Sir: Your report (12 December) about the way the sanctions on Iraq enable Saddam Hussein to maintain control over his people highlights one aspect of the adverse effects of the sanctions. More generally, sanctions, which have caused the death of between half a million and a million people according to informed sources, enable Saddam Hussein to portray the West as the enemies of the Iraqi people, strengthening his hold on the country. We believe that sanctions should be ended and the West should flood Iraq with food and medicines. As well as reducing the appalling suffering, this could reduce Saddam's grip on Iraq.
Most people recognise that it is never going to be possible to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction by technical means and inspection alone. Thus it is important to reduce the causes of conflict. Ending the sanctions would help to reduce the potential for hatred of the West by the Iraqis and other Arab and Muslim peoples. Whereas a massive military attack on Iraq could destabilise the Middle East, we believe a positive approach to the Iraqi people could help bring stability.
Architects and Engineers for Social Responsibility