The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Irish Times, Aug 11 SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAQ Sir, - I write in response to Madeline Albright's shameful, offensive and dishonest article in your edition of August 4th. Very few people would dispute that Saddam Hussein is anything other than a brutal dictator who has held his country and his people to ransom for a very long time. What we should not forget is that both the United States and Britain assisted his rise to power, support that included the supply of arms, including chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction. She talks of how Saddam violated international law, yet there is not one mention in her article of how the UN Security Council's imposed sanctions on Iraq are a clear violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Nor is there a mention of the fact that both Britain and the US have used depleted uranium extensively (a free radioactive byproduct of the Nuclear industry which is used to coat missiles to improve missile velocity and is radioactive for 4,500 years!) in Iraq (and more recently in Kosovo) in clear violation of the Geneva Convention. Madeleine Albright is right when she says that "much has changed since August 2nd 1990" - changed irreversibly for the estimated 1.5 million people in Iraq who have died because of the sanctions. She is counting on the world to forget the continued daily bombing of Iraq by America and Britain, the denial of disinfectant, surgical clamps, cancer treatments, clean running water, medical journals, air conditioning and spare parts for medical equipment such as incubators for Iraq's hospitals, and the estimated 1 million malnourished children in Iraq (figure taken from UNICEF report, November, 1997). Well, we will not forget the role of Saddam in this atrocity; but more importantly we will not forget the role of Britain and America in this act of genocide against a people and their children. We will not forget that this is the same woman who, when asked in a CBS interview in May 1996 about the estimated million deaths of Iraqi children, stated: "I think this is a very hard choice but the price - we think the price is worth it." How dare she? There is more than one tyrant responsible for the genocide that is happening in Iraq today. - Yours, etc., S. FLOOD, Campaign to End Iraq Sanctions, Baldoyle, Dublin 13.