Letter: Torturing Iraq

Sir: Adrian Simmons says it is a lie that "the Western trade embargo [is] creating the shortage of medicines etc in Iraq" since "Iraq can end sanctions tomorrow by simply honouring its agreements" (letter, 25 February).

In a recent article for Le Monde Diplomatique, Denis Halliday, who, until his resignation last September, was in charge of administering the UN's humanitarian programme in Iraq, described the embargo as a form of collective torture.

Mr Simmons' argument is that we bear no responsibility for our actions because we would cease our torture if a third party - Saddam Hussein - were to do our bidding. This is an argument which any good torturer will applaud.


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