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So, the Dear Leader has spoken: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/2752163.stm "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 war." 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 _______________________________________________ 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 email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk