The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] Cancelling Iraq's debt - building a campaign

Dear friends,

Last night a group of us from the anti-sanctions/peace movement were discussing what we could
usefully do for Iraq after the war. We’re all struggling to come to terms with the horror of the
situation, but I think it would be a terrible waste if all the energy which has been poured into
campaigning for Iraq over the past decade was lost in despair. One idea which I am passionate
about is campaigning for *complete* cancellation of Iraq’s debt (including the 1991 reparations).
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Iraqi people who have suffered so dreadfully for a generation
could have a new start with a clean slate financially.

Estimates I have seen suggest Iraq may owe about $130bn plus at least twice that amount for 1991
reparations. This debt is a result of Saddam’s aggressive wars in Iran and Kuwait and the
resultant sanctions (which caused the debt to triple from interest & arrears). Even for a country
with Iraq’s theoretical oil wealth this would be unpayable debt, even without the devastation and
deprivation of the Iraqi people to redress.

As far as I can tell very little work has been done on this issue. I’ve been able to find a few
useful articles on the net (addresses below) and the impression is that the US might support
partial cancellation (as with Yugoslavia) but leaving enough of the debt to keep Iraq crippled and
compliant for the foreseeable future.

But because the warmongers have relied so heavily on the “moral” case for this war, and drawn such
a clear distinction between the regime and the Iraqi people, it would be the most flagrant
hypocrisy right in the spotlight of world attention if they refused a well argued call for debt

I think a network and resources needs to be in place before the war is complete to speak up for
debt cancellation. This must happen before world attention drifts away and Iraq is forgotten again
for another decade.

ACTION: If you're at all interested in this please get in touch. it would be wonderful if you
could have a think about how we could go about this campaign. Who would be the best people to
involve from the beginning? I used to be involved with the Jubilee 2000 debt campaign and and it
would be dynamite to unite that lot with the peace movement, aiming eventually to get very broad
based support in the style of the original Jubilee 2000 campaign (including anyone who has
supported the war for humanitarian reasons).

Do GIVE ME A BUZZ to discuss: 07813 137171 in the evening, or my work number 020 7654 7867.

In Peace,

Justin Alexander


Moscow Times: Iraq Debt Debate Already Under Way


Interview with Salah Al-Sheikhly, former head of Iraq's Central Bank

"Oil, Sanctions, Debt and the Future" by Abbas Alnasrawi

U.N. Estimates Rebuilding Iraq Will Cost $30 Billion

US Embassy vows help for repayment of Iraq's debt to Bulgaria

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]