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-----Original Message----- From: Iraq ListServ <i-gnea@EXCHANGE.USIA.GOV> To: US-IRAQPOLICY@LISTS.STATE.GOV <US-IRAQPOLICY@LISTS.STATE.GOV> Date: 23 March 2000 22:53 Subject: Welch/Jones on U.S. Iraq policy >State's Welch and Jones Congressional Testimony on Iraq >(Stress importance of sanctions in containing Saddam Hussein) > >"Containment remains a cost-effective and successful policy. U.N. sanctions >are extremely important and must continue until Iraq complies" with all of >the relevant U.N. resolutions, say U.S. officials. > >C. David Welch, assistant secretary of State for International Organization >Affairs, and Beth Jones, principal deputy assistant secretary for Near >Eastern Affairs at the Department of State, testified March 23 at a House >International Relations Committee hearing on U.S. policy toward Iraq. > >"Let me state, for the record, that we do not expect Iraq to meet that >standard anytime soon. In fact, we doubt that Iraq will take the sensible >steps necessary to obtain the lifting, or the suspension, of sanctions as >long as Saddam Hussein remains in power," said Welch. > >He said U.N. sanctions do not target the civilian population and have never >restricted the importation of basic medicines and food under the U.N.'s >oil-for-food program. > >"Some critics are attempting now to portray oil-for-food as part of the >humanitarian problem in Iraq. In fact, it is a solution whose >implementation was long delayed by the Iraqi regime, and whose full >potential is only now being approached," said Welch. He said the United >States sponsored several U.N. resolutions to expand the program until >finally a ceiling on what Iraq could spend from its oil revenues was removed >last December. > >"Sanctions were imposed for valid reasons, have been in place for nine and a >half years, and are likely to continue for some time," said Welch, noting >that Iraq still refuses weapons inspectors back into the country to check on >its Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) programs. > >"Sanctions are not aimed at the Iraqi people, and the bottom line is this: >we believe that oil-for-food, properly managed, can effectively mitigate the >impact of sanctions on Iraq's civilian population," Welch said. > >"Oil-for-food is having a clear and measurable impact on the ground in Iraq. >Nutrition has improved," he said, pointing out that the per capita intake is >up from 1,300 calories per day before the program began to over 2,000 now. > >Food imports are now at about pre-war levels, he said. And over the past >three years more than $1 billion worth of medicines have been approved for >delivery to Iraq. Similarly, over a billion dollars' worth of goods for the >water, sanitation, electrical and agricultural sectors have been approved. > >The lifting of economic sanctions on Saddam Hussein would "not mean relief >for the Iraqi people," according to Welch. "Saddam Hussein's perennial >spending priority is military development and WMD rather than civilian >wellbeing," he said. > >Welch's testimony also centered on WMD inspections in Iraq. By mid-April, >he said, the new and reconstituted United Nations inspections program, >UNMOVIC will have its organizational structure outlined. > >"Baghdad has publicly rejected (UN) resolution 1284 and ruled out the return >of UN-mandated weapons inspection teams, but that is unlikely to be the >final word," he said. > >Following is the text of Welch's testimony: > >(begin text) > >TESTIMONY >IO Assistant Secretary C. David Welch >NEA Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Beth Jones >House International Relations Committee >March 23, 2000 > >Mr. Chairman: > >Thank you for inviting us to appear before you today to discuss U.S. policy >toward Iraq. I shall open with a brief statement on behalf of us both. As >Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs, I deal primarily >with aspects of Iraq policy that involve the Security Council. This >includes the oil-for-food program and UNMOVIC. My colleague, Deputy >Assistant Secretary Jones, represents the Near Eastern Affairs Bureau, which >manages overall policy toward Iraq. This includes the over-arching policy >of containment and our efforts to foster regime change by supporting the >Iraqi opposition. > >We will be glad to address questions on any aspect of U.S. policy toward >Iraq, but I will focus in these introductory remarks primarily on two areas: > >First, the humanitarian situation in the country, including the balance >between the impact of sanctions and the benefits of the oil-for-food >program; > >Second, a few words on what we expect from UNMOVIC over the next few months. > >The humanitarian situation in Iraq is a complex subject, and we are >concerned that the recent flow of misinformation and biased assertions from >various sources has made it difficult to maintain sight of what U.S. policy >really is and what really is happening on the ground in Iraq. I hope we can >provide some clarification today. > >U.S. policy toward Iraq has followed a consistent course since the >liberation of Kuwait in January 1991; and whatever you might have read in >the papers lately, there is no sea-change in the offing. Our policy is >based on the objective judgment that the regime of Saddam Hussein poses a >continuing threat to regional peace and security, which must be contained. >And, again, despite what you might have seen in the press, containment >remains a cost-effective and successful policy. UN sanctions are extremely >important and must continue until Iraq complies with its obligations under >the Security Council resolutions. > >Let me state, for the record, that we do not expect Iraq to meet that >standard anytime soon. In fact, we doubt that Iraq will take the sensible >steps necessary to obtain the lifting, or the suspension, of sanctions as >long as Saddam Hussein remains in power. > >Those sanctions do not target the civilian population, however, and in fact >have never restricted the importation of basic medicines and food. >Moreover, the United States has focused on addressing humanitarian needs in >Iraq since the immediate aftermath of Operation Desert Storm in 1991, when >brutal military repression displaced tens of thousands of civilians in >northern Iraq. We responded with Operation Provide Comfort, an U.S.