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The discussions over war and motives seem to have drowned out all concerns over the silent war of sanctions. So I thought Fay Dowker's article would be a welcome reminder to everyone on CASI: "No War, No Sanctions". Not quite everyone. Abtehale Al-Hussaini writes: > The sanctions that have led to the death of Iraqi people > are because of Saddam. Saddam brought the senctions on to the > Iraqi people to further oppress them. Dear Abtehale, You seem to echo the sentiments of Hassan Hadad's recent post. Same style too. Friend of yours? Or are you he? In any case, I don't really see your point. Given the focus of this list, the CASI archives have exhaustive information on the subject. Some members are medical doctors. Many go regularly to Iraq, either as individuals or groups, to alleviate some of the pain. They bring essential drugs, they try to bring a little comfort, and, above all, they try to show solidarity with human suffering. And this solidarity, I would have thought, is shared by all CASI members. If you joined the list in order to agitate against Saddam Hussein, you are doing a grave disservice to CASI. Perhaps you should form your own Campaign Against Saddam Hussein, and let CASI members focus on the suffering of the Iraqi people - and how to avert the impending war that would bring new suffering. But this is merely my emotional response to your post. > the "death of Iraqi people" As the article reminds you, this is not only about physical death. It is about suffering, deprivation, isolation, and economic ruin. It is about despair and psychological trauma. It is about the physical and social destruction of a whole society. The sanction regime that achieved this was imposed by the USA for political gain - and under the auspices of the UN Security Council. Washington's goal was "regime change". The hope was that a deprived, demoralized population would rise against their leader to bring this about - a civil war. > Saddam brought the senctions on to the Iraqi people to > further oppress them. You seem to be saying that Saddam Hussein welcomes the sanctions - and uses them as a tool of oppression. Fair enough. But perhaps you didn't consider your argument in the cold light of reason. For one thing, if the sanctions did indeed benefit Mr. Hussein for such nefarious purpose, the US should be urgently demanding that the sanctions be dropped - seeing that they are the great "liberators" of mankind. In reality the US has been bribing, cajoling, and threatening members of the Security Council to keep the sanctions going for 12 years. By contrast, the Iraqi government has been demanding (in vain) that the sanctions be lifted. More to the point: You seem to forget that the Iraqi government is affected by the sanctions also: severe curtailment of sovereignty, economy in ruins, galloping inflation, devaluated currency - you name it. And worst of all, no access to their own money: the proceeds of all oil sales to into an escrow account in New York - managed by the UN. In fact, Iraq's export/import activities are run in New York. The US, via the UN, effectively controls Iraq. The US determines at what (low) price Iraqi oil is sold. And the US determines what Iraq may or may not buy. So logically, your suggestion that Mr. Hussein "brought on" the sanctions simply doesn't make sense. True, it is often said that someone is cutting off his nose to spite his face. But not to the point of self-destruction. Lastly, sanctions (embargoes) are imposed to punish a perceived enemy or to advance the interests of the instigator. And no sane person would argue that sanctions ever benefit the target nation - for any reason. The aim of sanctions is to limit or prevent exports and thus deprive a country of foreign exchange. Without any foreign exchange, the economy will come to a standstill, bringing about massive unemployment and inflation. This is what has been happening in Iraq. And as a result, the population suffers great hardship. The US has routinely used this "silent, deadly remedy" to "bring a nation to its knee", in Woodrow Wilson's words. Target nations were Vietnam, Iran, Cuba... and of course Iraq. In 1962 the US imposed total sanctions against Cuba as punishment for the nationalisation of US-owned businesses and to strangle communism. In 1996 the sanctions got tougher. Despite all hardship, Cuba still manages to generate foreign exchange. And its sovereignty is intact. Compared to the hardship experienced in Iraq, the situation in Cuba seems positively wholesome. As the US State Department points out, the sanctions against Iraq are the harshest ever imposed on any nation. You must know, Abtehale, that Iraq depends on imports for 70 percent of its foodstuff. When the sanctions were imposed in 1990, Iraq was completely cut off from all trading. No imports and no exports (and foreign exchange). The Iraqi government had to ration food to prevent a famine. Shortly afterwards the country was bombed to smithereens, destroying most of the infrastructure. With the Oil-for-Food Program Iraqi sovereignty was further curtailed. Iraq was now "allowed" to generate foreign exchange for foodstuff and other essentials, but the UN (US) took control of the money. The Iraqi government is not granted any cash to meet the running expenses any government must occur: for schools, hospitals, universities; maintaining roads, bridges; paying staff. And the Iraqi people continued to suffer under the sanctions. The