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Re: [casi] Full Amnesty Report on Iraq 2002

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Dear Yasser Alaskary,

Thank you for your e-mail quoting an Amnesty International report on Iraq's
human rights violations. You may get something of the same from Human Rights

We know these things, and I guess much the same could be said of several other
regimes in the world. I agree, we should do all in our power to stop
violations of this kind. I've belonged to AI for 20 years or so, at one stage
going to Guatemala on my own account to make video documentaries based on the
stories of those who had lost loved ones to the government death squads.

The point here is that although these are matters for the international
community, the means of addressing them must be non-violent, and certainly not
by the military intervention of foreign powers. The UN, before the Security
Council was subverted by the US, adhered strongly to this principle.

However, the main point I want to get across to you, is that it simply is not
right to focus on the bad points of the Iraqi government, terrible though they
are. It is essential to recognise that there is another part to the equation,
an "on the other hand" statement to be made in the name of fair-mindedness.
Namely, that previous to the Coalition attacks of 1991, the same government
had invested heavily in social programmes - and you probably know as much
about those social conditions in Iraq as I do - and is now doing a quite
remarkable job both of managing under the sanctions, and supporting the pride
and integrity of nationhood so strongly felt by a very large slice of the
population. Ask UNESCO, ask the ICRC, ask the various NGOs working there. You
can ask me if you like. I've just returned from a visit to Iraq, during which
I could, and did, speak to anyone I wanted to.

If you must enter the "magnitude of crimes against humanity" argument, then
you must also include the 1991 attacks and the ensuing results of the

Tony Maturin.

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