Monday, September 18, 2006

Dialogue Is The Key...

An upcoming meeting of the United Nations is to be held in New York. One of the main issues of the meeting will be the discussion of what course to take to dissuade Iran from its uranium enrichment activities now that the deadline to stop has been ignored. George Bush is due to make a speech urging the instant application of sanctions, in the hope this will increase pressure to cease its nuclear programme.

It seems George W Bush has not learnt from his father’s mistake in pushing through tough sanctions on Iraq after the first Gulf War. The sanctions of 1991 plunged a country that had been at the forefront of the developing nations into acute poverty; infant mortality rose by a horrifying 160%. These sanctions enforced by the UN under American pressure crippled Iraq in the hope that this would stop any future war occurring against Saddam. It didn't.

Therefore it is with scepticism that one should view these new sanctions; there seems little chance that they will work. If history does indeed repeat itself, another war is in the making. Leading political figures have sided against the USA in opposing sanctions:

"I don't believe in a solution without dialogue," Mr Chirac told Europe-1 radio, urging countries to remove the threat of sanctions against Iran.

Not everyone feels the same way though, a recent FOX report interviewed a prominent human rights campaigner who thought it was a travesty and "the greatest betrayal of democracy" that Iran will be allowed to argue its views at the UN meeting.

One cannot but be amused by this comment; surely allowing everyone regardless of intent a chance to argue their views is the basis of all democracy. If we begin to denounce those who disagree with us, then there is no longer a democracy, there is a dictatorship; next comes war.

Sanctions will not work, war will bring nothing but death; dialogue is the key.


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