The Gulf war seven years on
by Dave Muller
Today genuinely concerned people throughout the world are incredulous
that the UN Security Council are maintaining the 1990 Gulf war sanctions
against Iraq.The terms for ending the Gulf war in April 1991, Resolution
687 imposes on Iraq six specific political requirements.
The Resolution is quite specific and does not include a wholesale mandate to interfere in Iraq domestic and religious affairs as Richard Butler, head of UNSCOM seems to forgotten.
UN weapons inspectors have no mandate to tramble through presidential palaces,intimidate university staff or intrude into churches and convents and indulge in other forms of psychological terrorism against individuals and the Government of Iraq.
Successive US administrations have channeled millions of dollars in CIA driven covert operations with the sole purpose of getting rid of Saddam. UNSCOM deployment of US arms inspector Scott Ritter is part of this harassment. Ritter worked for military intelligence at US central command HQ during the Gulf War.
His deployment from the US Marine Corps of which he is still a serving member of their Reserves is of great alarm. From the point of view of Iraq that is far more threatening than the CIA that has stumbled from disaster to disaster in their Iraq covert operations that it is currently a joke.
US military intelligence is far more dangerous as it feeds directly into Cruise missile, and bombing target programming with their photographs and other info. Now the US military is even deploying new nuclear weapons technology at an estimated cost to US taxpayers of $ 12 billion. Radar-evading stealth bombers were officially put into the U.S. nuclear force in April with these new mini nuke bombs to be used against underground bunkers.
The United States to their shame they have used and mislead ethnic and religious minorities in the region in this one underlying obsession. But the United Nations is no place to indulge the acting out of member states national psychoses and paranoid fears. Today the US vilifies and targets Saddam just as the British did with Gammal Abdul Nasser in the 1950's.at the time of the Suez crisis.
While history records the stupidity of the UK Tories at the time, so it will again with successive US administrations with regard to Iraq. The United Nations leadership should curtail these CIA driven wild schemes for America own good and minimize the national shame that future generations of US citizens will have to bear.
Collectively the UN Security Council must live with the fact that UN trade sanctions against Iraq have caused the premature deaths of 750,000 children since 1990. It has avoided the fact that the United States needs psychological help and it is time for United Nations to be cruel to be kind and tell the US so.
We can all learn from three brave Americans, members of the Chicago-based Voices in the Wilderness group, in Iraq on a three-day hunger strike outside the arms monitors' headquarters in Baghdad to protest of the seven years of UN sanctions.
Iraq denounces new US attack preparations
Baghdad: Iraq slammed United States preparations for military action against their country as the Pentagon announced that a further 1,500 soldiers are going to Kuwait to participate in a desert battle exercises.
The AFP newsagency quoted a senior member of the ruling Baath party, Saad Kassem Hammadi, as saying the Americans are seeking with a campaign of lies to prepare the ground for an attack. "The Americans are seeking, with a campaign of lies, to prepare the ground for an attack," a senior member of the ruling Baath party, Saad Kassem Hammadi, told AFP.
The new deployment takes soldiers from two Georgia posts, Fort McPherson and Fort Stewart, will join Kuwaiti forces in the exercise from 20th of January to mid-April. Navy Capt. Michael Doubleday, a Pentagon spokesman, said 26,000 American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are in the Gulf along with 320 aircraft.
In the first official reaction from Baghdad to Wednesday evening's Security Council meeting Hammadi said, "The Security Council's declaration sets out the same accusations hostile to Iraq and yet ignores its legitimate demands,"
"We are within our rights to expect the teams of disarmament inspectors to submit objective reports and to expect the United Nations to play its role in restoring the balance of these teams," Hammadi said.
"We will not accept that the UNSCOM (the UN Special Commission charged with disarming Iraq), which is under US domination, continue to decide the future of the Iraqi people," said Hammadi, also chairman of the Iraqi parliament's international relations committee.
"We do not reject the principle of cooperating with UNSCOM and providing it with every assistance. But we consider that continued US dominance in the composition of the commission is calculated to prevent" it certifying that Iraq has dismantled its weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles, he said. "Iraq will remain committed to its just position and will use all its efforts to unmask US dominance."
On Thursday, Iraqi newspapers stepped up their attacks on Washington, which has said it would maintain a major military force in the Gulf.
The ruling Baath party newspaper al-Thawra said Ritter's team was sent by the United States ``to create a vicious atmosphere in order that it can launch a new military strike against Iraq.''
Iraq has shown no sign that it will bow to the threat of military force. The official Iraqi news agency INA underlined in a report that Iraq was able to withstand the United States' high-tech weaponry and numerous allies in the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait.
On Saturday, the country will mark the seventh anniversary of that conflict when the U.S.-led alliance unleashed their military firepower to drive Iraqi troops from Kuwait.
``Despite all the weapons that the aggressors used in their aggression and their targeting of the infrastructure, installations and hospitals and places of worship and people's homes, Iraqis were able to rebuild what was destroyed by the aggressors in an exceptional time that astonished the world,'' INA said in a report on the anniversary.
In the US the march to war with Iraq was continued to be incited by commentaries and editorials in leading newspapers. In the Washington Post Thursday Jim Hoagland wrote,
As new war clouds begin to darken the horizon Iraqi Ambassador to the United Nations, Nizar Hamdoon, has called for a resumption in diplomatic relations between the his country and the US.
