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Dear Colin, It is great to see a well thought out response, unlikne many posts that have recently been flying around. i would point out the following: 1. the realities you saw were only the superficial appearance of iraq - the suffering of a nation under sanctions. however, what you did not and could not see, is the deep rooted everyday suffering and oppression of the iraqi people, which i have lived. a suffering which has no voice and cannot be openly seen. this is as bad, if not worse than sanctions. 2. the figures of the casualties from '91 is not a fair reflection of the the current situation because those figures are of the people uprising against Saddam and shows how much the Iraqis want Saddam out and shows how ruthless Saddam is in oppressing the people. it also demonstrates that if you expect the Iraqi people to rid themselves of Saddam on their own then they will be butchered by Saddam. What is planned to be done involves removing Saddam so such a bloodbath would not occur or be needed. very few people want to fight for Saddam in Iraq - if the secret police ('amn) and the Republican Guard are symbollically bombed - thus removing the fear by which Saddam holds power - then this would be the best scenario for the US and for Iraqis because: a) it will be the quickest way to get rid of Saddam and thus better for the US, and b) it will cause the least amount of Iraqi civilian casualties. Opposing a war on Saddam, calls - at least in the short term - for the current situation to remain: Saddam oppressiong and slaughtering Iraqis, sanctions starving the people. Nothing, for an Iraqi, can be worse than this. In politics there is no such thing as enemies and friends - only interests. in the current situation, our interests (the removal of saddam and the lifting of sanctions) can only result from the same interests of the US policy to remove Saddam but not in terms of the second policy of installing a puppet government. so as far as having a war to remove Saddam, this should not be opposed. war kills people, but Saddam and sanctions kill much much more and they keep on killing. we should instead campaign for democracy (a proportionally elected democractic government) in Iraq so that this idea spreads in the public arena so that when Saddam is removed public awareness is such that it is far more difficult for the US to put in a puppet government and are forced to edge closer to true democracy. this is not the perfect scenario, but it is realistically the best scenario that can be achieved in the present situation. regards, sama -- On Sun, 15 Sep 2002 12:42:16 Colin Rowat wrote: >> It seems that this list has lost all meaning. To some this has >> become an anti-War list, to others it's a pro-Saddam list, but it >> none, or so it seems, is this an anti-sanctions list. >> >> My main objective has always been to get rid of sanctions. But I >> am a realist too. I realise that currently, the quickest way to >> get rid of sanctions, the way that will save the most amount of >> lives - because I truly believe that millions have died - is to >> not oppose the US's regime change. >> >> I will no doubt get booed for this by many. But I ask, >> realistically speaking, leaving idealistic scenarios alone, what >> other solutions can we follow? > >Dear Sama and others, > >I share your concerns, which I think extend beyond the list. The debate on >Iraq has been shaken up a great deal in the past year or so, and possibly >greatly complicated. This, I think, has led to some intellectual disarray >as well, part of which may be reflected on the list. > >I also share your perception that the fastest way to remove sanctions may be >to allow the US to topple Saddam's regime, in part given the US' commitment, >this past decade, to not allowing Iraq's economic normalisation under >Saddam. I felt uncomfortable coming to this sense, as it is not 'right' >somehow: I dislike feeling that the US should be able to evade >responsibility for its bankrupt and lethal policy by shooting its way out of >it. But, if that did allow Iraq to rebuild, and to restart its life, >perhaps it is a price worth paying. > >I've become less comfortable with this conclusion over the past months, >though, for at least two reasons. First, when I travelled to Baghdad in May >for a week (to a conference hosted by the Iraqi government - I was therefore >their guest; my speech was the first, after two days, to receive a rebuttal >from Tariq Aziz, the chair; the subsequent conference bulletin printed his >rebuttal, but not my remarks) I was able to put faces to this argument. I >saw friends, and could see how worried they were about what their future >held. I attended a private function hosted by one of them and was asked to >say a few words. I made a few joking and banal remarks about being put on >the spot but was then saved by a woman who asked whether people in the UK >were listening. My perception of the mood changed completely: I sensed that >part of what she was asking me was whether she would live or die. > >A second memory that left an impression on me was a supper with friends on >another night in a restaurant. As I watched the children playing in the >swings and running about, I had the sense that, for some (and not just >Saddam's cronies?), some semblance of normal life was being restored in Iraq >after a decade of trauma: the house of cards was being slowly rebuilt. The >prospect of removing a single card buried deep within that house struck me >as a daunting one, and the costs of failure became tangible - children on >swings. > >Intellectually, these experiences didn't change my arguments, but they did >put faces on them, and helped me to feel some part of the new fear that many >Iraqis must feel. This had made it more difficult for me personally to feel >supportive of the US in this. > >My second concern is that I simply do not trust the Bush administration. >Bush condemns Palestinian terrorism from the golf course and, without >pausing, asks the press to watch his drive. Cheney strikes me as a deeply >secretive individual, who prefers operating in shadows, something that I >find at odds with democracy's basic premise of government by the people. >Rumsfeld's penchant for presenting pure speculation as fact as long as it >advances his agenda is