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[casi] Blair's moral case?

So, the Dear Leader has spoken:
"Earlier, Mr Blair told MPs during prime minister's question time: "Before
we take the decision to go to war, the morality of that should weigh heavily
on our conscience because innocent people, as well as the guilty, die in a
He added: "But the alternative is to carry on with a sanctions regime which,
because of the way Saddam Hussein implements it, leads to thousands of
people dying needlessly in Iraq every year." "

He has now fallen back to explicitly saying that war, bad as it might be, is
better than sanctions. The point that we need to make is simple: the impact
of sanctions is not a given fact that cannaot be altered, but a direct
consequence of the structures of the sanctions regime, and the way that the
US and UK governments have interpreted this regime. Reference to the Commons
Foreign Affairs Committee, which apportioned 'some' of the blame to the UK,
and to Haliday and Von Sponeck, who have apportioned a lot more to the
UN/S/K, is probably apposite right now.

The fact of the matter is that if Saddam was the most benevolent and
omnicompetent leader in history, comprehensive sanctions would still kill:
that's no way to run an economy. And even if they did not kill, they would
still be wrong. We may note in passing that, when faced with a similar
choice (strategy vs lives) during the great patriotic war, the British
Empire (allegedly the good guys) prioritised fighting Japan over feeding
Bengal. States *always* choose guns not butter.

We need to say, in response to Blair's false dichotomy, that "There is a
third way". Although I imagine that we will be able to offer a number of
alternatives about what this third way might consist of, ranging from 'a new
Marshall Plan - strings and all' to 'world revolution now'.

Chris Williams

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