severe hardship for the civilian population and a humanitarian crisis> . They used the word “REPORTEDLY resulted” they are not sure!! After 12 years and they are not sure!!! They doubted the UNICEF report of more than 500000 children under 5!. They doubted the FAO, WFP, and every other traceable source. Amnesty International only works through unnamed, unidentified, “reliable?” sources so they can tell any lie they want. 7- It looks like Amnesty International has taken Mad Elian Albright attitude that the death of 350000 children is a price worth paying! They probably believed the British government line that the sanctions targeted ONLY the leaders of Iraq and NOT the ordinary people which means that those 3500000 dead children are the “sons” of Saddam Hussein and not ordinary Iraqi families! 8- Regrettable Amnesty International is interested in few pimp here and few prostitute there but turns a blind eye to the collective punishment of 22 million innocent civilians. 9- People , and governments, with political agenda ignore and/or use AI reports to further their political agenda. AI reports are a tailor made ready to use propaganda fabricated to suite the needs of MI-5.5 (this is the arithmetic mean of MI-5 and MI-6) 10- Until and unless Amnesty International takes a firm stand on sanctions I will consider their reports as WORTHLESS. 11- Finally for those members who want to attack my views I say feel free. I value your points but I will not respond because Amnesty International does not deserve wasting my time talking about it Best regards Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar Baghdad, Iraq _______________________________________________ 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