equally antithetical to what I would like to see in a >democracy; while I understand the importance of pragmatism, this cynicism >disturbs me. > >Further, I do not trust their agenda - in part because I do not think that >it has been honestly presented. It is clear that Iraqi disarmament only >forms a small component of what this is about: were it the largest priority, >I think that US assurances that this was their largest priority would now >see Saddam eagerly swallow a lot of pride and welcome in full, unfettered >inspections. A large part of it does seem to be about toppling Saddam. If >the only consequence of this was Saddam's deposition, then I would have no >concerns with this. But there are other consequences, which I do not know >how to properly assess: how many civilians will be killed; what does the US >administration regard as an acceptable post-Saddam scenario (the Hashemite >monarch that the neo-cons have been promoting? a democracy, which might >therefore be Shi'a dominated? an Iraqi Musharraf? what economic return will >the US demand on its possible expenditure of tens of billions of dollars in >Iraq?); how will international affairs be changed by this sort of a >precedent? > >I think that these are important concerns, but they are not being addressed >by this administration, which avoids them, pretending that this is just a >simple issue of appeasing Saddam or not appeasing him. This blinkered >presentation was noted by Senator Lugar, the ranking Republican on the >Senate Foreign Relations Commmittee. Noting the range of issues discussed >during their hearings on Iraq, he said: "This is a whole lot more . . . than >I hear anybody in our administration talking about". A oft used argument >against altering or lifting the sanctions was that there was no coherent >alternative: the Bush administration does not seem to me to be interested in >setting out a coherent and comprehensive vision for Iraq. > >I am therefore being asked to trust that a US administration whose senior >members I do not trust, and who deny the concerns that I feel to be >important, will make the right decisions for Iraq's future. My worries are >further deepened when I note that this administration seems committed to a >narrowly self-interested view of foreign policy, has helped cut Iraqi >oil-for-food sales in half and seems to have adopted Israeli foreign policy >positions with respect to the Middle East. Indirectly, Bush's presidency >was listless before 11 September 2001, the economy softening, corporate >scandal wrapping its tendrils around senior officials. I am therefore >worried that Iraq policy is being used to distract American attention. > >So, what alternatives do I propose? For years, I've thought that they must >focus on process: the soundest basis for a good outcome is one in which due >process is attempted. The Security Council is therefore an inappropriate >body for this as the US veto on it places the US in the role of both an >interested party in the case and a judge, a deep perversion of any notion of >justice or due process. There are provisions in UN history for the General >Assembly to involve itself in issues of international peace and security >when the Council fails to uphold its responsibility. This path has not been >pursued yet here; I think it worth pursuing. There are concerns about the >compromises that would result, but I suspect that a majority of the UN's 190 >or so members would agree that Iraq must adhere to the disarmament >provisions of SCR 687. The fact that Arab states, which apparently oppose >an invasion, are pushing for Iraqi admission of inspectors, seems to be a >fairly strong sign of this. > >Further, a GA resolution with the support of a majority of the world's >nations would present the Iraqi government with a far greater challenge than >do Security Council resolutions, which can be (without too much distortion, >I think), delegitimised as US/UK resolutions. Bush, incidentally, >implicitly recognised this by choosing to address the General Assembly last >week rather than the Security Council: the GA is the best approximation to >the international community that we have. > >In conclusion, let me pick up on a few points made by subsequent postings to >this list. I share Saibal's concern about civilian casualties, but fear >(with Dirk) that - if a war does actually occur - they will be much than >those in the US last 11 September. Beth Osborne Daponte, who was a >demographer with the US Bureau of the Census until she began to estimate >Iraqi mortality arising from the Gulf War, later published an analysis of >this in the Physicians for Social Responsibility Quarterly >(http://www.ippnw.org/MGS/PSRQV3N2Daponte.html). She concludes that: > ><begin quote> >According to the methods described in this paper, the number of Iraqis who >died in 1991 from effects of the Gulf war or postwar turmoil approximates >205,500. There were relatively few deaths (approximately 56,000 to military >personnel and 3,500 to civilians) from direct war effects. Postwar violence >accounted for approximately 35,000 deaths. The largest component of deaths >in this reconstruction derives from the 111,000 attributable to postwar >adverse health effects. Of the total excess deaths in the Iraqi population, >approximately 109,000 were to men, 23,000 to women, 74,000 to children. ><end quote> > >Yours, > >Colin Rowat > >work | Room 406, Department of Economics | The University of Birmingham | >Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK | web.bham.ac.uk/c.rowat | (+44/0) 121 414 3754 | >(+44/0) 121 414 7377 (fax) | email@example.com > >personal | (+44/0) 7768 056 984 (mobile) | (+44/0) 7092 378 517 (fax) | >(707) 221 3672 (US fax) | firstname.lastname@example.org > > >_______________________________________________ >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 email@example.com >All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk > _____________________________________________________________ Play the Elvis® Scratch & Win for your chance to instantly win $10,000 Cash - a 2003 Harley Davidson® Sportster® - 1 of 25,000 CD's - and more! http://r.lycos.com/r/sagel_mail_scratch_tl/http://win.ipromotions.com/lycos_020801/index.asp?tc=7087 _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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