The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Dear Sama, Yasser, and All, Sama, I don't think your disclaimer addresses Abi's and Tim's challenge. You are merely rephrasing your original false claims while ignoring the points you have been challenged on. So it seems you intend to go on making these false claims in public. I find this rather sad. In her challenge, Abi has built you many bridges, and has made allowances for your advocacy of war. But she has challenged you on one specific point: "...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." [Abi Cox, March 27, 2003] To substantiate her challenge, Abi points out that under oil-for-food Iraqi income has sunk to about one-twelfth of 1979/80 figures, and that purchasing power is about 5% of what it was then. [Quoted from the CASI website.] These figures alone should tell you the Iraqi economy is at rock bottom. Yet you blithely ignore the challenge (and the figures) and come up with this red herring: > I do not deny sanctions are killing and starving an > entire population - that's why I have been campaigning > against them for years. Sama, it is safe for you to admit the effects of the sanctions since you blame them entirely on Mr. Hussein. And by that reasoning you justify 'taking out Saddam', ie, war - your way of campaigning against the sanctions. (This, of course, is also the US/UK government line.) But you are merely reiterating your false claim that OFF would be sufficient, if it were not mismanaged. Why didn't you honestly face up to Abi's challenge? To boost your 'mismanagement' claim , you seem to suggest that the GOI is denying essentials under OFF so the elite can live in luxury: > The information... from friends who were practicing > doctors in Iraq during late 90s reporting that they > were personally stopped from using large quantities of > stock till the sell-by-date, to the fact that people > report those with the regime are eating and living well > all gives me, as an Iraqi, the sense that Saddam is not > innocent in all this. Of course the elite live well. But this is no proof that OFF is being mismanaged. You don't really believe that they depend on OFF, do you? So the deduction you are trying to make is fallacious, even if one takes the first statement at face value. And the fact remains that OFF is insufficient. The sanctions have artificially created poverty in oil-rich Iraq, making it the second poorest country in the world. > His past record and his current interests would dictate < that he have a hand. Have a hand at what? The past record before the sanctions was excellent: a free health system similar to Canada (something the US has yet to achieve). A secular, urban society - women present in all professions. A strong economy and high living standards. Great emphasis on education - free from primary school to university. School books, uniforms, and canteen food free also. The highest number of PhDs in the Middle East. Food items were largely subsidized. And every citizen was assured an adequate supply of food at affordable prices. In a 1988 survey of 1,100 primary school children by FAO, 7% of children had childhood obesity. That was the greatest health problem. But surely you know this better than I, Sama. Or don't you give credit where credit is due? > Sanctions are like giving Hitler gas chambers - those > doing the giving are complicit in the crime, but he who > uses them in that particular way is the main criminal. This analogy doesn't really work. Sanctions are like the bombs that are now falling on Iraq. It is a form of (silent) warfare. The target country has no control over the results, one way or another: total sanctions deprive a country of foreign exchange, destroy the economy, cause inflation and unemployment, lower income and purchasing power... There are obviously people, including SH, who can bypass the effects. Some can profit from illegal business practices generated as a result of sanctions. Sanctions are not "given", they are imposed. And they are _meant_ to harm the population. Otherwise, there would be no point in imposing them. So if you want to suggest that the sanctions could be harmless, if they were not 'mismanaged', you are either deluding yourself or you are bent on spreading lies. The sanctions against Iraq are the most draconian ever metet out. The US was hoping that the devastated Iraqis would rise up and topple their leader. 'Regime change' was wanted. But the uprising didn't happen... and now the bombs are falling. (And remember that IPO has been petitioning Blair for these bombs - the "war on Saddam", as you call it.) Incidentally, your IPO colleague Abtehale Al-Hussaini went one step further. He insisted that Mr. Hussein "brought the sanctions on as a tool of oppression": "The sanctions that have led to the death of Iraqi people are because of Saddam. Saddam brought the senctions on to the Iraqi people to further oppress them." [Abtehale Al-Hussaini, January 21, 2003] Reality check: The sanctions were imposed by the UN. GOI has been trying for 12 years to get them lifted. The US has been bribing and bullying the Security Council for 12 years to keep the sanctions going. Reminder: "CASI works primarily by distributing accurate information about the situation in Iraq." The 'blame it all on Saddam Hussein' line is not accurate information. So Sama, Yasser, Abtehale, et al, please give the (known) facts a chance. For the sake of your integrity, for the sake of your self-respect - and for the sake of the Iraqi people. The Iraqi people have suffered so much through 12 years of bombing and sanctions. Now they are suffering even more from the brutal US/UK bombing attacks. And they will suffer still more in the future. Do you really want to whitewash the perpetrators of all this crime? Regards, Elga P.S. The Bossuyt Report explains well how sanctions work generally. And there is a section on Iraq. http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/sanction/unreports/bossuyt.htm "The Adverse Consequences of Economic Sanctions on the Enjoyment of Human Rights" Working paper prepared by Mr. Marc Bossuyt June 21, 2000 COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights -------------Original Message------------- From: "Yasser Alaskary" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: [casi] BBC radio 4 moral maze Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 23:22:11 -0000 Dear Abi, Tim and list, I do not deny sanctions are killing and starving an entire population - that's why I have been campaigning against them for years. I have an added incentive to work against them since my family in Baghdad have been on the brink of starvation and I'm constantly sending as much money as I can to try and help them. The information we have coming from Iraq, from friends who were practicing doctors in Iraq during late 90s reporting that they were personally stopped from using large quantities of stock till the sell-by-date, to the fact that people report those with the regime are eating and living well all gives me, as an Iraqi, the sense that Saddam is not innocent in all this. His past record and his current interests would dictate that he have a hand. Sanctions are like giving Hitler gas chambers - those doing the giving are complicit in the crime, but he who uses them in that particular way is the main criminal. This may not have been clear from my interview and I thank you Abi for bringing it to my attention. Best wishes Sama IPO ----- Original Message ----- From: "tim buckley" <email@example.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Friday, March 28, 2003 6:11 PM Subject: Re: [casi] BBC radio 4 moral maze > Dear Sama, > > How can you be in good faith? You must know of the effects of sanctions on > your country and yet you > echo the US/UK govt's utterly discredited position on sanctions. (ie it's > all Saddam's fault). Deliberately misrepresenting the facts about the > sanctions does not make an unconvincing pro war argument any stronger. > > Regards, Tim > > ----- Original Message ----- > From: Mark Parkinson <email@example.com> > To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> > Sent: Friday, March 28, 2003 2:45 AM > Subject: Re: [casi] BBC radio 4 moral maze > > > > I think you did very well to pick this up Abi. > > > > I heard Sama Haddad say on that program: "sanctions did not kill > > people ..." > > > > I have previously complained to the list moderator about having > > people on this List and Sama in particular who are obviously > > 'sanctions denyers'. > > > > What is interesting is how much airtime she and other members of the > > IPO get here in the UK. They have no constituency in Iraq and are > > only a recent creation. The media thirst for pure anti Saddam Hussein > > and they provide it. > > > > On 27 Mar 2003 at 16:46, Abi Cox wrote: > > > > > 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. > > > > > > Mark Parkinson > > Bodmin > > Cornwall > > _______________________________________________ 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