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[casi] Fwd: [no-sanctions] Intellectual Genocide.

>Morning Star 20.04ı02
>Intellectual Genocide.
>Felicity Arbuthnot
>Palestine and Iraq have much in common. The desert slaughter - misnamed a
>war - of 1991, left Iraq: Œreduced to a pre-industrial age for a
>considerable time to comeı, according to the UN Special Rapporteur, who
>visited barely a month after the end of hostilities. Palestine too, lies in
>ruins. In both cases, the silence of those who could exert pressure has been
>truly deafening.
>That Œhistory will slaughter those responsibleı - to use the words of Denis
>Halliday, distinguished UN Diplomat and UN Under Secretary General, who
>resigned in disgust as UN Co-ordinator in Iraq, citing the Œdestruction of
>an entire nationı - will be of little comfort to the dead, maimed,
>disposessed, bereaved and dying of both countries. However, as the silent
>slaughter continues in Iraq, resulting from the worldıs most draconian UN
>embargo and another continues in Palestine at the hands of Israel - whilst
>possibly the most pathetic incumbant UN Secretary General ever, bleats
>apologetically about Œrestraintı, in an expensive suit and the quiestest of
>voices. Priorities, however,  are not alone food, water, medicines - they
>are what Hallidayıs successor, Count Hans von Sponeck, an equally
>distinguished diplomat cited as: Œintellectual genocide.ı
>Palestine and Iraq have the highest number of PhıDıs in the Middle East,
>women and men educated without discrimination. In both countries the
>education system has been targetted and dismantled. As the west crows of
>restoring education in Afganistan, it is silent on decimating it in a part
>of the world where writing, algebra, mathematics, domestic law and record
>keeping began.
>Iraq, prior to the embargo was awarded, two years running, a unique accolade
>from UNESCO. The education system was globally unparallelled in that a child
>could be born into abject poverty, of illiterate parents and emerge from
>this free, high quality system (including University) as anything he or she
>wished to be. Western Post graduate courses were paid for by the Iraqi
>government, resulting in rounded east-west expertise.
>With the onset of the UN embargo on Hiroshima Day 1990, all educational
>materials to Iraq were halted. Blackboards, pencils, pens, course books,
>medical journals, computers, even paper. A doctor qualifying today will be
>twelve years out of date - he or she will still be using 1989 materials,
>apart from the small amount taken in by occasional sanctions breakers.
>When the UN Weapons Inspectors (UNSCOM) raided the Science Laboratory at
>Baghdadıs famous, formerly resplendantly
>   equipped University (built by the Gulbenkian oil foundation in the 1970ıs
>as a result of an oil deal, the Inspectors laughed at itıs sorry state -
>then threw out the few remaining books. (ED - I HAVE THE UN VIDEO)
>The language laboratory is silent. Computers and visual aids long dead,
>denying a western orientated society the ability to perfect western
>languages - in a society where all university students are taught in english
>in order to enable them to access overseas post graduate courses.
>An abiding memory is visiting the University and talking to the Professor of
>Literature, a passionate, elegant educationalist, who had been a
>distinguished visiting Professor, to a number of US and UK Universities. He
>searched for the words to explain the magnitude of the educational
>decimation under the embargo. Education for him - as in all Iraq and
>Palestine - was not a profession, it was a burning passion - the learning
>young, where ever they were, were a countryıs future.
>The tweed jacketed Professor spoke better english than I and personified
>passion, pride and dignity. As I thanked him and offered my hand, he
>clutched it, in both of his and said: ŒI beg you, please, send us paper,
>send us books, send us pens and pencils ... I beg you, I beg you.ı Four
>months later, he was dead. All those who knew him, said he died of a broken
>heart - he could no longer give his students the wherewithall to equip them
>for whatever they chose in life.
>   In Palestine, the blockade of the great Beir Zeit University, has been
>little reported. Roads bulldozed, students and academics, forced to scramble
>over mountains of rubble and take circuitous routes to reach. Frequently it
>was impossible.
>Now, along with lives and homes, all educational infrastructure has been
>detonated by the Israeli Defence Force. The seven Palestinian Universitites,
>painstakingly re-opened, community outreaching, in a community where one
>third of the three million population is under fifteen and education  a
>cornerstone, are under threat.
>The Ministry of Education in Ramallah - a walled compound - was reportedly
>attacked by thirty Israeli tanks, despite the employees offers for the
>building to be inspected. Soldiers destroyed outer and inner doors, safes,
>filing cabinets, computers, hard disks, files, students records Œwere
>damaged, or reduced to rubble.ı As with Iraq: Œaudo visual equipment and
>other learning tools were taken and destroyed.ı
>Some one hundred and sixty six schools have been destroyed or damaged, three
>have been taken over by the Israeli military but of the rest (one thousand
>six hundred and ninety eight in the West Bank and six hundred and forty two
>in Gaza) little is known since independent observers are unable to gain
>access, often threatened with their life by the IDF.
>State of the art educational television stations (such as in Ramallah  -
>part of Al Quds University ) have been invaded and destroyed
>and the international donor community is owed nearly four thousand million
>dollars in that which has been destroyed - donated in aid for Palestineıs
>educational system.
>As with Iraq, nothing will repay the destroyed future of Palestine - young
>denied their education - and nothing will heal their trauma, the enormity of
>which, will only be known when the  full truth finally comes out. Do Britain
>and America fear educated Middle East populations?
>As for the limp, impotent leadership of the United Nations: Rest in Peace.
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