by Jon Basil Utley
ONE--It's Saddam's fault that half a million children died since the
economic blockade, Saddam could feed his people if he cared instead
of using his money to buy weapons "More than one million
Iraqis have died- 500,000 of them children-as a direct consequence
of economic sanctions... As many as 12% of the children surveyed
in Baghdad are wasted, 28% stunted and 29% underweight."
UN FAO, December 1995. For details see
Morbidity and Mortality Among Iraqi Children 1990-98.
ANSWER--Nearly all oil sales money has been allocated through United
Nations inspectors, subject to nearly 40% reduction for reparations
and UN expenses, and subject to Washington's veto and foot dragging
usually months for even the simplest decision. Washington
has allowed food and medicine imports, but almost nothing else.
For nearly ten years it blockaded chlorine to sanitize the water
and any equipment to rebuild
the electricity grid, sanitation and irrigation facilities.
Even pencils for school children were prohibited. (A New York
Times editorial 2/11/01 reports, "currently American diplomats
are holding up billions of dollars of imports needed for civilian
transportation, electric power generation...and even medical treatment").
Finally the Europeans rebelled at the cruelty and shamed Washington
into allowing such imports, (New
York Times 12/6/00). Until oil prices increased last year,
sales ran about $4 billion yearly minus about 35% withheld by
UN left 2.6 billion divided by 20 million population = $130 per
year per person = 36 cents per day per person for food, medicine.
Obviously Iraq needed to rebuild its agriculture and transport
infrastructure to feed itself, but this was prevented by Washington.
blockaded supplies to rebuild Iraq's bombed oil production and
refining facilities since 10 years, although it went to war supposedly
to assure oil supplies for the world. Iraq is now also getting
substantial monies through sales of smuggled oil, especially since
the price of oil went up and the rest of the world tires of the
American blockade. No doubt some of this goes for weapons
Iraq allowed inspections for wmd (weapons of mass destruction),
Washington would remove the blockade. Iraq iraq must prove that
it has now wmd and that it won't manufacture any in the future.
ANSWER--There's No Connection Between Inspections
and Sanctions on Iraq and consequently no incentive for Iraq to
comply. Equally No Nation can "prove" a negative, that
it's not doing something. Biological and chemical weapons can
be made, "in a large closet which is all the space you need to
mix deadly chemical weapons...... Chemical and biological weapons
are the great equalizers against our atomic weapons." (Time
"Everyman a Superpower," 11/24/97).
Reinspections, Reuters reported,
12/13/99, "The (European) aim was to prevent the
United States and Britain from imposing arms requirements that
Iraq could not meet and thus keeping the sanctions in place for
years to come." And AFP 12/13/99, "French diplomats retorted that
by insisting on full cooperation, the council would give the United
States an excuse to refuse to suspend sanctions on the flimsiest
Albright declared in 1997: "We do not agree with the nations
who argue that if Iraq complies with its obligations concerning
weapons of mass destruction, sanctions should be lifted."
Clinton went one step
further when he said, "sanctions will be there until the
end of time, or as long as he [Saddam] lasts."
The Bush Administration has not repudiated these statements
Ritter, former head of the U.N. arms inspection team in Iraq,
on the NBC Today Show, 12/17/98, explained, "Washington perverted
the U.N. weapons process by using it as a tool to justify military
actions, falsely so. ... The U.S. was using the inspection process
as a trigger for war."
let the UN/US monitors inspect possible wmd production or storage
sites. that's why America started bombing.
ANSWER--Iraq did so from
1991 until 1998, but Washington still wouldn't take off the trade
blockade. Scott Ritter,
the former UNSCOM inspector, told
on 2/18 "In terms of large-scale weapons of mass destruction
programs, these had been fundamentally destroyed or dismantled
by the weapons inspectors as early as 1996, so by 1998 we had
under control the situation on the ground."
Then in 1998 Washington also demanded access to the Iraq's government
personnel files, the basis of the its power structure.
Saddam saw that U.S. demands were just always increased
with no hope of sanctions being lifted.
FOUR--It's Iraq's fault that the blockade continues. America
has nothing against Iraq's people, only against its government.
ANSWER--Britain and Washington have introduced a "peace plan"demanding
that Iraq must allow inspections in return for nothing.
