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[casi] No war no solution

On 1 Feb 2003 at 1:56, Andrew Goreing wrote:

> I'm sorry to have seen no reflections yet on Abdulkarim Salih's
> message of 30 Jan, though as he raised a serious and very bitter
> point for opponents of the sanctions, people may well need some time
> to think how best to respond. Or some may feel the issue has been
> gone over before, though I'm afraid I don't recall it (there was a
> paragraph from Peter Brooke in his message of 6 October 2002).

I included this observation in a recent posting:

>It is rare for sanctions campaigners to be in favour of this war. One
pro-war view I heard recently (from someone who sees US/UK policies
towards Iraq as being evil) went along the lines of: perhaps 100000
Iraqi deaths in a war is preferable to another year of sanctions which
kills the same number of civilians, but mostly chldren, and harms,
deprives and stunts millions more innocents.

> > any body on this list knows horror of sanctins in my
> > country. this will continue to happen if there is no action- so
> > all these nice people against wars actually support many deaths
> > due to sanctions and due to Saddam. and they say we are against
> > sanctions also. and then what did you do. post messages to this
> > list for 10 years?

False logic here! If a gunman says to me I'll kill all 3 of these
children unless you kill one of them and I refuse, that doesn't mean I
support him killing the 3 children.

> Anyone want to plead guilty to this? Or does anyone want to sum up
> the positive achievements of the anti-sanctions campaign?
> Unfortunately the achievements don't include any serious impact on
> US/UK policy -- or is this a question of judgement?

Things could have been even worse. The US/UK were in no hurry to relax
the draconian sanctions in the early 90's. Oil for food (and
reparations) has reduced the killing as have some of the changes to
the sanctions over the years, The other achievement is that the rest
of the world will never again vote for sanctions like these (draconian
and in perpetuity unless the US & UK decide otherwise).

> > No body has done anything to help end iraq suffering for 10 years.
> > so when america wants to end it- and i know it doesnt do it out of
> > liking for us... some american action is only way to end sanctions
> > on iraq.
> It would no doubt be a tragic and disgusting spectacle if the chief
> authors and perpetrators of the sanctions regime proceed to liberate
> Iraq at the cost of thousands of Iraqi lives, congratulating
> themselves all the time for their wisdom and resolve.

and funding the invasion from the nice contracts to rebuild Iraq and
expoit its oil.

> And yet -- might a war, if it ends the sanctions, be better for the
> Iraqi population than the continuation of the sanctions for 2 more
> years? Five more years? Ten more? Even if one expects the sanctions
> regime to become more porous in practice, and even if the
> nutritional and medical status of the people recovers, the blockade
> suffocates so much in national and personal life that the thought of
> it going on indefinitely is deeply distressing.
> I have no wish to even think about making judgements of this kind,
> but at some level it has to be faced. Any comments?

If they get away with this war then which country will be next? How
sure are we about the aftermath?

One good thing about this US policy is that it should make it much
easier and quicker to end the sanctions if a war doesn't happen. If
the inspections are seen to 'disarm' Iraq of WMD then Bush will have
got his regime change and there will be no justification for
continuing the sanctions. The anti war pressure has achieved things
including this backtracking by Bush. This is the first time since 1991
that the US has said that it would allow the regime to stay in power.
This now gives the Iraqi government the motivation to comply with the

The more pressure there is against this war then the more chance there
is of inspections having the chance to work and sanctions coming to an

The international community wants Iraq back on its feet - it's only
the US/UK preventing this. After UNSCOM was totally discredited for
spying and providing the US with bombing targets, the UN worked hard
to set up the new inspection regime - the aim of which is to satisfy
the Iraqis in order to achieve peaceable disarmament. Bush has
inadvertently kickstarted the inspections (notice how surprised they
were that Iraq agreed to let the inspectors in - the US had prepared
everything in order to make it almost impossible for Iraq to agree).
There is no carrot at all for Iraq in the new resolution.

Here in the UK we have a real chance to influence events. The anti war
demo on the 15th Feb is going to be huge. Hopefully it will be big
enough to stop Blair. He can't send troops to war without the support
of the Britsh people. We aren't of course being asked and neither are
our elected representatives so this is the only way.

If the UK pull back then that will give encouragement to the anti war
campaigners and politicians  in the US.

Mark Parkinson

Mark Parkinson

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