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[casi] re: Rowan Williams

Dear Hadi and list members,

Rowan Williams has long been forthright in calling for an end to the
economic sanctions against Iraq, signing up to several anti-sanctions
statements including the IHT ad organised by Hans von Sponeck (see the link
at and the two statements below organised by
Voices in the Wilderness UK for the 9th and 10th anniversary of the
sanctions' imposition (in August 1999 and 2000 respectively), the latter of
which appeared as a letter to the Editor in the Daily Telegraph on the 7th
August 2000 and (in truncated form) in the Guardian on 3rd August 2000.
Williams also provided a witness statement for the four people arrested and
charged with highway obstruction at the 'Die-in for the People of Iraq' in
August 2000, reiterating his support for their act of nonviolent civil

Certainly, he has been sufficiently outspoken for media commentators to have
picked up on this eg. a recent profile in the Independent referred to his
'strong views about ... sanctions on Iraq' ('Intellect and humility - and
very much his own man', Independent, 20 July).

Best wishes,

voices uk

A. 10th anniversary statement, signed by Rowan Williams et. al. [appeared as
a Letter to the Editor in the Daily Telegraph on Monday 7th August]

August 6th will be the 10th anniversary of the imposition of economic
sanctions on Iraq. Over the last decade, literally hundreds of thousands of
Iraqi children have died as a result of these sanctions. The BBC’s John
Simpson recently commented that ‘If people could hear and see what is being
done in their names in Iraq, they would be outraged. But they don’t, so it

On Monday 7th August, there will be an act of mass nonviolent civil
disobedience outside the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to demand
an immediate and unconditional end to the economic sanctions. People from
all over Britain will be there to say “no” to the violence being perpetrated
by the British Government against ordinary men, women and children in Iraq.

We agree with John Simpson, and are ourselves outraged at the continuation
of sanctions and the concomitant suffering and death of people in Iraq. We
fully endorse the action on August 7th and urge others who are similarly
concerned to add their voices to the protest.

Benjamin Zephaniah
Caroline Lucas MEP
Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales
Jean Dreze
Harold Pinter
Andy de la Tour
Geoff Simons
Nabil Shaban
Jeremy Hardy
Bruce Kent

B. Statement for the 9th anniversary of the imposition of economic sanctions
on Iraq.
Circulated as a letter to the broadsheets in August 1999.

We are deeply concerned at the humanitarian crisis being caused in Iraq by
the comprehensive economic sanctions. We call on the government to respect
the basic human rights of the Iraqi people, and to support the lifting of
the crushing economic sanctions imposed on Iraq.

A Humanitarian Panel of experts commissioned by the UN Security Council
reported in April that ‘The gravity of the humanitarian situation of the
Iraqi people is indisputable and cannot be overstated.’

The Panel found that child mortality had more than tripled during the period
of sanctions. The Panel stated that while not all the suffering in Iraq was
due to the sanctions, 'the Iraqi people would not be undergoing such
deprivations in the absence of the prolonged measures imposed by the
Security Council and the effects of war.’

The Panel concluded that because of the scale of the damage to the civilian
infrastructure of Iraq, it was impossible for the ‘oil-for-food’ relief
programme to meet the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people: 'Regardless of
the improvements that might be brought about in the implementation of the
current humanitarian programme - in terms of approval procedures, better
performance by the Iraqi Government, or funding levels - the magnitude of
the humanitarian needs is such that they cannot be met within the context of
the parameters set forth in resolution 986 (1995) [‘oil-for-food’] and
succeeding resolutions...'

According to the latest report of the UN Secretary-General (18 May 1999), a
quarter of Iraqi children under five are chronically malnourished. Chronic
malnutrition can cause lifelong mental and physical stunting.

The proposals being put forward by Britain at the Security Council are, by
the Foreign Office's own admission, much the same as those put forward by
the Humanitarian Panel in April. The Panel said of its own recommendations,
they 'may lead to incremental improvements'. Too little, too late.

The catastrophe we are imposing on ordinary families in Iraq must end. We
must stop making the health and survival of Iraq’s children conditional on
the solution of the inspection crisis. We must lift the comprehensive
economic sanctions immediately and unconditionally.

Yours sincerely,

Emma Thompson
Benjamin Zephaniah
Iain Banks
Rowan Williams (Bishop of Monmouth)
Andy de la Tour
Bruce Kent
Victoria Brittain
Ralph Steadman
Julie Christie

-----Original Message-----
From: HA <>
To: <>
Date: 23 July 2002 18:33
Subject: [casi] A Suggestion

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Dear CASI Members,
My name is Hadi and I am an Anglo/Iraqi post-graduate MA History student.
Forgive me for not giving my full name or more personal information about
myself as seems to be the custom on CASI E-Mail List. I have always held a
rule of not releasing too much personal information on the internet for the
whole world to see. I feel guilty to admit that I am a silent reader of
CASI's E-Mail service, who is committed against sanctions against Iraq, but
who is too pessimistic to engage in direct personal action. I know therefore
after this honest admission that I do not have a right to offer a suggestion
and deserve to be criticised if not condemned for my pessimistic stance. But
I thought that I should raise this issue as nobody else has.
I have read that the new Anglican Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, Dr Williams, is
opposed to a new war against Iraq. I have only heard him speak once on this
issue (I think it was the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4) and it seemed to
me that his personal opposition was based on general Christian values
against war and his distaste for American unilateralism rather than due to
an in-depth knowledge of the whole Iraq saga (the inhumanity of sanctions,
the myth of Iraq's threat to its neighbours, or WMD potential etc.). It has
been said that he is a liberal activist and given his position he has a high
profile. It occurred to me that as he would have a higher media profile than
unfortunately any member of CASI and therefore it would be worthwhile if a
senior member of CASI should write to or ring DR William's office for an
appointment for a face-to-face interview. He is already sympathetic to calls
against a renewed war against Iraq and perhaps a senior CASI member can
arrange an appointment during which they can improve his knowledge of the
whole Iraq saga (e.g. the history of the impact of sanctions etc) so that
when he appears on mainstream media he is better informed to speak and more
authoritative in his opposition to a new war against Iraq and sanctions.
I am guessing that he is probably at this current time overwhelmed with
interview requests from the mainstream media and other pressure groups on a
variety of causes. But I think it would still be valuable for a senior
member for CASI to request a personal interview on sanctions (regardless of
how long it takes) which can be posted on CASI's website and in its
literature. Once and if the interview is granted that senior member of CASI
could then use the opportunity of the meeting to briefly and lucidly explain
the impact of sanctions in order that he will be aware of the various
realities ignored by mainstream media when he speaks to the mainstream media
on issues related to Iraq.
Best Regards All Hadi.

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