Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day (cleanskies) wrote,
Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day

Oxfam joins millions in begging Tony Blair not to lead us into war

Being on the supporter network, I got the email from Oxfam this morning telling us that we're into email campaigning time again. The last one (asking Nestle to drop their claim against the Ethiopian goverment) ended in success, with Nestle writing off $5m of the $6m debt, and relabelling the remaining $1m as a "donation" to Ethiopia. As my friend Jo put it, "This one is less likely to, frankly, but it made me feel marginally better" though judging the lag on the pages, an awful lot of people really do want to feel that little bit better.

Feel better yourself here: (it's an international campaign)

I'm impressed at Oxfam's chuzpah on this one. As a charity, it's required (legally) not to get involved in politics, and you could argue that decisions like whether or not to go to war are in that political area that Oxfam should not be meddling with. The responding argument is that they are not interested in the political issues; for them, it's all about avoiding humanitarian disaster:

The people of Iraq are still suffering the effects of bombing during the 1991 Gulf War. Twelve years of economic sanctions, and their own government's policies, have made things worse.

Nearly two-thirds of Iraqis - more than 15 million people - depend entirely on food rations distributed by their government. Any attack, particularly if it destroys roads and bridges, could stop the food reaching those people. They would go hungry.

When Oxfam aid workers first entered Iraq at the end of the 1991 Gulf War, they found a public health disaster. There was sewage in the streets because air strikes had destroyed the electricity supplies which powered sanitation and water systems. Twelve years later, much of that damage has still not been repaired. Similar attacks now could make things even worse.

Those who propose war have not yet shown that any threat from Iraq is so imminent that it justifies the risk of so much human suffering.

Lots more information available from Oxfam here and the BBC here

Watch the information worker go to war ...

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.