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A Postwar Inquiry on the Iraqi Sanctions, July 29 2003 Memo To: Democratic Presidential Contenders From: Jude Wanniski Re: Were Sanctions Right? As the situation in Iraq qets stickier, candidates, more of you are joining Howard Dean in questioning the reasons for the pre-emptive war and its consequences. If there are serious congressional hearings ahead, the probing will get down to issue of why the Iraqi people suffered through a dozen years of sanctions if Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction during all those years. In last Sunday's New York Times Magazine, the question is raised, "Were Sanctions Right?" by author David Rieff: If there is one thing every citizen of Iraq today agrees upon, it is that the sanctions were wrong: "The Iraq I traveled to in May was full of dissonant voices and contradictory opinions. People were no longer afraid to speak their minds. And yet what I found was an almost universal opposition to sanctions -- a stern, unshakable conviction that the 1990's were a human and economic catastrophe for the Iraqi people and that sanctions were at the heart of the disaster." Even Rieff does not get down to the nub of the matter, which would be so hard for the American people to accept: That the decision was made by the U.S. foreign policy establishment in 1991 that the sanctions could not and would not be lifted until Saddam Hussein was deposed. That is, no matter how much he cooperated with the UN inspectors, the standards for compliance had to be continually raised in order to keep the pressure on the Iraqi people -- hoping their suffering would cause them to overthrow Saddam. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright now admits it was "stupid" for her to say that it was "worth" the lives of the 500,000 Iraqi children who died because of the sanctions (according to the United Nations) to "contain" Saddam. Now it turns out Saddam was almost certainly "contained" as early as 1991. What were the UN inspectors doing all that time? They were not really looking for WMD, but trying to verify that they had been destroyed. This fact helps understand why the American military was not welcomed as "liberators" and why it is most unlikely the 23 million Iraqis will not continue to spawn young who we will call "terrorists," those plotting to kill one American at a time, seeking revenge for Washington's willingness to kill Iraqis by the thousands, week after week, for 13 years. They are glad Saddam is gone if only because the sanctions have been lifted, but it is most unlikely they will forget their own holocaust. Now that the NYT has had its limited postwar inquiry, there really should be an official one. =================================================== Were Sanctions Right? By DAVID RIEFF, NYT July 27, 2003 http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/27/magazine/27SANCTIONS.html _______________________________________________ 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