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>From SH's point of view: Iraq is already in a desperate situation. A devasted economy and civilian infrastructure. Climbing towards 2 million dead from sanctions & the war. Unable to defend itself (worse now than 11 years ago). Huge reparation debts. No hope of rebuilding the country. Previous inspectons led to spying and appalling bombing but no lifting of sanctions. Iraq has done a U turn and given in to the return of inspections BEYOND what was agreed with the UN. Iraq is faced with a very ruthless and enormously powerful enemy in the US. The US does not want diplomacy and they have prevented the return of the inspectors and look hell bent on war. There is also the danger not only of Iraq coming under US military rule but of being broken up. They also see the Palestinians being crushed while all this is happening. On the other hand he has received an overwhelming show of support in his rule - when faced with this massive external threat. (Such support may not be there without the threat of course). The Iraqi people seem to have come together at this time of great national need. In this context and given the desperate state of Iraq, the release of practically all prisoners does not seem that strange. It also sends a clear signal about the current level of internal opposition to SH and the GoI. There is but one enemy. > I had originally found it difficult to think that this > is a last ditch effort (as described by NYT) to > increase popularity, given that most Iraqis, I would > imagine would think that they live in a more secure > society if those who are rightly locked up are locked > up. But having read the NYT article, maybe there are > few in Iraq who are justly locked up (or is it just a > media distortion again to paint the picture of a > totally unjust country where those who should be > rightly locked up are in face free?). Mark Parkinson Bodmin Cornwall _______________________________________________ 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