Dear cj, Hitler did not announce the holocaust in the mass media. He did not say publicly, as did Madilyn Albright, that 'the deaths are regrettable but worth it'. To suspect the Holocaust in Nazi Germany would have made you a 'conspiracy theorist'. And yet fifty years later most people still carry the notion of 'collective German guilt'... the same people who shrug off American-sponsored genocide in Iraq with a shallow rationalization. disgusted, rkm ============================================================================ From: Mark Clement <•••@••.•••> To: <blank> Bcc: •••@••.••• Subject: Sanctions hurt innocent children, not Saddam's power Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2000 15:22:32 -0400 MIME-Version: 1.0 This is an excellent article. ============================== Sanctions hurt innocent children, not Saddam's power August 6, will mark the 10th anniversary of the sanctions on Iraq. This anniversary should be no more cause for celebration than the 55th anniversary of Hiroshima should be. August 6 should serve as a day for careful thought about how our lone superpower nation conducts itself in the international sphere. The sanctions were initiated in order to reverse Saddam Hussein's conquest of his neighbor; they were cheered at the time by many anti-war activists as being a better form of coercion than the more traditional war which followed. Now anti-war activists along with many others are working to end the sanctions. What has happened to those living in Iraq is nothing short of a tragedy. After the bombing campaigns which restored Kuwait to its nicer dictatorship, the United Nations extended the sanctions regime until such a time as Iraq was disarmed and met a number of other conditions. Saddam Hussein's regime refused to cooperate fully with the arms inspections and the sanctions remain firmly in place. As a result of the sanctions, people in Iraq have had to suffer under two brutal regimes. One was familiar to them: it was the same Baghdad administration that ruled for years with the support of Washington D.C. The suffering imposed by the sanctions regime was new. The Iraqis were used to living in a relatively affluent nation with no political rights. A few months and 140,000 tons of explosives later, they lived in former cities: still with no political rights. Iraq which had imported 70% of its food, was now cut off from trade. Iraq, which had the best medical care in the Middle East, now did not even have clean water. The water sanitation and pumping plants were intentionally destroyed during the war and the sanctions prevented anyone from repairing them. After years of crumbling infrastructure, the United Nations set up an oil-for-food program in order to prevent the situation from further deteriorating. Several former humanitarian coordinators all testify that the program is insufficient. Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck have both resigned after working as the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq and called for a lifting of the sanctions. Scott Ritter and Richard Butler, former weapons inspectors in Iraq, have also called for the end of the economic sanctions. Iraq is presented as a threat to its neighbors. I recently returned from spending time in Jordan, touching Iraq's western border. The Jordanians did not feel threatened by Iraq; in fact, a U.S. consular official said the Jordanian government encourages the United States to lift the sanctions every time she meets with them. Turkey regularly invades Northern Iraq to pursue Kurdish rebel groups; they do not seem to fear Iraq's supposed threat. And we all know what would happen if Iraq were to invade Kuwait! In March, Scott Ritter wrote in the Boston Globe, "...from a qualitative standpoint, Iraq has in fact been disarmed... The chemical, biological, nuclear and long-range ballistic missile programs that were a real threat in 1991 had, by 1998, been destroyed or rendered harmless." Even if Iraq had the stockpiles of weapons to threaten its neighbors, any offensive on the part of Hussein's regime would result in massive retaliation from the United States and allies. Though Saddam Hussein has proven himself to be a brutal dictator, he has never acted in a suicidal manner. The people I talked to in Jordan and the West Bank were all angry at the U.S. position of starving Iraqi children in order to disarm it, while turning a blind-eye to Israel's similarly illegal nuclear weapons program. The sanctions are an unqualified failure. Saddam Hussein is more firmly entrenched in power than he was before the sanctions. The lowest estimates of child mortality as a result of the sanctions are 500,000 in 10 years. The sad ironic fact is that children are paying for an invasion that they were not even alive to witness. Furthermore, the sanctions give Saddam Hussein the ultimate excuse for every misery of the Iraqi people. The sanctions actually cause a rise in nationalism; instead of viewing Saddam Hussein's brutal, corrupt regime as the oppressor, the oppressor becomes the governments in Washington D.C. and London the only two Security Council members that support continuing sanctions. Thus, unless the sanctions were designed to punish the innocent and further the rule of a dictator; they have failed. They certainly have not brought stability to the Middle East. There are those who blame Saddam Hussein for the plight of his people. Indeed, Saddam has not invested his earnings from black market oil over the last 10 years in anything for his people. However, I find it disgusting that people can actually justify a policy which results in numerous deaths and suffering by saying someone else can stop it if he really wanted to. The world knows that Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator. Withholding clean water from the people that are already suffering under his regime is a twisted policy. Maintaining sanctions that effectively starve the very people who could be working to undermine his regime should be considered criminal. Finally, the very idea that Saddam Hussein is considered a threat after 10 years of debilitating sanctions suggests that American taxpayers have been supremely cheated. In those years, the Pentagon has spent trillions of dollars on all kinds of gadgets. What we have not given to our allies in the Middle East, we have sold them. In his book, Endgame, Scott Ritter points out that the Iraqi Army relies on technology that is over a generation old. If Saddam Hussein, a proven inept military commander, is still a threat among all that new technology, then Americans should demand a refund for the wasted Pentagon dollars. If the United States truly wants to see a stable Middle East, it will need to pursue a more enlightened policy than starving the people in one country while heavily arming the other countries. Christopher Mitchell is a senior at Macalester College in St. Paul. He recently spent 4 months studying in the Middle East on a Peace and Conflict program. He can be reached at •••@••.••• ----christopher mitchell ============================================================================ Richard K Moore Wexford, Ireland Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance email: •••@••.••• CDR website & list archives: http://cyberjournal.org content-searchable archive: http://members.xoom.com/centrexnews/ featured article: http://cyberjournal.org/cj/rkm/Whole_Earth_Review/Escaping_the_Matrix.shtml A community will evolve only when the people control their means of communication. -- Frantz Fanon Permission for non-commercial republishing hereby granted - BUT include and observe all restrictions, copyrights, credits, and notices - including this one. ============================================================================ .