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]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] Debate in House of Commons 30th Jan

On 1 Feb 2003 at 11:03, wrote:

> 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.

If this is accurate then Clare Short joins the Foreign Office, Hoon
and Blair in choosing to ignore the terrible sanctions which she and
her government are supporting and then trying to blame everything on

If we are ever able to bring to trial UK politicians and officials for
crimes against humanity then she is also in the frame.

> 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."

Barefaced cheek - it's the US/UK who have ruined the Iraqi economy!

> 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.

You seem to be believing the US/UK propaganda/spin! If you look
carefully you'll see that they don't believe it themselves.

These people saw their bridges, schools, shops, water, electricity,
food, sewage treatment etc attacked by the US/UK. They have died in
their hundreds of thousands due to the US/UK sanctions. Their children
suffer and have very poor opportunities in life. They were attacked by
DU which the US/UK have prevented WHO investigating. When some of them
fought to get independence the US helped the Iraqi Government.

Will the US offer reparations? Will they clear up the DU? Will they
allow the south to cede from the rest of Iraq?

> 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.

This info is only released for propaganda purposes - make the war look
easy for domestic consumption. It does however show up the cruelty of
the US that it will again target the civilian infrastructure. This
against military opponents who were feeble in the last Gulf War and
even worse now.

> 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.


The US accepting the ICJ would be a positive step.

Trying SH has been something to bring up whenever a peaceful
settlement has been on the cards in order to help scupper it. Remember
how it, disarmament, reparations etc were brought up to avoid a
peaceful pullout from Kuwait?

As far as civilians in Iraq are concerned, the US/UK have been
responsible for far more deaths and misery that SH in all his time in
power. I'd like to see our politicians and officials tried for crimes
against humanity.

"... air support for the opposition..." again you're believing the
spin: SH is the problem, all Iraqis hate SH, he's responsible for all
the deaths in Iraq, disable his forces and the opposition will take
over, the Iraqi people are waiting for the US/UK to invade etc. Once
again, if you look carefully, you will see that the US does not
believe this.

Paradoxically, you could have a situation where the US has a puppet
regime in Bagdhad and a long running civil war breaks out with the
Shiites seeking a separate state.

> 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.

Again the spin - Goebbels would have been proud! No way is it the
worst regime the world has seen!! Many years ago I was involved in the
campaign to stop our government supporting SH whilst repression and
human rights abuses were happening. When the Kurds were gassed the
government tried to pretend otherwise and continued to support SH. The
US were providing WMD material and military support. The US/UK were
breaking sanctions on Iraq at the time. Was anyone prosecuted as a
result of the Scott Inquiry?

Iraq was notable in the region for having built an impressive state
welfare system especially in health care and education. Distribution
of wealth was also better than in most of the other regimes. The
current disastrous humanitarian situation (I would call it genocide at
about 5% of the population killed) is entirely as a result of US/UK

> 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.

Last time, the US/UK decided to destroy Iraq - the excuse was Kuwait.
This time, they obviously intend to take it over and install a puppet
regime so any damage will be temporary and limited. The danger is that
if they know that they'll control the government, they won't need to
be too careful because they will control access by journalists to
anything undesirable .

> 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.

I am no longer surprised at the excuses politicians come up with when
it comes to evil foreign policy.

Mark Parkinson

Mark Parkinson

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]