Russia and France have introduced a plan (vetoed by Washington)
allowing for immediate lifting of sanctions in return for continued,
ongoing WMD inspections. Washington has already often
stated policy of no relief from blockade no matter what Iraq
does, as long as Saddam stays in power. This is typical Washington
by former Pres. Jimmy Carter) of demanding rulers follow policies
to get themselves killed or at least thrown out of power (and
then tried for "war crimes") and then starves the nations' civilians
on and on for years (Pat
Buchanan speech) while nothing changes. (For detailed discussion
of resolution see CASI
from Cambridge and IAC
detailed analysis of UN Resolution).
Secretary of State Powell implied in testimony
to Congress that America might now go along with this option.
FIVE--The United Nations ordered
sanctions and Washington is just enforcing them.
ANSWER--Most nations in the world want them lifted for non-military
goods. It is the U.S. veto that prevents lifting of the sanctions
(UPI, 11/1/00) Imposed in 1990 many nations argue that they were
never intended to last for years and are one of the most brutal
sanction regimes in modern history. The crippling trade embargo
is incompatible with the UN charter as well as UN conventions
on human rights and the rights of the child (BBC News Online,
attacking Iraq is totally unconstitutional and illegal under United
Nations Charter and Nuremberg Judgements.
SIX--If we don't bomb Iraq, Saddam will use his WMD
against us or his neighbors or Israel.
ANSWER--Saddam is rational. He had these weapons during the First
Gulf War and didn't because he feared our threats of consequences
even when his nation was being decimated. Israel has some 200
atomic bombs and can well defend itself. It has already threatened
Iraq with their use if Iraq attacks with WMD. Meanwhile Washington
arms all Iraq's neighbors (except Iran), and Turkey bombs and
invades Iraq at will.
SEVEN--Saddam gassed his own people.
ANSWER--Didn't our government also do that at WACO? The C2 gas
used by the FBI killed children who couldn't fit into gas masks
and then created an explosive mixture which triggered fire and
immolation, (see super documentary, WACO, nominated for an Academy
Award). Remember how often Americans were lied to in order to
get us into wars. (See Subjects, How
Hill and Knowlton Public Relations "sold" the Iraq War).
For the First World War, it was stories that German soldiers
ate Belgian babies. For the Iraq war it was lies about babies
being thrown out of incubators, "testified" to a Congressional
Committee by a "mystery" witness who later turned out to be the
daughter of the Kuwaiti sheik's ruling family who is Ambassador
in Washington. It was all lies. Then we were told there were aerial
photographs of the Iraqi Army massed on Saudi Arabia's border
ready to attack. They were never
released; they apparently were lies too. How do we know we
weren't also lied to about the gassing? See Jude
Wanniski report for detailed analysis of gassing.
CONCLUSION--Look at the above and think how America is now hated. No
wonder many Arabs engage in suicide missions. American military
are so unpopular in Saudi Arabia that the government hides our
Airmen away in desert bases to keep them out of sight from its
citizenry. (A CNN reporter from Time magazine once said
that the dream of glory for many young Saudis was to die in battle
killing Americans and that's among Saudi, or "friends").
How the world sees us was reported by the Wall Street Journal's
European edition editor (2/24/98) "What came up most were
charges of American hypocrisy. The US wants to bomb Iraq over
its violations of UN directives, but won't take any action against
the Israelis for theirs (e.g. occupation of part of Lebanon and
settlements in Palestine)."
Washington showed justice and fairness in its policies, then it
would not be creating sworn and desperate enemies who, in former
Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick's
words, "define themselves as being Enemies of America."
The best security for Americans is not to make so many enemies
(see Joseph Sobran column,
How Many Enemies Do We Want?)
ADDENDUM--(Evidence from Kosovo of similar Washington tactics against
Boston Globe (5/16/99) reported:
"In planning the 1991 Persian Gulf War, US officers found a 12 bridges
for the movement of Iraqi troops in and out of Kuwait. US planes
bombed those bridges over and over, with little effect. So they
bombed every bridge in Iraq, 160 in all, about two-thirds of them
far from Kuwait. After a while, all bridges were seen and treated
equally. Similarly, now in Belgrade, it seems, all military agencies
are seen and treated as if they were of equal importance. The
Pentagon announced last week that three-quarters of the targets
hit in this air war, 270 out of 380, have been 'strategic targets.'
Only 110 have been directly connected to the soldiers and militias
[Mr. Utley is Robert A. Taft Fellow at the Ludwig
von Mises Institute. He was formerly a foreign correspondent
in South America for Knight Ridder Newspapers, has written for
the Harvard Business Review and Washington Post,
and was formerly a director of Accuracy in Media, a contributing
editor to Conservative Digest and affiliated with many
Copyright © 2001 Jon Basil Utley - All Rights