-led >coalition effort that provided food, shelter and other forms of disaster >assistance on a massive scale. > >The coalition also instituted a no-fly zone in the north in 1991, and >another in southern Iraq in 1992. That policy has contained the Iraqi >military and prevented any repetition of large-scale use of force against >civilians. > >In the Security Council, we have championed the humanitarian interests of >the Iraqi people and continue to do so today. Let me cite a few examples: > >In April 1991, we helped shape Security Council resolution 688, which >demanded an end to Iraqi repression of civilians and provided part of the >rationale for the no-fly zones. > >In August 1991 we played a leading role in drafting resolution 706, which >included the original oil-for-food program -- a program Iraq promptly >rejected. > >In May 1995 we co-sponsored resolution 986, which expanded and fleshed out >the oil-for-food concept. You will recall the tragically slow evolution of >that concept: Iraq rejected it outright for four years, and then slow-rolled >it for another year and a half, so that the first delivery of humanitarian >goods did not occur until March 1997. Some critics are attempting now to >portray oil-for-food as part of the humanitarian problem in Iraq. In fact, >it is a solution whose implementation was long delayed by the Iraqi regime, >and whose full potential is only now being approached. > >In February 1998 we supported resolution 1153, which expanded the program to >$5.2 billion in oil export revenues during each six-month phase. > >In December 1999 we supported resolution 1284, which removed the ceiling on >the value of oil exports authorized to meet humanitarian needs in Iraq. >That resolution also included numerous provisions to improve the efficiency >of oil-for-food. > >I want to emphasize that the need to balance the impact of sanctions and the >benefits of the oil-for-food program is not a new challenge for U.S. policy. >Sanctions were imposed for valid reasons, have been in place for nine and a >half years, and are likely to continue for some time. Oil-for-food has been >in place almost exactly three years, during which oil prices have fluctuated >and the program itself has been constantly reassessed and adjusted. That >process of assessment and adjustment is ongoing, as reflected in resolution >1284, and will certainly continue. > >Sanctions are not aimed at the Iraqi people, and the bottom line is this: we >believe that oil-for-food, properly managed, can effectively mitigate the >impact of sanctions on Iraq's civilian population for as long as sanctions >on the Iraqi regime remain in effect. Success will require the UN to do the >best possible job of administering the program. Similarly, Iraq will have >to be pressed to do its part -- cooperating with the program rather than >seeking to discredit it, to circumvent it, and eventually to eliminate it. >Maintaining the proper balance will never be easy; but we believe it is an >achievable result, and certainly a result worth the utmost effort over the >long haul. > >Criticism of sanctions is understandable, but we believe much of the recent >criticism has been misplaced. In particular, those who see negative >consequences from sanctions and advocate lifting sanctions as the only >solution overlook at least three important points: > >First, the regime headed by Saddam Hussein is among the most brutal and >systematic violators of human rights on the face of the earth. The most >recent report of the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights noted that the >gravity of the human rights situation in Iraq has few parallels since the >end of World War II. > >Second, sanctions deprive Saddam Hussein of the financial wherewithal to >pursue his manifest goal of acquiring, and using, weapons of mass >destruction (WMD). Saddam deploying WMD would be the worst imaginable >humanitarian outcome for the Iraqi people and for all the peoples of the >region. > >Third, lifting sanctions would enable Saddam to rebuild his military and put >his WMD programs on the fast-track, but would not guarantee a better life >for the average Iraqi. On the contrary, conditions for many Iraqis -- >especially in the north -- would deteriorate dramatically if oil-for-food >and the UN presence disappeared. > >Providing resources to Saddam Hussein would not mean relief for the Iraqi >people. Conversely, providing relief to the people is not the same as >helping Saddam. Let me explain. > >First, Saddam Hussein's perennial spending priority is military development >and WMD rather than civilian well being. Lifting sanctions would simply >enrich Saddam and enable him to pursue his spending priorities. Therefore, >lifting sanctions would not help the Iraqi people. > >Second, we also hear criticism from the other side, from those who say >oil-for-food is in fact helping Saddam Hussein. Just as providing more >resources to the Iraqi regime -- e.g. by lifting sanctions -- would not >benefit the Iraqi people, oil-for-food resources provided to the people do >not benefit the Iraqi regime. On the contrary, providing humanitarian >assistance to the Iraqi people is essential to maintaining international >support for sanctions on the regime. > >Oil-for-food is having a clear and measurable impact on the ground in Iraq. >Nutrition