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Re: "Allies deliberately poisoned Iraq public water supply in Gulf Wa r"

Response to Eric Herring's exchange with a "USAF contact" concerning degradation of Iraq's water supply.

What is the issue here? If we are to have a textual analysis of the Glasgow Herald article, we should also have a contextual analysis. This should begin with  the incontrovertible fact that the US actually did lead the destruction of Iraq's civilian infrastructure, including its clean water supplies, electricity, telecommunications, bridges, baby-milk factories etcetera etcetera... In the words of then UN Deputy General Secretary Maarti Ahtisaari's report on the aftermath of the US-led assault,

"It should ... be said at once that nothing we had seen or read had quite prepared us for
the particular form of devastation which has now befallen the country. The people of Iraq face an "imminent catastrophe..." due to the war's destruction of an "economic infrastructure of what had been, until January 1991, a rather highly urbanised and mechanised society. Now, most means of modern life support have been destroyed or rendered tenuous."

Eric Herring's contact talks of "the few water facilities [that] were hit..." yet does not dispute the very specific charges made in Felicity Arbuthnot's article:

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. Water purification plants were incapacitated throughout Iraq.
All of these were either unintended accidents or never happened, according to Eric's interlocutor. He says he doesn't want to split hairs; so we should just point to the fact that Iraq's pure water was in fact massively degraded and remains so, and direct military strikes on dams and water purification were but one factor in this barbaric act.

The "USAF contact" makes much of the non-secret status and insouciant tone of the DIA memorandum, issued one day into the 40-day blitz. This is a diversion. This won't be the only intelligence document on the subject of destroying Iraq's civilian infrastructure, and it would indeed be interesting to read those stamped "secret" and "top secret". For all I know, the DIA document is itself a plant. The document at least proves that they new full well what they were doing.

It is a diversion to look for self-incriminating proof of premeditation in any document, because - I firmly believe - the imperialist's true motives and aims are never written down or publically spoken. That is why we need contextual analysis. Final proof will only come when we do to them what the Serbian people are doing to the Milosevic regime.

Taking the broadest contextual view, taking all facts into account, I believe that it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that, whatever the remarkable vicissitudes in their relations with the Saddam regime, the permament enemy and real  target of the US and UK governments in Iraq are Iraq's people, its toiling majority. These imperialist powers have committed, in the course of the last century, every crime in order to perpetuate their military and political domination over Iraq and the Middle East and their exploitation of its peoples and natural resources.
Amongst ths heinous litany was their cynical manipulation of the aftermath of the Holocaust to forge, in Israel, a "bulwark of western civilisation" against the rising tide of Arab nationalism.

We should pay no attention to the mid-games and the sophistry of this anonymous spokesperson for the enemy of humanity. We should reject the right of the US and UK to sanction or bomb Iraq on any pretext.

If we concede their right to take military sanctions, we will be on the wrong side the next time they go to war for oil. In case you hadn't noticed, the next time is now.

John S


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