He said direct dialogue between the nations could solve disagreements over disarmament and other issues. The US severed all diplomatic ties with Iraq at the end of the 1991 Gulf War when sanctions and arms restrictions were imposed by the UN.
Mr Hamdoon told the BBC: "By dialogue we mean the usual civilised, business-like talk between two governments to try to address the outstanding issues."
In Washington Thursday US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, UK Foreign Secretary Robin Cook and EU Vice President Sir Leon Brittan went into a huddle over Iraq over what Albright said were "39 times that the international community has made clear the fact that Saddam Hussein needs to live up to his obligations that the Security Council has imposed in terms of these resolutions".
Albright further said at a new conference in the Washington Treaty Room,"Foreign Secretary Cook and I have spoken repeatedly in recent days about the need for unity and firmness in insisting that Iraq comply with all relevant Security Council resolutions."
Meanwhile Iraqi Foreign Minister Muhammad Said al-Sahhaf left for Tehran
on Friday, apparently seeking Iranian support for the lifting of international
sanctions against Baghdad. Sahhaf attended the OIC summit in Tehran last
Cairo rally with 18 million anti-sanction signatures
Cairo: A large gathering of activists at the Cairo's Official Stadium on Tuesday Jan 13 delivered the world's largest petition calling for an immediate end to U.N. sanctions against Iraq and Libya. Shuhair Soukkary, a former Georgetown University professor who is coordinating the campaign, said the petition drive was aimed at creating ``an international movement'' to get the sanctions lifted.
A coalition of Egyptian and International organizations delivered almost 18 million signatures* demanding an end to the sanctions on the Iraqi and Libyan people. The One Million Signature Campaign, which began in July 1997, far exceeded its expectations by raising 18 million signatures, all united "to save the children of Iraq, and ban economic blockades as weapons of mass destruction." The signatures will be delivered to a representative of the League of Arab States and to a representative of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
A coffin, representing the Iraqi child, was be led by a replica of the funeral hearse that carried the body of Alexander the Great when he was buried in Egypt. Kadhim Al Saher and Latifa, a Tunisian singer, sang a song composed by the well known Poet Nizar Qabbani about the suffering an dying of the Iraqi Children. Dr. Ismat Abdul Majid, Secretary General of the Arab League, Muhammad Fayeq, Secretary General of the Arab Union for Human Rights and Farouq Abu Issa , Secretary General of Arab Lawyers Guild also spoke.
At the End of the gathering, the People took an oath to work towards ending the blockade on Iraq and Libya.In one voice, the participants and the audience at the Stadium read the pledge and the statements that the millions have endorsed by their signatures of the Cairo Declaration issued at the start of the Campaign.
In one voice, they reasserted that:
¨ We affirm that economic blockades are nothing but mass murder, extermination and genocide,
¨ We emphasize that economic blockades inflict wholesale slaughter on children and on the innocent civilians, and stunt the growth of surviving children and afflict them with countless physical and mental illnesses and disabilities,
¨ We firmly believe that blockades constitute a crime against humanity,
¨ We are alarmed that, as a result of the serious shortages of food and medical supplies it has created since its imposition over seven years ago, the blockade on Iraq has caused the death of more than 1.5 million people, including more than 700,000 children,
And thus We:
¨ Call upon the United Nations to ban economic blockades forthwith in view of their being weapons of mass destruction;
¨ Call upon the Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom to put an immediate end to their genocidal measures against the children and the civilian population of Iraq;
¨ Appeal to all Arab states to terminate forthwith all actions they
have taken in compliance with the blockade and sanctions imposed on Iraq,
bearing in mind that Israel refuses to comply with a single Security Council
resolution relating to it or honour any agreement it has concluded with
the Palestinian Authority and that it persists in pursuing a policy based
on aggression and State terrorism against the Palestinian and other Arab
17,000,000 from the workers union
The numbers from outside Egypt divide roughly as follows:
Baghdad : On seventh anniversary of the start of the Gulf War dozens disabled Iraqis took to the streets in a protest of a looming new confrontation with the United States while veterans in Britain are to hand back their medals.
20 war veterans in wheelchairs accompanied by members of Iraqi youth groups staged their protest in front of the offices of UNSCOM
"Saddam will stay in power, whether the US likes it or not," chanted the youths as they banged on tambourines and wheel chair danced in the street."There is no life without the sun, and no dignity without Saddam," read a banner carried by the handicapped veterans referring to generous compensation offered by the government to the veterans
In London dozens of British Gulf War veterans will converge on the Ministry of Defense in London Saturday to hand back their medals in protest at the government's failure to compensate those complaining of Gulf War Syndrome.
They claim many veterans have already died due to Gulf War Syndrome and are accusing the British government of not doing enough to help other former soldiers who have become ill since serving in the 1991 war.
The protest, by the National Gulf Veterans and Families Association, is being held on Jan. 17, to coincide with the seventh anniversary of the start of the conflict. Tony Flint, a regional co-ordinator of the association, said: "There will be more than 50 men actually handing back their medals, plus there will be others there in support who have had to sell their medals to live."
A significant number of Gulf War veterans are believed to have suffered adverse reaction to drugs used to protect soldiers from the effects of chemical and biological weapons. To protect against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's armoury of biological weapons troops received a large array of vaccines -- against anthrax, plague and whooping cough, together with cholera, tetanus, typhoid, polio and yellow fever.
Thousands of veterans, particularly in Britain, the United States and Canada are suffering from a range of complaints, including weight and memory loss, chronic fatigue, dizziness, swollen joints, depression and lack of concentration.