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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"Iraq does not consist of Saddam Hussein alone. Iraq is made up of about 25 million people, not just this one person. And in the siege of Iraq it is not just one person that is under siege, but a whole population, who is being deprived of the basic needs to survival." [Jutta Burghardt, Aug. 2001 - transl. from German] Dear List, Of the three people who resigned in protest over the suffering caused by the sanctions, I have been drawn especially to Jutta Burghardt. I admire all three for their courage, but she has a way of taking everything into account that appeals to me. In an interview with a non-mainstream German paper, Jutta Burghardt spoke about the effects of what she considers the "blockade" of Iraq. ("There is no light at the end of the tunnel", Junge Welt, August 26, 2001) The interviewer went straight for _cooperation_: "We here believe that the Iraq Government's lack of cooperation is the reason for the catastrophic conditions in Iraq". "You mean cooperation in the disarmanent process?", asked Burghardt. "Well, first of all one has to know the history of this embargo." It's a blockade like that of a fortress in the Middle Ages, she believes. Besieged is a whole nation. And she elaborates - mentions also the continuous bombing in the no-fly-zones. And then she refers to SCR 1284: "Iraq is unwilling to work with the UN under this resolution. Its conditions mean a step backward for Iraq." "Was the Government willing to cooperate in other areas, you could judge?", was the next question. Yes, said Burghardt, "the government was absolutely willing to cooperate in all areas of food supply [for the population]". And again, she elaborates. And as far as the distribution went, the cooperation was also "excellent". "The operation carried out by the Iraqi government is probably one of the most efficient I have ever witnessed on this globe - in spite of the great restrictions imposed by the embargo", she said. "And how was the atmosphere while you worked there? Were you able to move about freely and express your opinions - also to western journalists? (Clearly the interviewer was thinking of restrictions imposed by the Iraqis.) "Well, said Burghardt, I was muzzled by headquarters, the WFP in Rome. Nevertheless I tried to give the press background information - especially to German reporters. But I very soon realized that it was practically impossible to place an objective account in the German media. The media currently presents a one-sided view of Iraq that focuses entirely on military aspects and on the person of Saddam Hussein." (I was surprised by the muzzle from the WFP but it makes sense. And it would also explain the differing views on her stance to 1284, presented by the press immediately after her resignation.) In a final comment, Burghardt explains why she considers SCR 1284 a "step backward for Iraq": it does not offer a "fair treatment" and the "actual lifting of the sanctions". Unlike SCR 687, 1284 provides for a suspension only - even if the Iraqi leadership cooperates one hundred percent. And suspension, according to the US definition, means that the money from oil sales will still be withheld. And this, Burghardt concludes, "inevitably widens the UN mandate and further restricts Iraq's sovereignty. So what incentive is there for cooperation?" Although events have now overtaken Burghardt's assessment of 2001, I think assessments such as hers will be needed to get a (fairly) clear historical record. Regards, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk