CAFOD fears strike on Iraq

 Any pre-emptive military strike against Iraq will create a humanitarian catastrophe and increase the risk of terrorism in the Middle East CAFOD warned today. In a detailed report, 'Iraq, Sanctions and the War on Terrorism', the aid agency warned that such action will also undermine the authority of the United Nations and wreak further devastation on an already devastated country. "We seem to be moving inexorably closer to war with Iraq, with a focus on the person of Saddam Hussein whilst millions of poor Iraqis, who will be the ones to suffer and who themselves do not have weapons of mass destruction, are seemingly left out of consideration," said CAFOD Director Julian Filochowski. "A militaristic or purely security approach to the problem of international terrorism is unimaginative and doomed to failure. Only if the world is prepared to tackle the root causes of conflict, liberation struggles, terrorism (including state terrorism) is there a chance of arriving at durable and sustained solutions". Mr Filochowski visited Iraq to look at the humanitarian consequences of sanctions in January 2001. That mission concluded that sanctions have already resulted in untold suffering for the ordinary people of Iraq, even before the threat of war. The report released today charts the history of sanctions and their impact on the Iraqi people in the context of events since 11 September.

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