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Dear all, Thanks for thoughfulness to Rahul and Philippa. Both postings seem to me to be linked. Yet we (and most of all the Iraqi people) are faced with an almost historical first. A smash and grab raid, for which the US, UK and any cobbled together ally like Poland or Romania, is unaccountable and of course, acting illegally. Balir's refusal to release the Attorney General's views of the legality of the 'war' adds further fuel. Viewing with mounting horror Iraq's plight, it seems unwarranted and presumptuous for outsiders to offer opinions at all as to what should happen to Iraq's revenues, sanctions, on the one hand. Yet on the other, given the illegality, 'quis custodiat ipsos custodes?' Maybe it is us outsiders who can and must temporarily, 'guard the guards'? Given the enormity of the situation, all who care, are struggling really to comprehend. Even in vastly huge but 'smaller' terms. For example: I have a deep suspicion about the further burning of the telephone exchange in central Baghdad - just after US troops reportedly came out. No doubt coincidence, but an odd one. However, getting communications back is vital. But if they do, Iraqis will be able to call up the world and say what is really going on. If they do get services back on, further, who do Iraqis pay bills to? The US and UK? How do they pay their bills, since there are virtually no job,s no one is paying them and their places of work are bombed, trashed and looted! Further, in the self-awarded contracts by the US and UK, no Iraqis need apply - so they will just fade away and starve to death, leaving the US and UK free to do what they will in the irradiated, trashed mess they have created. However, for those who do survive, the oil, the moneys in banks abroad, the money in the UN escrow account is theirs (oh yes, and the oil, by the way.) How does the US propose to 'lift the embargo'? It is a UN embargo. Where will the money from the escrow etc accounts go? To the US, stupid. Who aill account for what they spend it on? No one because there is no Iraqi structure to account to. Ahmed Chalabi hardly counts, given his alleged record. (Interesting to see what happens when he pops over any borders, since I believe the international arrest warrant is still out - correct me if I'm wrong - for him in order he complete his long prison sentence in Jordan - no wonder they flew him in.) So this bring us back to the utterly pathetic UN and its Secretary General (I ask again, anyone heard from him lately?) with a spine of the rigidity of a worm (sorry to all worms out there too.) However, it is marginally more accountable that the Bremner, Chalabi etc gang. It seems to me, that it is possible given a little time - and I am leaping into the dark here more than a bit - nationalism may well rise over the feared fundamentalism, the US and UK be kicked out and a commonality rise up. I feel it is worth hanging on for this perhaps, so when/if it does the moneys are there to return to a legitimate administration. It seems also that countries, areas, the UAE, Jordan, Japan etc are starting to fill gaps the US is unable to, in aid without current strings and this is a start to regeneration which excludes the invading squatters. A healthy and helpful move, I would have thought. As stabilisation does, hopefully return (and in all this, one could go in so many directions, but it is a kind of thinking out loud in really unknown territiry - to now mix metaphors) then if Iraq is to develop its own form of democrocy (not the one of Home Land Security-bound USA) surely a plebiscite would further this - democrocy 'of the people, for the people and by the people' who could then decide on their revenues, their rebuilding and the direction their ancient cradel of civilisation; land between to rivers, land wishes to take. They did, after all, donate to the world the first laws, two thousand years before Christ, on which much of many laws are still based. The fledgling country which is the US, the barbarians which have smashed down the gates and allowed humanity's history to be looted and destroyed, should surely not be allowed to administer what remains - with the help of a convicted embezzler? Linked, it seems, is the quote of the week, thanks as always to Peter's masterful news gathering: 'We managed to secure the treasure house of Iraq, in the shape of their oil', Commander of British troops in Iraq, Air Marshall Brian Burridge. There was me thinking it was the Museums, Mesapotamia. I think I've taken against Air Marshall Burridge. I write all this in trepidation, since, for thirteen years everyone except the Iraqis have been deciding on what happens to the Iraqis, yet the alternative is the US/UK grabs the lot. Should we be yelling at our elected representatives? Or what? Or am I completely wrong? Cleverer brains than mine needed. Best, felicity a. _______________________________________________ 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