Say NO to war against Iraq sign now

12 years ago Iraq was a rapidly modernising state. It had good health care and education, modern tele-communications, water treatment and electricity systems. But it also
had a dictatorial, oppressive regime which the Iraqi people neither elected nor were able to remove from power. Economic, military and political sanctions were imposed when
Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990 - 'the most comprehensive in history' according to a US State Department official. 12 years later they are still in place. Sanctions, far from
weakening the government, have helped it to keep control over an exhausted and desperate population. Saddam Hussein is still in power and is still carrying out massive
human rights violations. Iraq is now one of the least developed, most damaged countries in the world. At least half a million children under 5 have died because of economic
sanctions and countless others continue to suffer. Goods have been scarce, prices high and it is ordinary people who are suffering most. Disease, child mortality and
malnutrition are rocketing because food, essential medicines and clean water are often unavailable or unaffordable. The UN has recently accepted a new so-called 'smart
sanctions' proposal sponsored by the US and the UK. 'Smart sanctions' may allow more goods into the country, but will do nothing to increase the purchasing power of
ordinary people or provide the means to reconstruct the country's shattered infrastructure. War against Iraq is not the answer.

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