The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
There was a debate in the House of Commons on 30th Jan about the humanitarian issues relating to any military action in Iraq http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmhansrd/cm030130/debtext/30130-15.htm In this debate Clare Short said (amongst other things) Clare Short: I agree that Saddam Hussein is a terrible tyrant. There is evidence of gross torture and I have heard deeply chilling stories from asylum seekers in my constituency. The humanitarian situation across the country is terrible, and we should think of the humanitarian consequences of any possible military action, which is the value of the debate. We should also consider taking military action if it is necessary to minimise suffering and to maximise the speed with which Iraq is reconstituted so that it gets up and going and its economy is improved. That's on page http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmhansrd/cm030130/debtext/30130-18.htm The key to this is the moving on in the argument. Viz "We should also consider taking military action .. so that .. its economy is improved." Longstanding readers of this list know that my argument is that if cities in the south rebel the UN/US forces should be willing to protect them from Ba'th heavy artillery (using air support) and at the same time they should be prepared to keep the peace by accepting the surrender of people associated with the regime and protecting their lives (although not any property stolen by the regime), probably by moving them from where they are. On the other hand we have the "Shock and Awe" proposals from the US military involving 300-400 cruise missiles a day raining on Iraq taking out power and water. There is something positive in Ann Clwyd's support for Indicting Saddam Hussain and his cronies. That also has been proposed in the European Parliament (I don't know yet whether it passed.) My belief is that a combination of Indict's proposals and air support for the opposition would result in a gradual transfer of power in Iraq to the Iraqi people. There is at least a start in people are considering the humanitarian aspects that occur in a country that has been hit by a combination of probably the worst regime the world has seen, economic sanctions and the aftermath of the gulf war. What is sad is that there is no condenmation from anyone in the UK government of the "Shock and Awe" strategy. I understand they believe any action will be quite quick and then they would be able to reinstate the power and water. I do not think this is a correct assumption and furthermore they should plan for the consequences of their actions otherwise. I would think that taking out water and power would have to be a contravention of IHL. I would recommend that people read the whole of the hansard debate. I hope that we can get the issues of what possible actions are taken into the public debate. It is clear from Clare Short's statement that she is unlikely to resign from the UK Cabinet in the event of a war. It is, to be far, a new argument to me, however, that a country should be attacked to improve its economy. _______________________________________________ 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