The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Some headlines: "Iraq Orders Antidote for Nerve Gas" (Nov 12) "LA MYSTERIEUSE ATROPINE" (Nov 12) "U.S., Russia divided on Iraq's allowed imports" (Dec 2) "US Stalls Iraq Oil-Food Plan; Wants Two-Week Delay" (Dec 5) Adding atropine to the list of forbidden items is one of the main reasons the US is stalling on the Oil-for-Food program. (Cipro an antibiotic against exposure to anthrax, the US wants also banned, plus more: "We are not interested in removing items, we are interesting in adding items". "Antidote for nerve gas" suggests to the unsuspecting reader that this is what atropine is primarily used for. A letter to the Globe and Mail of Dec 4 suggests otherwise: "As a physician, I was shocked to hear that the United States wants to add atropine to the list of drugs that Iraqis are denied as a result of the post-Gulf-war embargo. Atropine is a drug used every day in every hospital across this country. It is a life-saving drug used to treat patients with cardiovascular instability and shock. Without it, hundreds if not thousands of patients across Canada would die each year. If the U.S. goal is not to punish and kill innocent Iraqi citizens, then medical essentials such as atropine, antibiotics and chemotherapy should not be included in the embargo." Apparently Iraq has ordered a large quantity of atropine and now the US wants it banned as a dual-use item. The reasons seem bizarre, if not Orwellian: 1. Atropine might be used as a "battlefield antidote", i.e. as a protection of Iraqi military if nerve gas were used "against any invading force". But the Bush administration has not yet "evaluated" if the size of the order suggests that. - Just trying to be on the safe side? "Battlefield" seems a little outdated, given the "invading force's" military sophistication, including nukes. And why not scrap all "invading" plans for the safety of all? 2. The second reason is Powell's: He speculated, said one article, "that Iraq's interest in acquiring atropine may be a ploy to convince the United States it is prepared to use nerve gas as a means of dissuading Washington from using force against Saddam's regime." This seems even more twisted, but it also implies what should be patently obvious: Iraq doesn't want this attack - doesn't want to be nuked, carpet bombed, or otherwise slaughtered in what looks very much like a "final solution". The US itself would never use nerve gas, said Powell - it's not needed. "We have easier ways to deal with Iraq". But Iraq might use it, the article suggests: "Iraq is not a signatory to an international chemical weapons convention. The United States has renounced the use of weapons banned in the convention and says it does not maintain these arms in its arsenal." This is cleverly worded: The US hasn't signed that convention either. Or has it? "Renouncing" is not the same as signing. >From the age of doublethink, (sad) greetings! --Elga _______________________________________________ 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