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Dear Per and group With regard to the question of 'honour killings' in Iraq, the following might be helpful: http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,3605,852644,00.html Media and political salvo hits activists by Nicholas Watt The Guardian , 3rd December 'Human Rights Watch also took issue with a key allegation in the report, which was used to show that women "lack even the basic right to life". In a section on the treatment of women, the report said: "A 1990 decree allows male relatives to kill a female relative in the name of honour without any punishment." 'But Hania Mufti, the group's London director, said the decree was repealed months after it was imposed. "The decree was introduced at a specific time after the end of the Iran-Iraq war when soldiers coming back from the front found their women had had sexual relations with other men, mainly Egyptian workers. Lots of the Egyptians were killed. The decree was an amnesty for these people and was repealed within months."' With regard to the general question of the UK govenment dossier and of the use of torture and terror by the Iraqi regime we should bear in mind that under the circumstances the mere survival of this government is something of a miracle. It was nearly defeated by the Iranian revolution in the 1980s, reduced to state of destitution (which was what was behind the invasion of Kuwait) and then subjected to unrestrained attack by virtually the entire world. No people or government has ever faced such a concentrated display of force as the Iraqi government and people in 1991. Followed as we know by the United Nations sanctions regime which prevented any possibility of rebuilding and reduced the population to a state of starvation. I suspect that the most terrible crimes of the Iraqi government date from the late 80s when, with the help of the Kurds (and the Syrians) Iran was about to crush them, and 1990-91 when they were faced with the United Nations military buildup then massacre, which should logically have resulted in the collapse of the country and its division into at least three parts - Shia, Sunni, Kurd. That it didn't (and none of the 'neighbours' who had helped bring about this situation wanted it to) was uniquely due to Saddam's use of overwhelming terrorist force (effectively abetted by us). The point I am making is that the situation in which overwhelming force and terror of some sort (perhaps it didn't have to be as sadistic as it seems to have been. Perhaps it did) had become necessary was a situation largely of our making. And by isolating Iraq for twelve years (keeping Saddam 'in his cage' was the charming phrase often on the lips of our ministers) while doing everything possible to undermine the regime, we were abundantly justifying the Iraqi government's state of paranoia while at the same time leaving them totally free to do what they liked with the Iraqi population. NEVER during that whole period was any effort made to provide the Iraqi government with any incentive to improve its ways. On the contrary, the government's policy was clearly, the worse the better. All the best (though at the moment that seems rather a futile wish) Peter _______________________________________________ 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