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[casi] Response to David Clark article

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

I may well be one of those 'people on the left' that David Clark refers to in his article 'Doing 
nothing about Saddam is not an option' (The Guardian, 26 August 2002). I am against the idea of war 
in Iraq and I am most definitely against the imposition of sanctions.

However, this is not because I underwent a sea change as soon as it was decided that Saddam Hussein 
was the enemy of the US. No, the reason that most stirs me is that sanctions have killed more than 
a million Iraqis, most of them children and a war would result in the deaths of thousands more. 
That's as simple as it gets. Were you to have asked me in 1988 if I thought that 'we' should send 
'our' troops off to get rid of the fascist regime of Saddam Hussein, my answer would have been the 
same then. No.

The left does not see a friend in all of the enemies of the USA, which is what David Clark seemed 
to imply. Most anti-war commentators see their friends in the Iraqi people. They see reasons to 
suspect the motivation driving 'our' governments to war with these people and this is why they 
remember how 'we' were such good friends of Saddam Hussein's regime in another life. The moral 
causes for ending this man's reign are certainly there, but they have always been there. It is only 
recently that the British government has discovered them.

So, if we are anti-war, anti-sanctions and anti-Hussein, what proposals do we put forth for 
discussion? Quite simply that any 'regime-change' (aka coup) that takes place in Iraq must be 
effected by the Iraqi people themselves. Let the West help, by all means, but let the real driving 
force for change come from within. Unfortunately, it would appear that very few Iraqi people see 
friends in 'our' governments. This might be related in some way to the death and destruction that 
'our' fighter planes have dropped onto their schools and hospitals. Equally, it might have 
something to do with the sanctions that ensure that hospitals cannot even ease the pain of a child 
dying from dysentry. And let us be assured that 'our' government will change its policy regarding 
the Iraqi people, but only if it feels the pressure from the electorate. To that end, the media 
could help by reporting the true history of Iraq, rather than the web of lies spun out by the 
government and presented as the real story.

Diarmuid Fogarty

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