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[casi] Statement of Iraqis in exile

Yesterday, a group of 4 Iraqis in exile launched an open statement
opposing the Iraqi regime, the continuing economic sanctions and the
threat of war. A copy of this statement is appended below, and can also be
found on the CASI website, at:

Iraqis in exile who wish to co-sign this statement should contact the
organisers of the petition directly. Their contact details are at the
end of the statement.

CASI does not take a position on this statement.


Iraqis in Exile Against War - Open Statement of August 2002

Not in our name

We are told a war on Iraq is needed to pre-empt a threat to the region and
to free the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussain's tyranny. We as Iraqis
already free from that tyranny, living outside Iraq and in the western
democracies, say that both these claims are false. As professionals,
writers, teachers and other responsible and concerned citizens, many of
whom have personally experienced the persecution of the dictatorship in
Iraq, we say: "no to war; not in our name, not in the name of the
suffering Iraqi people".

Generations of Iraqis have endured a succession of tyrannical regimes, two
devastating wars, and twelve years of "the most pervasive sanctions ever
imposed on a nation in the history of mankind" (US National Security
Adviser Sandy Berger, 14 November 1997). On the arms issue, Iraq underwent
seven and a half years of intrusive inspection and its proscribed
production facilities were controlled or destroyed, while the most
threatening power in the region, Israel, refuses inspection of its
nuclear, chemical and biological facilities. In Iraq, the regime of Saddam
Hussain has nothing left but bombast. Hence it tries to exploit the
genuine explosive rise of anger in the whole Middle East at the
unbelievable suffering of the Palestinian people. It is the inhumanity of
the civilised world in letting Sharon's atrocities continue in defiance of
scores of UN resolutions that leaves the Iraqi regime with any credibility
at all.

In the meantime, the sanctions have been catastrophic for the welfare of
the people of Iraq. They have made the lives of Iraqis dependent on the
state machine rather than on free production and distribution. The fabric
of society is barely holding out under the brutality of UN siege,
manipulation by the regime and unscrupulous regional intrigues. Sectarian
and ethnic politics has displaced modern civil political activity, and
intellectual and cultural life is in accelerated decline with the flight
of creative talents and technically qualified people. Another war will
crush a vulnerable society and may mean civil war, with unpredictable
spillovers all the Middle East and potential destabilisation to Europe and
the world at large. Already, Iraqis form a large proportion of those
risking their lives while seeking asylum in the west.

Our aspirations for Iraq and indeed the whole of the Middle East is for
nations that respect human rights, guarantee the national rights of the
Kurdish people, universally apply international law and are free of WMD.
We believe that Saddam Hussain's regime is responsible for leading Iraq
from a situation of great promise into one of unmitigated catastrophe, and
this regime must be held to account for its abject failure and for the
crimes it committed against Iraqi people, Arabs and Kurds, of all beliefs
and persuasions. But the remedy must not cause greater damage to the
innocent and to society at large. Real change can only be brought about by
the Iraqi people themselves within an environment of peace and justice for
all the peoples of the Middle East. A change of this kind, combining truth
and reconciliation with legal processes of punishing offenders is being
espoused all over the world. Why shouldn't that be the case for Iraq?

We call on the UN to put together a timetable for the lifting of the
economic sanctions and do all it can to halt the drive for war that will
only plunge the region into the abyss. We also call on everyone to
challenge the dangerous and irresponsible war plans of the US

12 August 2002

Those who wish to sign should send the following information to the
statement organisers.

 Institution / Country of residence

Launched by:

Mundher Al-Adhami
 Kings College London

Kamil Mahdi
 Exeter university

Tahrir Numan
 Orpington London

Haifa Zangana

Postal address: 6 Ridgeway Crescent Gardens, Orpington, Kent BR6 9QH, UK

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