has improved. Per capita intake is up from 1,300 calories per day >before the program began to over 2,000 now, thanks to a UN ration basket, >which is augmented by locally grown food. Food imports are now at about >pre-war levels. In the year before the program began, Iraq imported about >$50 million worth of medicines. Over the past three years more than $1 >billion worth of medicines have been approved. Similarly, over a billion >dollars worth of goods for the water, sanitation, electrical and >agricultural sectors have been approved. > >The impact has been greatest in the three northern provinces, where the UN >manages the program without interference from the regime. For example, an >UNICEF study last year showed that infant mortality in the north had fallen >below pre-war levels. Yet in south/central Iraq, where the Iraqi government >handles distribution of oil-for-food goods, the study revealed a disturbing >rise in child mortality -- to more than double the pre-war level. These >numbers show that oil-for-food can meet the needs of the Iraqi people if the >regime's cynical manipulation can be overcome. > >Finally, let me say a few words about the U.S. approach to making the >oil-for-food program more effective. We have been accused recently of >having too many holds, or of having the wrong holds, on contracts proposed >under this program. Of course there are those in Baghdad, and in the >Security Council, who seem to believe that neither the United States nor any >other member of the Iraq Sanctions Committee should put any contract on hold >for any reason. > >Our goal is to help the oil-for-food program succeed. With that in mind, we >want to approve every contract we can and do it as quickly as we can. > >But there is another goal which is equally important: to deny Saddam Hussein >inputs for his WMD programs. That goal makes a heavy demand on us, as it >can mean the painstaking review of each and every contract. We take this >responsibility seriously. > >Our rigorous and responsible approach has won plaudits from some smaller >countries in the UN's Iraq Sanctions Committee -- countries which lack the >resources and the expertise which the United States can apply to the >process. It has also elicited criticism from some larger members of the >Committee which have the resources and expertise, but have chosen to turn a >politically, or commercially, blinded eye to possible dual-use items >included in oil-for-food contracts. Three Security Council member states >have about one-third of all oil-for-food contracts. They orchestrate the >complaints about holds, often joined by others who are motivated by >commercial gain. > >Our holds now involve about 10% of all oil-for-food contracts. The number >has mounted over the past year for a variety of reasons. Some contracts >lack adequate information, and we are unable to act on them until we receive >further details from the submitting companies. More broadly, program >revenue has grown as oil prices have risen over the past year, and the >accelerating flow of incoming contract and crowded our review pipeline. >However, we believe our holds have had a minimal impact on the humanitarian >bottom line to date. > >Nonetheless, while we must be vigilant, we must also strike a balance with >legitimate humanitarian concerns. We are currently examining our contract >review procedures to ensure that they appropriately reflect our twin >priorities: maximizing assistance to the Iraqi people while denying the >Iraqi regime access to goods it could use to reconstitute its WMD programs. >We are also seeking to enhance the UN's capacity to monitor potentially >sensitive items -- such as electricity generating equipment or water >purification plants -- to ensure that such items, once approved, are >installed in the approved location and used for the approved purpose. > >A major portion of resolution 1284 deals with the creation of UNMOVIC -- the >UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission -- as a subsidiary >body of the Security Council and successor to UNSCOM. After consultation >with Council members, the UN Secretary General appointed Hans Blix to serve >as Executive Chairman of the new body. > >Robert Einhorn, Assistant Secretary for Non-Proliferation, and I had the >opportunity to meet with Dr. Blix shortly before he took up his duties on >March 1. As former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Dr. Blix >is fully qualified for the sizeable task he faces, and he has adopted a >serious and methodical approach which seems well suited to that task. > >Dr. Blix is currently structuring the organization and assembling his staff, >and will submit an organizational plan to the Security Council in mid-April. >He will then proceed with lining up potential inspectors with the requisite >technical expertise to resume inspection and monitoring activities on the >ground in Iraq. Baghdad has publicly rejected resolution 1284 and ruled out >the return of UN-mandated weapons inspection teams, but that is unlikely to >be the final word. Should Iraq reconsider -- as it has on several previous >resolutions -- and allow UNMOVIC in, we expect Dr. Blix and his teams to be >robust, in carrying out the mission it has inherited from UNSCOM. The >United States will, of course, provide all possible support. > >We await your questions on any aspect of U.S. policy toward Iraq. > >(end text) > >(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. >Department of State. Web site: usinfo.state.gov) > >============================================================ >Additional Information available: >Policies and Statements: >http://usinfo.state.gov/regional/nea/iraq/iraq.htm > >TO GET OFF THIS LIST: >Send a message that says SIGNOFF US-IRAQPOLICY >to >LISTSERV@LISTS.STATE.GOV > > -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi