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I am dedicating the attached article to Tony Blair. It is the most poignant indictment of the sanctions regime I've come across. The writer asks us to imagine criminally negligent parents inflicting on their children what the US-led world/UN has inflicted on Iraq. This article, "Iraq's Untold Story: Genocide in Iraq", appeared in Shia News, September 20, 2000. If it were not for the food rationing system set up by the GOI, millions more would be dead, notes the writer. Prior to the Gulf War, he points out, Iraq was a "modern nation where starvation was unknown". The efficiency of the food distribution has been confirmed by people like Halliday, von Sponeck, and Jutta Burghardt It is also mentioned in a report by the WHO, March 1996: "The situation of famine has been prevented largely by an efficient public rationing system." - This report is at: http://www.who.int/disasters/repo/5249.html Evidently, the US/UK keep trying to whitewash their guilt with blame-it-all-on-SH propaganda. And no doubt they'll find believers - it is a comforting thought. Still, the sanctions regime is well documented, not even counting CASI. --Elga Sutter <START FWD> http://www.shianews.com/hi/articles/politics/0000031.php Published on: Wednesday, 21 Jamadioul Thani 1421 (20 September 2000) Iraq's Untold Story: Genocide in Iraq By Ali Albahrani (Provided) Close your eyes and imagine. Parents have been withholding food, water and medical care to punish their children for misbehaving. The children are on the brink of starvation. The house itself is in total disrepair. Taps do not work and the children, dying of thirst, are forced to drink water from a dirty toilet bowl. By the time authorities are alerted, one child is dead and the remaining two are near death from starvation and disease. The public is horrified and outraged. How could this happen in our midst? There are calls for investigations, inquests and inquiries. Neighbours, teachers, doctors are questioned. Anyone even remotely aware of the situation is held accountable. The parents are arrested, probably sent for psychiatric assessment, and charged with an array of offences including murder. Donations and adoption offers pour in from the public heartsick at the maltreatment of the children. Keep your eyes closed. Now, imagine that instead of one dead, you have half a million under the age of five. Instead of two suffering from severe malnutrition and disease, you have millions. Instead of drinking water from the toilet bowl, the water comes from a river contaminated with raw sewage. Imagine that instead of two parents perpetrating this horror on their children, it is being done by the nations of the world, in the name of the United Nations. Open your eyes. You are in Iraq. As the latest international crisis over Iraq's refusal to allow U.S. weapons inspectors in the country degenerates into sabre rattling and threats of further sanctions, there is a tragic untold story that explains the flag- burning images flooding our television screens. [children are currently dying in Iraq at the rate of 4,500 to 4,800 per month UNICEF] It has been the United States that has spear-headed the campaign to continue sanctions against Iraq despite warnings from United Nations agencies such as UNICEF, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Health Organization (WHO), of the genocidal conditions within the country. According to information from the FAO, since sanctions were imposed in 1990, more than one million Iraqis have died - half of them children under the age of five. They are victims of sanctions that have deprived the Iraqi people of food, medicine and the spare parts necessary to repair their water and sewage systems. With pumps and sewage treatment plants largely inoperable for lack of spare parts, raw untreated sewage flows freely into neighbourhoods and rivers like the Tigris - a major water supply for the country. Under sanctions, chlorine is banned as a substance with potential military applications. One factory in Iraq produces an inferior grade chlorine in drastically insufficient supply. Consequently, most water is, at best, partially treated. UNICEF estimates that children are currently dying in Iraq at the rate of 4,500 to 4,800 per month. Many die of outright starvation, from diarrhea and diseases traced to contaminated water and food, or from communicable diseases once eradicated in Iraq. When children become ill, they are taken to hospitals where antibiotics and painkillers are non-existent or in short supply. Even adequate lighting and running water are sometimes lacking, not to mention basic medical equipment. The children do not stay long - parents quickly see that the hospitals have nothing to offer, nothing to alleviate their children's agony, and the children are taken home to die. They die as they have lived so briefly - tortured. Their deaths could not be more cruel. The children do not stay long - parents quickly see that the hospitals have nothing to offer, nothing to alleviate their children's agony, and the children are taken home to die. All of this is happening with the full knowledge of world leaders. It is genocide against a people enacted in the name of the United Nations and in full violation of international law as embodied in the Geneva Conventions. The founders of the U.N. who, in the preamble to the UN Charter, pledged to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, must be quite literally rolling in their graves. Sanctions, as they have been imposed on Iraq, are war in its most pervasive form. Where traditional war targetted the military establishment, a war of comprehensive sanctions like we've seen in Iraq, hits first and foremost the civilian population and, at that, the most vulnerable: the infants and children. Although sanctions are a provision of the U.N. Charter, and may retain some utility in specific instances, that clearly is not the case in Iraq. Saddam Hussein is a dictator. He has demonstrated that he is steadfast in his course despite tremendous death and suffering in his nation. Starving the population and depriving them of the most basic human needs will not transform Iraq into a democratic country that can vote Hussein out of office. In fact, the opposite is likely to occur. As the people of Iraq see that the world has issued them a death sentence, Saddam is likely to appear the lesser of two evils. He has set up an extensive food rationing system that provides a semi-starvation diet throughout the country. Without it, millions more would be dead. And, prior to the Gulf War, despite Saddam's atrocities, Iraq was a relatively rich and modern nation where starvation was unknown. It had one of the most advanced health care systems in the region. [Saddam Hussain] It is time that we, as a society and members of the global village, asked ourselves some penetrating questions. Why can states kill with impunity while individuals are tried and imprisoned for similar acts? Why would we respond with outrage if parents starved a child to death for misbehaving, yet simply accept the deaths of half a million children who are similarly punished by the nations of the world - their sole crime being born in a country led by Saddam Hussein? The current situation in Iraq may well go down in history as one of the worst atrocities of this century because it has been willingly and knowingly perpetrated by the nations of the world. It is a double tragedy because the genocide in Iraq has been orchestrated through the instrument that once represented our highest international moral standard: the United Nations. We should all be deeply alarmed that our world is ruled by leaders so heartless that they can look at the facts attesting to the genocide, and vote over and over again in the U.N. to continue the sanctions. In a 60 Minutes interview, the former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Madeleine Albright, was asked point blank whether or not sanctions were worth the death of half a million children under the age of five. She responded that it was a very difficult question but, yes, it (was) worth it. The U.N. Charter begins with, We, the people of the United Nations. We are the people of the U.N., and it is incumbent upon us to act to stop the sanctions and save the people of Iraq - one of our nations united. In so doing, we will reclaim the United Nations institution and the moral foundation it was built upon. We can do no less. We must do no less. <END> _______________________________________________ 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