The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
The following appeared in the print edition of today's Financial Times. It is also available online now at http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=View&c=Article&cid=FT3XO3TXDBC&live=true Letters to the editor of the FT can be sent to <firstname.lastname@example.org> Colin Rowat ****************************************************** Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq http://www.casi.org.uk fax 0870 063 5022 are you on our announcements list? ****************************************************** 393 King's College www.cus.cam.ac.uk/~cir20 Cambridge CB2 1ST tel: +44 (0)7768 056 984 England fax: +44 (0)8700 634 984 The enemy of his people Sadam Hussein's defiance of the UN Security Council has merely prolonged Iraq's misery, argues Madeleine Albright Published: August 1 2000 20:38GMT | Last Updated: August 1 2000 21:54GMT Ten years ago today, Saddam Hussein violated international law and betrayed pledges made to Arab leaders by launching a brutal invasion of Kuwait. The world bore witness as Iraqi tanks, troops and gunships carried out unprovoked aggression against a neighbouring Arab nation. During the invasion and subsequent occupation, the Iraqi regime perpetrated systematic atrocities against the Kuwaiti people. Torture, mutilation, rape and murder were used as deliberate weapons of intimidation and terror. The world responded to Saddam Hussein's invasion with nearly unprecedented unity and resolve. The United Nations Security Council voted to impose an embargo on trade with Iraq. For almost six months, the world explored diplomatic means for resolving the crisis. But Saddam Hussein refused to depart from his menu of bluster and lies - or from the lands his troops had unlawfully occupied. Given no choice, the international coalition that had been assembled struck and liberated Kuwait. The end of the war could have been the beginning of Iraq's recovery and reintegration into the family of nations. All Saddam had to do was meet the requirements of the Security Council. These were designed not to punish Iraq, but to prevent renewed aggression and to locate the more than 600 Kuwaitis missing after being abducted by Iraqi forces during the war. If Baghdad had simply met these obligations the UN's economic sanctions would have been lifted long ago. Instead, Saddam lied repeatedly to UN weapons inspectors and sought to conceal and preserve his capacity to build weapons of mass destruction. As a result, the UN-required process of disclosure, inspection and monitoring that should have taken months to establish took years and is still not complete. He has always had the option to comply with the UN requirements, cease to be a military threat to his neighbours, end his people's isolation and enable Iraq to once again become a normal, law-abiding country. But he has stubbornly refused to follow this path. Instead, he has chosen to defy the UN, rebuild his military to the extent he can and exploit the suffering of Iraqi civilians in order to gain sympathy for lifting sanctions. This is why Saddam so long opposed efforts, led by the US, to establish an "oil for food" programme to ease the impact of sanctions upon the Iraqi people. It is why he chose to squander Iraq's limited resources on building more than 70 new palaces for himself and his cronies, rather than on the health and education of Iraqi children. And it is why he has relentlessly sought to portray his regime as a victim, instead of admitting that Iraq's suffering is the result of his own aggression, lies and ruthless ambition. Saddam still thinks his strategy will succeed. He is determined to continue crushing all signs of opposition within Iraq. He is counting on the world community to forget his past use of chemical weapons, his preparations for launching warheads containing biological arms and his efforts to build nuclear bombs. He is encouraged by his success in seducing some governments and non-governmental organisations to embrace his disingenuous arguments. He hopes his people's suffering will worsen so that the pressure for lifting sanctions will heighten and the revenues he needs to rebuild his weapons of mass destruction will once again begin to flow. The problem for Saddam is that the facts are not on his side. The UN sanctions have never prohibited or limited the amount of food or medicine Iraq could import. And the oil for food programme has now been expanded to the point where the Iraqi government says it plans to export more oil by the end of the year than it did prior to the Gulf war. As a result, the availability of food to Iraqi civilians has risen significantly; in northern Iraq, which is subject to sanctions but not to Saddam's misguided administrative control, child mortality rates are lower now than they were a decade ago. In addition, the Clinton administration is devoting additional personnel to the job of processing sanctions-related export requests at the UN, so that legitimate goods may be shipped without undue bureaucratic delay. Much has changed since August 2 1990, but there is one constant: the brutal duplicity of Saddam Hussein. His victims include his Arab neighbours, Iraqi Kurds and Shiites, political dissidents, and his own citizens. He wants the world to forget what happened 10 years ago, and to ignore his prevarications in the decade since, but we must not. We must honour the memory of those who died as a result of Saddam's aggression by vowing not to permit it to happen again. We must maintain our resolve to lift the siege Saddam has imposed upon the Iraqi people. And we must strive for the day that will surely come when we can welcome Iraq's return as a full participant and partner in the international community. The writer is US secretary of state. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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