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Re: Sandy Berger opinion piece in today's Financial Times

Remember Goebbels, his power, and the "power" of  his words?
Goebbels is not dead!
He  has risen,  been born again, and dwells among us in the form
of a  New Age "Clone."   Our  21st Century  "Goebbels Clone"
has four heads that speak in forked tongues to justify  injustice,  promote
crimes against humanity, genocide by sanctions,  and a Terrorist War
of Attrition against a defenseless nation and civilian population.
Clone Goebbels has a rapacious appetite and powerful appendages that
encircle the globe, and has not hesitated to display its ability to threaten,
control or destroy any obstacle  that gets in its way.

Clone Goebbels was cloned without vital organs like a heart
and cannot be moved by the sight or sounds of wasting,  dying  or deceased
children, wailing parents, and a biblical land reduced to the
primitiveness of  the "Stone Age" by his "Weapons of Mass Destruction."

He is a master Pied Piper,  attracting followers and supporters eager to
support and promote his agenda in order to gain national recognition, support their
own racist, economic, political or religious agendas, and to gain a share of  the
profit and power pie.

nels bacon

Colin Rowat wrote:

Sandy Berger, Clinton's assistant on national security, wrote the
following piece in today's Financial Times.  The URL at which this can be
found today is

Letters to the editor can be sent to  They might
wish to emphasise the point that Berger overlooks: that sanctions are
designed to inflict hardship and tend to primarily hurt the economically
and socially marginal.  Sanctions with exemptions are designed to inflict
less hardship.

Colin Rowat

Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq               fax 0870 063 5022

393 King's College  
Cambridge CB2 1ST             tel: +44 (0)468 056 984
England                       fax: +44 (0)870 063 4984

Saddam is the root of all Iraq's problems

A change of government, not the ending of sanctions, is the way to
alleviate the suffering of the nation, argues Samuel Berger

Published: May 3 2000 19:38GMT | Last Updated: May 4 2000 06:53GMT

Last year in Baghdad, in the middle of the worst drought in 50 years, word
went out to Iraqi farmers to reduce rice planting to save water, and not
to plant summer crops without government permission. At the same time,
water was found to fill the man-made lakes around Saddam Hussein's palaces
and to fill the reservoirs in his home town of Tikrit. Meanwhile, the
Iraqi government continued its campaign to blame hunger on United Nations

By obstructing UN relief, refusing to order nutritional supplements, even
selling food and medicine to build palaces, Mr Saddam has aggravated his
people's suffering and used the spectacle to seek the removal of
sanctions. Yet ending sanctions on Iraq would not end the suffering of its

In 1991, George Bush, then US president, proposed the oil-for-food
programme, which allows Iraq to export oil, deposit the revenues in a UN
escrow account, and draw from the account only for purchases of food,
medicine and other humanitarian supplies. This is a unique sanctions
regime: it prohibits the Iraqi leader from spending the revenues on what
he cares about most - rebuilding his military - and limits him to spending
it on what he cares about least -food and medicine and humanitarian
supplies for the Iraqi people.

Mr Saddam rejected the oil-for-food programme for five brutal years. But
now, three years after he acquiesced, Iraqi oil exports and food imports
are reaching pre-war levels. With oil prices rising, revenues are surging
and Iraq has record resources for the purchase of food and medicine.

To illustrate, in 1989, Iraq earned $15bn from oil exports and spent $13bn
on its military (in 1999 dollars). This year, Iraq is projected to earn
$16bn from oil-for-food exports and can spend none of those revenues on
its military. Clearly, there are more funds available for food and
medicine now than before the Gulf war.

So why are the Iraqi people suffering?

Primarily, it is because the Iraqi government imports food and medicine
only grudgingly, and never orders as much as it can. We are now roughly
halfway through phase seven of the oil-for-food programme. During this
six-month period, Iraqi oil revenues are expected to reach $8bn, and yet
the Iraqi government has so far placed orders for only $1.8bn of food,
medicine and humanitarian supplies.

The Iraqi government has never met the minimum calorie and protein targets
set by the UN secretary-general. It has ordered only a fraction of the
nutritional supplies needed for pregnant and nursing mothers. And the
secretary-general recently reported that Iraq repeatedly has refused to
operate supplementary feeding programmes the UN has been advocating for

According to the UN, one-quarter of all the medicine that has arrived in
Iraq since the start of the oil-for-food programme sits undistributed in
Iraqi warehouses.  Ships enforcing the UN embargo continue to intercept
Iraqi vessels smuggling food out of Iraq to earn money for the Iraqi

Since the end of the Gulf war, the Iraqi leader has used his smuggling
gains to build 48 palaces, complete with gold plated taps and man-made
lakes and waterfalls.  Last year, on Mr Saddam's birthday, he presented
himself with Saddamiat al Tharthar, a lakeside resort with stadiums, an
amusement park, hospitals and new homes, at a cost of hundreds of millions
of dollars.

So what would happen if we lifted sanctions? There would be no improvement
in Iraq's ability to export oil; it can export now all it wants. There
would be no improvement in Iraq's ability to import food and medicine; it
can import now all it needs. The difference would be that oil revenues
would no longer go to an international food programme; they would go to
Iraq's ruler. They would no longer be restricted to humanitarian supplies,
they could be spent on rebuilding the military. Oil for food could quickly
become oil for tanks. Iraqi people might well have less to eat. Iraq's
neighbours would certainly have more to fear.

It is hard to imagine a sensible approach to reducing suffering that gives
the Iraqi leader more money and fewer restrictions on the use of that
money. That is why the US has worked with others in the UN to ease Iraqi
suffering without strengthening its leader.

When the UN reported that the oil-for-food programme needed improvement,
we supported the resolution that led to changes. When the UN requested
additional spare parts for oil production, we allowed for spare parts.
When it said export ceilings were too low, we supported lifting them
entirely. When UN members expressed concern about the contract review
process, we investigated, released contracts worth more than $300m, and
are now working to streamline the process further.

We are doing our best to ease the suffering of the Iraqi people. Mr Saddam
is doing his best to prolong it. Friends of the Iraqi people need to
question Mr Saddam directly, bluntly and repeatedly.

Why won't you let UN agencies and non-governmental organisations operate
throughout Iraq to help evaluate and alleviate hardship?

Why have you never ordered sufficient foodstuffs to meet the calorie and
protein targets recommended by the UN?

Why have you refused to ensure the timely and equitable distribution of
all humanitarian goods, in particular medical supplies?

Why won't you give up your pursuit of weapons of mass destruction for the
good of your people?

Instead of insisting the UN should end sanctions on Iraq - friends of the
Iraqi people should insist that Mr Saddam end his restrictions on UN
monitors, NGOs, supplementary feeding programmes, and all other
international efforts to benefit those who have been punished by his

Friends of the Iraqi people should recognise that there is no inherent
conflict between feeding the innocent and freeing the Gulf region from
fear. The best way to do both is to encourage change within Iraq - so the
country has a government that will meet the needs of its people and its
obligations to the world. That would do more than lift sanctions, it would
lift up the lives of the Iraqi people.

The writer is assistant to the US president for national security affairs.

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