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.
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Dear Sama and list, My question to Sama is this: assuming that you are the same Sama Hadad who appeared on BBC radio 4's 'moral maze' (broadcast yesterday), why were you making claims about the sanctions that are demonstrably untrue? You stated, for example, that the 'oil for food' programme would be sufficient to meet the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi population if Saddam Hussein did not mismanage it. A cursory reading of the CASI website is enough to give the lie to this claim, let alone the realms of detailed and expert analysis posted on this list in the last 5 years. Sama, if you have not read these, you should not be going on national radio to argue in favour of a war. If you have read them, then it seems to me that you are making claims that you know to be untrue in order to strengthen your rhetorical case. This makes me unspeakably sad and angry. I can see that there is a case to be made for arguing that the invasion is justified in order to get rid of Saddam Hussein. Even though I personally find this war morally and intellectually indefensible, I do not claim to have a monopoly on compassion and truth. I can allow that you sincerely and honestly believe that removal of Saddam Hussein by foreign force is the best course of action for the Iraqi people. However, I have no such doubts in the case of the sanctions. To me, anyone claiming that the hardships they inflict are solely the fault of the Iraqi government is either dishonest, deluded or ignorant. Sanctions are economic warfare - that is their purpose. As the CASI website states, under oil for food, 'Iraqi income is roughly one-twelfth per person what it was in 1979/80, and in terms of available goods it is about 5% of what it was in 1979 or 1980.' Iraq has been crippled economically by a policy inflicted by our government. While Saddam Hussein has clearly not cooperated to the extent that he might have done, this does not remove the fact that sanctions are US/UK policy and US/UK responsibility. Beyond this, I do not see, Sama, why arguing for the invasion somehow entails a whitewashing of the actions of the UK and US governments over the past 12 years. There is no necessary inconsistency in seeing the removal of Saddam Hussein by foreign force as the best course of action for the Iraqi people, and yet also agreeing that the policy of the US and UK has been a prime cause both of Iraqi hardship and their inability to remove Saddam Hussein for themselves. You are clearly deeply concerned for the welfare of Iraqis, Sama, and you are also clearly doing a great deal of media work. Saddam Hussein is an evil man; no-one disagrees with you on that. So please do not jeopardise your integrity and credibility by painting a bush-ian world of stark good and evil where Saddam Hussein is to blame for every smidgin of Iraqi suffering, while Bush and Blair sit and think good humanitarian thoughts. with sadness and best wishes, Abi _______________________________________________ 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