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Dear Daniel, You are right: > While this was the intention of the original resolutions, the security > council can simply decide to change the rules and lift sanctions, yes? I append a letter that I wrote to the editor of the Boston Globe in response to a 12 April article that they wrote suggesting that there was a need for certification. > My question is: are the BBC [and others] simply ignorant, or is it likely > that sanctions will not be dropped until inspectors have been in Iraq for > a while? If the former, can we just ignore the media, or will they have > any impact on policians? If the latter, which countries are likely to > oppose sanctions-lifting, and what can we do about it? 1. yes, the journalists who report these claims are ignorant. While there are a lot of fine details in the Iraq case, this level of ignorance is a bit surprising to me as it displays a failure to understand a very basic feature of the UN Charter. The media should not be ignored: they will misinform others, including policy makers. I would start by correcting the outlets that have made the error. 2. I don't think that anyone in the Security Council knows what steps they'll be taking next. The Security Council's authority to take Chapter VII measures, e.g. use sanctions, derives from its responsibility to uphold international peace and security. In 1991, when the sanctions were extended by SCR 687, it argued that the Iraqi government needed to take certain steps, including disarmament, to restore international peace and security. Now, however, Iraq is de facto governed by Occupying Powers, the US and the UK. Presumably they would not argue that their rule poses a threat to international peace and security. Unless they could argue that non-state actors in Iraq do, the argument for maintaining Chapter VII measures is strongly weakened, I think. My sense is that any threat from non-state actors would involve transport of weapons or troops across Iraq's borders. Comprehensive economic sanctions, already a blunt instrument, seem even more blunt if designed to prevent this. Border controls seem much more appropriate. Best, Colin Rowat work | Room 406, Department of Economics | The University of Birmingham | Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK | web.bham.ac.uk/c.rowat | (+44/0) 121 414 3754 | (+44/0) 121 414 7377 (fax) | email@example.com personal | (+44/0) 7768 056 984 (mobile) | (+44/0) 7092 378 517 (fax) | (707) 221 3672 (US fax) | firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Editor, The Security Council diplomats who claimed that sanctions on Iraq cannot be lifted until Iraq is certified disarmed are mistaken ("Inspections required to end sanctions, UN says", 12 April). The UN Charter gives the Council singular freedom of action: it can override its own previous resolutions and is not bound by precedent. These unchecked powers were granted to allow the Council to focus to the greatest extent possible on its primary responsibility: maintaining international peace and security. To impose economic sanctions, the Council must find either a threat to or a breach of international peace and security. The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was clearly a breach; in 1991, the Council argued that international peace and security's restoration required sanctions. Now, though, Iraq will be governed by a body of the US' choosing. Unless that body threatens international peace and security, the argument for non-military sanctions is all but removed. The US must press to remove non-military sanctions. They have harmed Iraqis for far too long; retaining them will lead Iraqis to believe that they have been conquered, not liberated. _______________________________________________ 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