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As Bush's spokespeoples repeatedly say: A bullet in the back of the head is cheaper than a billion dollar war - another alternative seems to be to deny all the wherewithal to sustain life (and accuse of smuggling that which might alleviate the problem.) In 1998 and 1993 Iraqi Bishops called for the suspension of Christmas - looks like they might be calling for it again. Where in heaven's name is our common humanity? Not in Whitehall or Washington. I await Mr Blair standing again in front of his resplendent Christmas tree announcing we are bombing (or merely starving) other mothers sons and daughters. Apols for mutiple posting,f. U.S. Stalls Iraq Oil-Food Plan; Wants 2-Week Delay Dec. 3 — By Evelyn Leopold and Bernie Woodall UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States proposed on Tuesday that the Iraq oil-for-food humanitarian program be extended for two weeks so it can negotiate a list of civilian goods it wants banned for Baghdad. "Many of these issues are quite technical and we think if we have another rollover for a couple of weeks perhaps that will give us the opportunity to resolve some of those issues," U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte told Reuters. Security Council members, meeting in a closed session, did not reach a decision and will resume discussions on Wednesday, hours before the program expires at midnight. However, diplomats said members probably would accept the extension proposed by Washington, which has veto power on the council. But they will insist at the end of the two weeks that the program will be renewed for the usual six months, not the three months the United States had wanted should its list not be approved quickly. "That is the one thing the Americans really have to take on board," one Western diplomat said. "For most council members, the issue is that the oil-for-food program should not be held hostage or be sabotaged." The program covers food, medicine and a host of civilian supplies to ease the impact of U.N. sanctions imposed after President Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. It allows Iraq to sell unlimited quantities of oil, with revenues going into a U.N. account that pays vendors for goods Iraq orders. At issue is a U.N. goods list, negotiated at length last May, the council must review before the supplies can go to Iraq to make sure they have no military uses. The list is part of the oil-for-food program. Reopening the list could be a Pandora's box. Russian Ambassador Sergei Lavrov told council members Moscow might want to remove some items, such as certain trucks, a proposal bound to be opposed by the United States. The new proposed extension is the second one. The United States forced the Security Council on Nov. 25 to extend the program for nine days, to Dec. 4. IRAQ CALLS DELAY "SILLY" Iraq's U.N. ambassador, Mohamed Aldouri, called the new delay "silly." "What does that mean? It is meaningless, another silly two-week extension. This would not help the Iraqi children," he told Reuters. Among the items Washington, at the behest of the Pentagon, wants banned from Iraq, are the drug atropine, which can be used as an antidote to nerve gas, as well as global position system jammers. Iraq recently ordered large quantities of atropine from suppliers in Turkey, raising fears Baghdad might intend to use nerve gas against any invading force. Cipro, an antibiotic used after exposure to anthrax, was another item the U.S. wanted banned, U.S. officials said. But U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said he hoped the controversy would not jeopardize the program. "The idea of the program is to help the Iraqi people and we have always maintained that our quarrel, if any, is not with the Iraqi population," he told reporters. "The oil-for-food scheme was designed to help them and I hope nothing will be done to jeopardize the interest of the population we seek to help," he said. Iraq has continued exporting oil through the current nine-day extension despite fears of disruption to supply. Iraqi crude exports have recently been running at around 1.9 million barrels per day, making it the world's eighth largest exporter. Aldouri said he did not know if Baghdad would suspend any oil exports to protest the short-term extension as it has sometimes done in the past. _______________________________________________ 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