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[casi] Denis Halliday: bomb was payback for collusion with US

Former UN chief: bomb was payback for collusion with US

24 August 2003

Exclusive: By Neil Mackay

THE reason the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad were
bombed is because the UN has been taken over by the US and
turned into a ¡§dark joke¡¨ and a ¡§malignant force¡¨,
according to one of the UN¡¦s most internationally respected
former leaders.

Denis Halliday, the former UN Assistant Secretary-General
and UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Iraq, attacked the UN as
an aggressive arm of US foreign policy in the immediate
aftermath of the truckbomb attack on the UN mission in
Baghdad which killed at least 23 people ¡V many of whom were
Halliday¡¦s former friends and colleagues.

¡§The West sees the UN as a benign organisation, but the sad
reality in much of the world is that the UN is not seen as
benign,¡¨ said Halliday, who was nominated for the 2001
Nobel Peace Prize. ¡§The UN Security Council has been taken
over and corrupted by the US and UK, particularly with
regard to Iraq, Palestine and Israel.

¡§In Iraq, the UN imposed sustained sanctions that probably
killed up to one million people. Children were dying of
malnutrition and water-borne diseases. The US and UK bombed
the infrastructure in 1991, destroying power, water and
sewage systems against the Geneva Convention. It was a great
crime against Iraq.

¡§Thirteen years of sanctions made it impossible for Iraq to
repair the damage. That is why we have such tremendous
resentment and anger against the UN in Iraq. There is a
sense that the UN humiliated the Iraqi people and society. I
would use the term genocide to define the use of sanctions
against Iraq. Several million Iraqis are suffering cancers
because of the use of depleted uranium shells. That¡¦s an
atrocity. Can you imagine the bitterness from all of this?

He warned that ¡§further colla boration¡¨ between the UN and
the US and Britain ¡§would be a disaster for the United
Nations as it would be sucked into supporting the illegal
occupation of Iraq¡¨.

¡§The UN has been drawn into being an arm of the US ¡V a
division of the state department. Kofi Annan was appointed
and supported by the US and that has corrupted the
independence of the UN. The UN must move quickly to reform
itself and improve the security council ¡V it must make
clear that the UN and the US are not one and the same.¡¨

Halliday said the US should withdraw from Iraqi within six
months and allow free elections to be held. The UN could
then start the work of helping the Iraqis rebuild their
nation. ¡§Bush has blown $75 billion on this war, so he
should spend $75 billion on reconstruction ¡V and the money
shouldn¡¦t just go to Halli burton [an oil firm now
operating in Iraqi which was once run by vice- president
Dick Cheney] and the boys either. Once the US goes from
Iraq, the terrorist will go as well.

¡§Bush and Blair have misled their countries into war. By
invading Iraq and placing the US inside the Islamic world,
America is inviting terrorists to come on the attack.¡¨

Halliday, who resigned from the UN in 1998, knows his
comments will upset London, Washington and Kofi Annan, but
he claims many senior UN figures feel the same anger.

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