The Acts of the Democracies
In 1996, the USA Ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright was asked on an American television programme ("60 Minutes", 12 May):
"We have heard that a half a million children have died [because of sanctions against Iraq]. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And - you know - is the price worth it?"
In her reply (in which the figures are not challenged) she asserts:
"I think this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth it."
Many of the facts about what is happening in Iraq are largely unreported in the West. One such fact is that the incidence of myeloid leukemia cancers have risen fivefold since the Gulf War in 1991. There has also been a rise in congenital birth defects. Both are linked to the 96,000 depleted Uranium shells used primarily by the USA, UK and France during the 1990 war. These have left a residue of radioactive dust throughout the country.
In a rare report, the USA newspaper, the Washington Post admits that the ongoing aerial attacks on the country "leave behind a lethal litter that could claim civilian casualties for years... Civilian casualties have become routine."
On the newspaper's web site (but not published), an article describes how the USA has increasingly used "cluster bombs that have no real aim point and that kill and wound innocent civilians for years to come."
Cluster bombs leave hundreds of bomblets that can maim and kill civilians for months or years after they have been dropped.
Professor Thomas Nagy, (a teacher from George Washington University's Business School) publishes a report based on declassified documents from the USA Defense Intelligence Agency. One is titled "Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerability".
This document shows that the USA had used sanctions to degrade Iraq's water treatment facilities. It states that "failing to secure supplies will result in a shortage of pure drinking water for much of the population. This could result in increased incidences, if not epidemics, of disease and to certain pure water dependent becoming incapacitated.". It also observed that "Iraq's overall water treatment capability will suffer a slow decline, rather than a precipitous halt as dwindling supplies and cannibalized parts are concentrated at higher priority locations". It concludes that "no adequate solution exists for Iraq's water purification dilemma".
The above policy violates the Geneva Convention which states: "It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive."
This report is unreported in the main USA newspapers (such as New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Time, and Newsweek).