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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] I’d like to reiterate the comments made by Brian Whitaker (The Guardian, Thursday January 23, 2003, “Dual Crisis Looms for millions in Iraq”). He accurately points out that during air strikes in the 1991 Gulf War electric power was knocked out and that if this occurs again in the case of another war against Iraq, disease would spread rapidly as water and sanitation are electrically pumped in much of Iraq. I have no doubt that this will be the case if the US goes to war against Iraq again. The US Gulf War Air Power Surveys (GWAPS), produced after the Gulf War by the US Air Force in 1993 in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University, edited by T. Keaney and E. Cohen, reveal much about the strategy of the air campaign planners, specifically in Volume II, Part II, chs 6 and 7. http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awc-hist.htm#gulf The GWAPS explains the target categories that were drawn up for the air campaign. Iraq’s national power structure was divided among five broad core categories: Leadership, Key Production, Infrastructure, Population, and Fielded Forces. Within these core categories, there were a number of “strategic” targets. These strategic targets were divided among the five broad core categories of national power, as follows: 1. Leadership: Command, Control and Communications 2. Key Production: Electric Power, Oil storage depots and refineries, Nuclear, Chemical and Biological warfare capabilities and weapons programmes, and military support facilities. 3. Infrastructure: Bridges, Rail Road Facilities 4. Population: No targeting 5. Field Forces: Scuds I want to focus on electric power. The GWAPS confirms that as a result of the targeting of electric power, which was seen as essential for restricting the capabilities of the Iraqi military, “Almost 88 per cent of Iraq’s installed generation capacity was sufficiently damaged or destroyed by direct attack, or else isolated from the national grid through strikes on associated transformers and switching facilities, to render it unavailable; the remaining 12 per cent … was probably unusable other than locally due to damage inflicted on transformers and switching yards.” The GWAPS states that the above targeting of electric power made an enormous contribution to the “success” of the US-led air campaign, in that it enabled the defeat of the Iraqi military within six weeks. There is little doubt that in any conflict with Iraq the US will again be keen to see a rapid defeat of the Iraqi military. In order to achieve this, they will be looking at the same kind of aerial bombing that was undertaken during 1991, with target categories similar to those outlined above. This will mean, again, that taking out Iraqi electric power will be one of the earliest priorities in any campaign. Everyone on the list will be well aware of the consequences of this targeting of electric power in the last Gulf War when coupled with economic sanctions: that the infrastructure has not been rebuilt, that the availability of clean water is still woefully inadequate, and that disease is rife, especially among children. Under-Secretary General Ahtisaari of the UN, on his mission to assess the humanitarian situation in Iraq in March 1991, reported that, “Virtually all previously viable sources of fuel and power … and modern means of communication are now, essentially, defunct … there is much less than the minimum fuel required to provide the energy needed for movement or transportation, irrigation or generators for power to pump water and sewage.” (Report S/22366 to the United Nations Security Council, p.4, Sections 9-10. http://www.un.org/depts/oip/reports An intelligence analysis document entitled Disease Information, circulated in January 1991, and declassified in 1995, highlighted the potential effects that bombing of electric power could have on disease occurrence in Baghdad, “Food- and waterborne diseases have the greatest potential for outbreaks in the civilian and military population over the next 30 to 60 days. Increased incidence of diseases will be attributable to degradation of normal preventive medicine, waste disposal, water purification/distribution, electricity, and decreased ability to control disease outbreaks. Any urban area in Iraq that has received infrastructure damage will have similar problems.” (Defence Intelligence Agency, US. Disease Information. January 15 1991, 950901_0504rept_91.txt, p.91, declassified January 9, 1995.) http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/declassdocs/dia/19950901/950901_0504rept_91.html. The US department of defence was clearly aware then and is aware now of the consequences that targeting electric power will have on the people of Iraq. And yet this will still be seen as “worth it” in the campaign to remove SH from power. The majority of us on the list certainly do not see this as “worth it”, and this is why we are campaigning for both the avoidance of military conflict and the lifting of economic sanctions. I appreciate that SH too is guilty of harming Iraqi people, but would ask Abtehale and any others who argue that “this external military intervention may be the only possible hope they have to get rid of Saddam” and that “people in Iraq want this war to happen because they see that they have nothing to loose” to reconsider. Do Iraqis really want to see the effects of US targeting of electric power again? Do they want to see the unimaginable horrors of disease and hunger that they faced in the wake of 1991 and throughout the last ten years? I think not. This war must be prevented, and sanctions must be lifted if Iraqis are to have any hope of re-building their lives, with or without SH. Voices UK <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: Dual crisis looms for millions in Iraq Brian Whitaker Thursday January 23, 2003 The Guardian Millions of Iraqis could face hunger and disease if the country's fragile infrastructure collapses during an American-led invasion, humanitarian agencies warned yesterday. Concern centres on food supplies, which depend heavily on the Baghdad government's distribution system, and on electricity supplies, which are essential for water and sewage services. About 15 million Iraqis, out of an estimated population of 24 million, depend on food rations provided under an agreement between the UN and the Iraqi government. The rations provide 2,200 calories a day, well below the average Iraqi's intake of 3,159 calories before the 1991 Gulf war, but even this meagre amount could be jeopardised by a new conflict. "If any military strike disrupted the Iraqi authorities' distribution of food or the transport network, there could be very, very serious humanitarian consequences," said Ed Cairns, a policy adviser for Oxfam. A similar warning came from Elkheir Khaled, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's representative in Iraq. "There is reliance of the peo ple here on the government and to get out of this dependency all of a sudden will be really disastrous, because people don't have the ability to cope," he said. "Without this ration, starvation will come like this," he said, snapping his fingers. In anticipation of an attack, Iraqi officials say they have stepped up food rations, but it is unclear how long these might last. Disease could also spread rapidly if air strikes knock out electrical power as happened in 1991. "Water and sanitation are electrically pumped in much of Iraq," Mr Cairns said. "So targeting of electricity supplies for military reasons could also have a very severe civilian effect." Iraq's national power supply has still not been fully repaired since the 1991 war, and is thought to be only two-thirds operational. Although many water treatment plants have their own generators, 70% of them do not work, according to the UN agency, Unicef. "The public health statistics in Iraq are already grim," Mr Cairns said, "and we would be very concerned that an existing humanitarian crisis could be tipped over the edge into catastrophe." _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk Ruth J Blakeley 265A Hotwell Road Hotwells Bristol BS8 4SF 0117 929 4156 / 07909 525010 Website: www.civilwarfare.co.uk --------------------------------- With Yahoo! Mail you can get a bigger mailbox -- choose a size that fits your needs _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk