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[casi] Future of CASI + Jubilee Iraq update

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Dear all,

A few thoughts on the future of CASI:

(1) CASI has been an excellent source of credible research and a well
organised forum for discussion and networking - these are strength which
could be applied to other issues and even other countries.
(2) There is a desperate need for an organisation to act as a guide to
all the disparate issues relating to the future of Iraq (relief, debt,
reconstruction, occupation.) pointing people to key news, research and
actions they can take.
(3) The truth about the sanctions needs to be documented and those who
died remembered. A book, drawing on CASI's work over the last 6 years,
would be incredible important. A memorial to the 100'000s of largely
unnamed victims is needed. Perhaps memorials in Baghdad and also London
& New York (at UN HQ) as an admission of responsibility.
(4) There are other countries currently under embargo (North Korea for
example) and some which probably should be (Burma). An international
sanctions campaign could be a watchdog on present and future sanctions
regimes to ensure that civilian populations are not harmed.

Update on Jubilee Iraq (campaign on debt & reparations):

(1) So far.4000 people from 73 countries have signed the petition, a
large number are Iraqis..30 MPs from all political parties have
supported an EDM in Parliament.20,000 postcards to ministers are being
sent by Voices in the Wilderness and SPEAK.
(2) A team of Iraqi and Canadian lawyers are developing plans for an
arbitration tribunal similar to the US-Iran Claims Tribunal and
employing the concept of odious debt (loans which were made to Saddam
without the consent of the Iraqi people and did not benefit them).
(3) US moves to maximise short term cash flows for reconstruction look
likely to result in an 18month moratorium in debt claims - announcement
likely at G8 summit next week [I will be out in Evian for the summit].
However the US has not yet cancelled its own debt and reparation claims
and Jubilee Iraq seriously doubts it will seriously press for full debt
cancellation since the debt will enable the US to control and privatise
Iraq's economy through the IMF for decades after the direct occupation
has ended - this is why this issue is so critical for anyone concerned
about Iraq.
(4) HELP DESPERATELY NEEDED. Jubilee Iraq is still largely being run by
just a few people in their evenings & weekends and we urgently need help
- particularly from Arabic, French, German and Russian speakers to
develop the campaign in those countries. Please sign the petition if you haven't yet done so, forward on
to all your friends and write to Gordon Brown and you MP.

Ma'a Salama,

Justin Alexander
0044 7813 137171 <>

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