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getting iraqi defectors to tell us what they know - Ilya Shlyakhter (notestaff) - letters to editors
December 3rd, 2002
07:36 am

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getting iraqi defectors to tell us what they know
Calling Iraqi Defectors

Re '' 'Sodom' Hussein's Iraq,'' by Thomas L. Friedman (column, Dec. 1):

A potential Iraqi defector may decide to withhold his information, for fear of consequences to his country. Any revelations will trigger a devastating American invasion costing thousands of Iraqi lives. The war will destabilize the volatile region and turn Iraq into a de facto United States protectorate for years. The conscientious defector may doubt the sincerity of American commitment to ordinary Iraqis, given their suffering under United States-backed sanctions.

To win the cooperation of concerned Iraqis, guaranteeing the safety of their immediate families won't be enough. We must guarantee, to the extent possible, the well-being and dignity of the Iraqi people. A new United Nations resolution is needed, specifying our plans for a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. Otherwise, an Iraqi ''Sakharov'' may worry that ''severe consequences'' mean just that for his country.

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