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Can anyone provide more information about the following ? : "During allied bombing campaigns on Iraq the country's eight multi-purpose dams had been repeatedly hit, simultaneously wrecking flood control, municipal and industrial water storage, irrigation and hydroelectric power. Four of seven major pumping stations were destroyed, as were 31 municipal water and sewerage facilities - 20 in Baghdad, resulting in sewage pouring into the Tigris." (Allies deliberately poisoned Iraq public water supply in Gulf War, Sunday Glasgow Herald, 17th September 2000). In October 1991 the International Study Team concluded that "Direct physical damage, either from bombing or from looting during the civil uprisings, was found to be only a minor factor in the impairment of water and wastewater systems. The primary rate-limiting factors are lack of spare parts and supplies of chlorine and erratic electric supply ... A lack of electrical power has rendered inoperable wastewater treatment plants in Baghdad and southern Iraq. As a consequence, raw sewage is being discharged into receiving waters." (See below for more on the bombing and the electricity sector). In their 1991 report "Needless Deaths in the Gulf War" Human Rights Watch have only the following to say about "attacks on water-treatment facilities" : "During a visit to Basra in May, journalist Ed Vulliamy reported that water-treatment plants in Iraq's second-largest city had been bombed, and that the allies targeted both the transformers and the turbines of these facilities. "It was not merely the transformers in the water plants that were bombed," he wrote, "but the giant Japanese-built turbines themselves, which cannot be repaired under the embargo." An Iraqi exile who arrived in Basra from Iran on March 1 told [Middle East Watch] that the water supply facility in the densely populated Bratha'iyya quarter of the city had been damaged beyond repair. He said that he system in nearby Tenuma "was only hit by machine guns from the planes, so we were able to repair it." British journalist Patrick Cockburn told MEW that the water facilities near the al-Khalij Hotel were partially destroyed." Eric Herring's contact - who was involved in drafting the DIA document - writes that "we never deliberately destroyed such targets [as Iraq's water and sanitation system]". The following, taken from a new voices uk briefing, sheds some interesting light on this. Note, in particular, Human Rights Watch's comment that ‘insofar as the civilian population is concerned, it makes little or no difference whether [a civilian facility] is attacked or destroyed, or is made inoperable by the destruction of the electrical plant supplying it power. In either case, civilians suffer the same effects - they are denied the use of a public utility indispensable for their survival.’ : EXCERPT STARTS "By the end of the [1991 Gulf] war only two of Iraq’s twenty electrical plants were functioning, generating less than 4 percent of the power produced before the war. Dr Eric Hoskins notes that, ‘The breakdown in water and sanitation that occurred during the Gulf War, and the Iraqi Government's inability to effectively repair these services, have been responsible for outbreaks of cholera, typhoid, gastroenteritis, malaria, meningitis, brucellosis, measles, polio, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases.’ According to the data collected by the International Study Team in August 1991, there were an estimated 47,000 deaths among children under the age of five during the first eight months of 1991 as a result of the Gulf War and its aftermath. The US human rights group, Middle East Watch, notes that, ‘insofar as the civilian population is concerned, it makes little or no difference whether [a civilian facility] is attacked or destroyed, or is made inoperable by the destruction of the electrical plant supplying it power. In either case, civilians suffer the same effects - they are denied the use of a public utility indispensable for their survival.’ In other words, if the destruction of electrical power plants was deliberate, then the US-led forces ‘effectively bombed hospitals and sewage treatment and water purification plants, which are the kinds of war crimes that would have led to hanging at Nuremberg.’ (Norman Finkelstein, The Rise and Fall of Palestine, University of Minnesota Press (1996), p. 62.) It is shocking, then, to realise that power plants were deliberately targeted during the war. In 1991 Colonel John A. Warden III, the deputy director of strategy, doctrine and plans for the US Air Force, acknowledged that the wrecking of Iraq's electricity system ‘gives us long-term leverage’: ‘Saddam Hussein cannot restore his own electricity. He needs help. If there are political objectives that the UN coalition has, it can say, “Saddam, when you agree to do these things, we will allow people to come in and fix your electricity”.’ General Schwarzkopf, US commander in the Gulf region, claimed that ‘we never had any intention of destroying all of Iraqi electrical power.’ Yet after this statement, US-led attacks on power generation facilities continued - including the destruction, after Schwarzkopf’s statement, of two of Iraq's critical hydroelectric facilities, not hit by Coalition bombers until early February. By the time the air war was over, Schwartzkopf’s forces had destroyed 95 percent of Iraq’s prewar electrical-generating capacity. Reuters reported that after the biggest power plant in southern Iraq was bombed, Basra ‘came close to drowning in its own filth’. The power plant was then bombed twelve more times. It was ‘completely incapacitated’ after the first attack, according to the chief engineer, ‘[so] we though that would be it, there would be no further attacks. But they came back and struck again, and again and again.’ The final attack came on 28 February, half an hour before the cease-fire. By then, most of the facility was apparently a ‘scrap heap’. US Air Force officers were quoted in the US press in June 1991 as saying that the targeting of Iraq's infrastructure had been related to an effort ‘to accelerate the effects of sanctions.’ " EXCERPT ENDS N.B. The above excerpt draws heavily on Norman Finkelstein's devastating critique of "Needless Deaths in the Gulf War" : "Watching Rights, Wrongly" (which can be found in his book "The Rise and Fall of Palestine" published by the University of Minnesota Press). Copies of the full briefing "Strangle Hold : How the Sanctions Committee Helps Perpetuate the Humanitarian Crisis in Iraq" (complete with references) are available from the voices office. Best wishes, Gabriel Carlyle voices in the wilderness uk 16b Cherwell Street Oxford OX4 1BG England tel. 01865 - 243 232 -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk