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Dear list members, Joy Gordon, a CASI list member, has an article in the most recent issue of Harper's magazine, one of the US' most respected monthly magazines. Its editor, Lewis Lapham, has been very outspoken of late about the US' Iraq policy. I therefore wanted to both congratulate Joy on her article, which is already being cited in other media outlets (and which is inspiring me!), and to draw CASI list members' attention to it. I append a summary. Best, 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) | firstname.lastname@example.org personal | (+44/0) 7768 056 984 (mobile) | (+44/0) 7092 378 517 (fax) | (707) 221 3672 (US fax) | email@example.com "Cool War: Economic Sanctions as Weapons of Mass Destruction," by Joy Gordon, Harper's Magazine, November 2002 Confidential Security Council documents show that over the last decade the US consistently blocked Iraq from importing billions of dollars of legal, urgent humanitarian goods. They also show that US claims about "weapons of mass destruction" were often highly speculative, and were created or withdrawn for political reasons rather than security concerns. According to these documents-including the minutes of closed meetings of the Security Council committee charged with overseeing the Iraq sanctions regime (the 661 Committee): --The US claimed that critical humanitarian goods (such as water tankers during a period of drought) could be used as weapons of mass destruction-and blocked them-even though no other member of the Security Council agreed, and even though the weapons experts at UNMOVIC had no objection --The US claimed that Iraqi imports ranging from child vaccines to yogurt-making equipment were "weapons of mass destruction," and blocked or delayed their importation --The US unilaterally blocked or impeded goods including ventilators for intensive care units, dental equipment, dialysis equipment, and printing equipment for school textbooks, claiming "security concerns." The US unilaterally blocked or impeded billions of dollars of equipment for water purification and sewage treatment, despite skyrocketing mortality rates from water-borne diseases. --The US claims that Iraq was importing materials for weapons of mass destruction were sometimes based on highly speculative justifications that were immediately dropped in the face of public structiny. Hundreds of millions of dollars in medicines were blocked on the claim that they could be converted into WMDs, then the blocks were lifted within days in the face of negative press coverage. --The US claims that Iraq was importing materials that presented security risks were sometimes based on little more than the State Department's political agenda. For example, the US blocked Chinese contracts for fiber optic cables, claiming these could be used for military purposes; then lifted them immediately, once China voted in accordance with US demands. _______________________________________________ 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