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[casi] Former UN chief: bomb was payback for collusion with US

    Exclusive: By Neil Mackay
    Sunday Herald - 24 August 2003

    THE reason the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad were bombed is
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
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
mission in Baghdad which killed at least 23 people - 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
nominated for the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. "The UN Security Council has
taken over and corrupted by the US and UK, particularly with regard to
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
The US and UK bombed the infrastructure in 1991, destroying power, water
sewage systems against the Geneva Convention. It was a great crime
against Iraq.

    "Thirteen years of sanctions made it impossible for Iraq to repair
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.
million Iraqis are suffering cancers because of the use of depleted
shells. That's an atrocity. Can you imagine the bitterness from all of

    He warned that "further collaboration" 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 - a division of
the state
department. Kofi Annan was appointed and supported by the US and that
corrupted the independence of the UN. The UN must move quickly to reform
and improve the security council - 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
Iraqis rebuild their nation. "Bush has blown $75 billion on this war, so
should spend $75 billion on reconstruction - and the money shouldn't
just go to
Halli burton [an oil firm now operating in Iraqi which was once run by
president Dick Cheney] and the boys either. Once the US goes from Iraq,
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
London, Washington and Kofi Annan, but he claims many senior UN figures
feel the
same anger.

    Copyright (c) 2003 smg sunday newspapers ltd. no.176088

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