US was prepared to let them suffer in perpetuity or until a "regime change" was achieved. And the whole world looked on - and kept babbling about Saddam Hussein to ease its collective conscience. Genocide - the intentional destruction of a people: In his report to the Commission on Human Rights (Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights) of June 2000, the Belgian international law expert Marc Bossuyt describes the sanction regime against Iraq as the intentional destruction of a people. He writes, "The sanctions regime against Iraq has as its clear purpose the deliberate infliction on the Iraqi people of conditions of life (lack of adequate food, medicines etc.) calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part. ... The states imposing the sanctions could raise questions under the genocide Convention." To speed up this process of destruction, the US deliberately destroyed Iraq's water supply, including water treatment facilities, in the Gulf war 1991 (by bombing). Not satisfied with having destroyed the water supply, the US planned to make the lack of potable water a permanent feature. This plan is outlined in a classified document entitled "Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities" (Jan 22/91). The planners calculated that Iraq had only a 2-month supply of "membranes or chemicals" for water treatment. Import of these items, the document noted, would be disallowed by the existing sanctions. (An implicit admission that the sanctions were to be continued.) The document (distributed to all US allies) noted "Iraqi alternatives": "Iraq could try convincing the United Nations or individual countries to exempt water treatment supplies from sanctions for humanitarian reasons. It probably also is attempting to purchase supplies by using some sympathetic countries as fronts. If such attempts fail, Iraqi alternatives are not adequate for their national requirements." Should Iraq's pleas fall on deaf ears, the consequences would be dire, notes the document: "Failing to secure supplies will result in a shortage of pure drinking water for much of the population. This could lead to increased incidences, if not epidemics, of disease and to certain pure-water-dependent industries becoming incapacitated, including petro chemicals, fertilizers, petroleum refining, electronics, pharmaceuticals, food processing, textiles, concrete construction, and thermal powerplants." As the title of the document implies, Iraq's water supply is inherently _vulnerable_. So the US planners were able to calculate ahead what type of epidemic diseases could occur: "Iraq's rivers also contain biological materials, pollutants, and are laden with bacteria. Unless the water is purified with chlorine epidemics of such diseases as cholera, hepatitis, and typhoid could occur.)" "IRAQ WATER TREATMENT VULNERABILITIES (U)", now declassified, is available at: http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/declassdocs/dia/19950901/950901_511rept_91.html This gentle plan was 100 percent successful: besides cancer of all kinds, waterborne diseases are the main killers of Iraqis. According to Unicef, the main victims are children under five. But for the advancement of US foreign policy, this is a small price to pay. How the parents of the dead and suffering children feel is irrelevant to the "indispensable nation". The coiner of this phrase, Madeleine Albright, said as much when asked on TV: "It's a hard choice", she conceded, "but'we think the price is worth it. John Pilger made a documentary on Albright's endorsement of genocide: "Paying the price: killing the children of Iraq." Dr. Thomas Nagy, a WWII child refugee, has spent a lot of work on these "Water Treatment" documents. The US plan 'let them drink polluted water and contract diseases' reminds him of German concentration camps. He argues that the intentional destruction of Iraq's water treatment facilities amounts to "a plan for achieving extermination without the need of constructing extermination camps." > Hence once Saddam is gone there is no possibility of > sanctions because the source of destruction who is Saddam > would have gone. Abtehale, you seem to condone the sanctions in the sense of Madeleine Albright: "the price is worth" it. Sad, but you are entitled to your opinion. But I am wondering: Have you ever talked to 12-year old who has lost out on education because she has to help support the family? Have you ever looked into the eyes of a mother who has just lost her 4th child to leukaemia? Have you ever asked how a father feels when he has to watch his emaciated toddler die in agony because of lack of medication? Have you spoken to Iraqi parents who had to give their children into an orphanage because they lack the means to care for them? Elga Sutter --------------Original Message-------------- Re: [casi] Article submitted to ``Eclipse'' the anti-war review From: "Abtehale Al-Hussaini" <email@example.com> Subject: Re: [casi] Article submitted to ``Eclipse'' the anti-war review Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2003 07:11:08 -0500 Dear all The sanctions that have led to the death of Iraqi people are because of Saddam. Saddam brought the senctions on to the Iraqi people to further oppress them. Hence once Saddam is gone there is no possibility of sanctions because the source of destruction who is Saddam would have gone. abtehale _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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