Letter: End Iraq's agony

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The Independent Culture
End Iraq's agony

Sir: We wish to express our grave concern at the bombing of Iraq. We are totally opposed to the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein and have always supported peaceful means to eliminate his weapons of mass destruction. However, any air campaign will surely not remove him or end his chemical and biological weapons production.

Saddam is definitely a threat to his people and world peace, but this military action will not end the threat posed by him. It will more likely strengthen Saddam, who thrives on such confrontations, and put an end to Unscom's work. Moreover, the longer UN sanctions remain in force and the more military strikes are undertaken, the greater the suffering of ordinary Iraqis will be.

Sanctions do not and will not work when the regime in power is a ruthless dictatorship not accountable to its people. It cannot be right to stand aside, watching the suffering of the Iraqi people caused by sanctions and bombing, until Saddam complies fully with Security Council resolutions.

New thinking on the Iraq crisis is needed. It appears that the present approach can only prolong the state of instability in the region and the misery of the Iraqi people. We urge the US and Britain to adopt a new strategy aimed at helping the Iraqi people to induce real change in Iraq and the establishment of a true democratic regime.

This strategy should be based on supporting alternatives to Saddam, no more punishment for the Iraqi people, implementation of UNSC Resolution 688, diplomatic isolation of the Iraqi regime in the region and the world community and the indictment of Saddam for his crimes against humanity. We firmly believe that the long-term interest of all interested parties will be better served in a democratic Iraq.

Dr M AL-RUBEAI

Dr N AL-SHADIR

Dr S JASIM

Dr A RIDHA

Dr S LATEEF

Dr A HUNOUSH

Dr S ABDUL-RAZZAK

Dr J KASSAB

Woodford Green, Essex

The signatories are Iraqi academics living in Britain

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