United States & Iraq: Sanctions and Hypocrisy

Special to The Putnam Pit
To Criticize one's country is to do it a service and pay it a compliment
--J. William Fullbright, The Arrogance of Power

The United States says it recalled bombers in mid-flight en-route to Baghdad, again
going eyeball to eyeball with Saddam Hussein over what Washington alleges it perceives as the Iraqi leader's refusal to allow inspection of possible weapons production sites in Iraq.

This seems to be a continuation of our semi-annual crisis with that country. The United States has effectively pressured the United Nations to maintain sanctions on Iraq,
even after Baghdad  agreed to allow inspections last year. We have literally
insisted that every conceivable building in Iraq be inspected before a
lifting of the sanctions is approved. Frustrated with the delays and aware
of the consequences of the sanctions, Iraq's ambassador to the U.N. stated, "They [U.S.] will not kill in a military strike more than they are killing with sanctions every day."

Our policy on Iraq is taking a heavy toll on the lives of civilians. According to UNICEF, 150 children are dying daily from malnutrition and illnesses, and since the war ended, over one half million children under the age of five have died. It seems that we care more for our oil interests in the Gulf than we care for the lives of a
whole generation of Iraq's children.

The United States claims that we are making the Gulf region safe
from Hussein's madness by limiting his ability to build and use weapons of
mass destruction. Yet it was the United States and European countries that
sold Iraq the weapons of mass destruction in the first place. In fact if
Iraq were to fire a biological weapon, the missile would probably be from
Russia, upgraded by German technology and loaded with a U.S. supplied
bacteria strain. What hypocrisy! The U.S. has the largest stockpiles of
weapons of mass destruction in the world. We are the only ones to have used
nuclear weapons on civilian populations and yet we justify the annihilation
of a generation of children by claiming we want to stop the potential use
of weapons of mass destruction.

That many American people have learned to hate Saddam Hussein and
seem willing to watch further violence rain down on the Iraq's people
attests to the degree of demonization the government, through our national
media, has so effectively generated against Hussein. He is likened to
Hitler and deemed a crazed killer using the bodies of his people to protect
himself. As a result, some of us are willing to accept 500,000 deaths as
justifiable if it will hasten Hussein's downfall. In my opinion, a half-million dead
children is not an acceptable cost to overthrow any government!
CIA covert action in the Gulf continues to wage a war of economic
sanctions and dirty tricks. Internal and external plots to overthrow
Hussein are part of our continuing war against Iraq. Bundestag Presseb in
Germany reported last summer that the screwworm epidemic in Iraq, which is
devastating Iraq's livestock populations, broke out in 12 of Iraq's 18
provinces starting in the no-fly zone controlled by the United States.
The sanctions against Iraq include the chemical counter agents necessary to
control the screwworm. The CIA was aware that the Contra's were
shipping Cocaine into U.S. cities and let it happen. Do you think the agency would hesitate to deliberately seed screwworm flies into Iraq, destroying their livestock population to undermine Hussein? We should not have to question our government's moral position, but unfortunately that is no longer the case in America.

Peter Phillips is an Associate Professor of Sociology  and director of
Project Censored at Sonoma State University.

Peter Phillips Ph.D.
Sociology Department/Project Censored
Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Ave.
Rohnert Park, CA 94928

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