END WAR: Madeleine Albright Says Deaths Of 500,000 Iraqi Children Is Worth It; UN Sanction Genocide





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Published on Mar 18, 2011

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Effects of Iraq Sanctions
by Anup Shah October 02, 2005 When asked on US television if she [Madeline Albright, US Secretary of State] thought that the death of half a million Iraqi children [from sanctions in Iraq] was a price worth paying, Albright replied: "This is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it."
— John Pilger...March 4, 2000

1. Amy Goodman:
... many say that, although president Bush led this invasion, that president Clinton laid the groundwork with the sanctions and with the previous bombing of Iraq. You were president Clinton's U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.... the U.N. sanctions, for example ... led to the deaths of more than a half a million children, not to mention more than a million Iraqis.

2. Governor Richardson:
Well, I stand behind the sanctions. I believe that they successfully contained Saddam Hussein. I believe that the sanctions were an instrument of our policy. [Emphasis Added]

3. Amy Goodman:
To ask a question that was asked of U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Madeleine Albright, do you think the price was worth it, 500,000 children dead?

4. Governor Richardson:
Well, I believe our policy was correct, yes

— Governor Richardson Calls for an Exit Strategy in Iraq and Stands by the Clinton-Era Sanctions, Democracy Now, September 22, 2005

Changing role of sanctions?
When Iraq invaded Kuwait, economic sanctions were applied, until March 1991, to pressure them to leave. After that, the sanctions took on a new purpose: to get Iraq to comply with the cease fire terms embodied in the UN Resolution 687, which included the elimination of its weapons of mass destruction and recognizing the sovereignty of Kuwait. However, at various stages throughout the sanctions, it was often said by U.S. officials that the sanctions would not be lifted until the Saddam Hussein regime had gone. For years, people from grassroots activists to top United Nations officials had strongly opposed the sanctions because of their effects on ordinary Iraqi citizens, but to no avail.

On May 22, 2003, the United Nations (U.N) Security Council voted to lift the sanctions, Saddam's regime having been toppled. The vote was 14 to 1 (Syria refusing to vote). But the passing of this resolution was also controversial: * In the past, the U.S. and U.K., primarily, had been most vocal in maintaining sanctions, though now, they were the main drivers to lift them, showing the political power the two nations have in the international arena. * While the political issues in this resolution were hardly presented in the British media, for example, some 150 peace organizations and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from around the world protested the resolution for virtually legitimizing the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and endorsing the foreign occupation of a U.N. member state. * As the previous link details, the resolution was passed by what the 150 groups described as bribes and threats by the U.S. on other members of the Council. * It also provides political legitimacy to U.S. rule (for now) in Iraq. * One additional effect is that it "did not specify the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in declaring Iraq free of weapons of mass destruction; it did not end the U.N. arms embargo against the country and it did not clarify the U.N.'s role in a future Iraq."

While the sanctions appear to be lifted then, the future of Iraq is still under a lot of questions. But the history of the sanctions regime and its toll on the Iraqi people have been very devastating which is what the rest of this page looks at.

Since the 1991 Gulf War, a combination of the effects of war, sanctions, deteriorating health care provisions, contaminated water, military actions, etc. have contributed to a humanitarian disaster in Iraq, further exacerbated by military strikes, such as those in 1998. Even the Secretary General of the UN, Koffi Annan had politely expressed his disappointment.

The sanctions had also been pointed out as being illegal. The previous link is to a paper presented to the International Law Association, in February 2000. It concluded that "The blockade/sanctions regime is by its nature inherently illegal under the Geneva Protocol, for three reasons. First, it targets civilians in breach of Articles 48 and 51(2). Secondly, it constitutes indiscriminate attack, in breach of Article 51(3). Thirdly and most flagrantly, it employs starvation as a method of warfare, in breach of Article 54."

However, the sanctions regime ...(lifted) only when the Saddam Hussein regime was eventually toppled.


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