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Re: [casi] Iraq - what next?

In response to Elga

You are right that I am involved in politics.  I also oppose an invasion by 250,000 US troops 
resulting in the US controlling Iraq.  I do not see a positive future in the development of 
colonialism which would result from that.

I, however, see that the momentum in American politics leads towards some form of action.    It is 
often possible to influence the form of action someone takes even if it is not possible to prevent 
them taking some form of action.

I am not asking anyone to stop opposing a mass invasion of Iraq.  I am, however, working with 
others (who will remain nameless apart from the one whose name is public other than mine - Mohammed 
Sagier) looking at what alternative possibilities might be proposed.  It is expected that any 
military action will occur in Februrary.  I was given that date by a Labour MP about a month and  a 
half ago.

The issue of what occurs in Iraq does not just affect Iraqis, but also affects the rest of the 
world.  I think it is worth trying to find a route through the maze that does not end up with more 
misery for the Iraqis and a growth in global conflict.

There are certain issues that need to be made very clear
a) That if any bombing occurs it should not be of civilian infrastructure such as water supplies etc
b) That any fighting in Baghdad is likely to result in substantial civilian casualties
c) That there has to be awareness of the problems that could be faced by refugees.

and, of course,

d) That economic sanctions should be removed

The proposal put forward by SCIRI/SAIRI is that using UN resolution 949 safe havens should be 
created in the south of Iraq.

The opposition are sensitive to the issue of what happens if there is an uprising which is why they 
are arguing for amnesties for all but about 40 of the current regime.  That should mean that an 
"uprising" would not be the same as that which occurred in 1991.  There is a possibility that such 
a process could be handled in a more subtle manner that does not result in substantial bloodshed.

Now is the time to discuss these matters.  It is, in my view, possible to influence the agenda over 
the next 2-3 weeks probably until late January.  Once everything starts happening - still not 
guaranteed that things will start happpening - then there is little that can be done.

We are putting forward ideas for discussion.  If it is not possible to find some alternative that 
works both for the Iraqi people and for the rest of the world then it will be very sad.  However, 
noone should be critical of us for trying.   I am not surprised that we are being criticised both 
by the hawks in the US and also by some of those against any action in Iraq.  Someone, however, 
needs to look for a solution.

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