Monday, August 04, 2008

Either sanctions had to end or Saddam had to end

From a January 2003 article: 'As Peter Hain, a minister in the British Foreign Office, said:
"There's $24 billion of oil wealth under the control of the United Nations that he'd like to get his hands on, to re-arm himself to inflict tyranny in the region and on his own people again, which he has not been able to do under the sanctions regime." [He was still able to inflict tyranny on "his own" people and HE DID]

Still, the humanitarian suffering linked to the sanctions has vexed the West. Then-chief U.S. delegate to the United Nations Madeleine Albright was asked by Leslie Stahl in a "60 Minutes" interview in 1996 about reports that half a million children had died and whether the price was worth the benefits of sanctions.

Said Albright: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it."
It is a statement that foes of sanctions repeat angrily and regularly.
Foes of sanctions oft point to two U.N. reports issued in 1999.
A Security Council's special panel to report the effects of sanctions, released in March 1999, said:
"In marked contrast to the prevailing situation prior to the events of 1990-91, the infant-mortality rates in Iraq today are among the highest in the world, low infant birth weight affects at least 23 percent of all births, chronic malnutrition affects every fourth child under 5 years of age, only 41 percent of the population have regular access to clean water."
A UNICEF report of August 1999 said children younger than 5 were dying at more than twice the rate of 10 years ago.
Sanction backers argue that Saddam could easily end sanctions by fully cooperating with the U.N.
And they argue that Saddam is not directing the resources he has, legal oil sales and black-market sales, to the Iraqis, but is squandering them on palaces, other luxuries and weapons.
Foes of sanctions argue Saddam's resources — legal and illegal — are not enough to rebuild the country's shattered infrastructure, nor to feed the people and supply the hospitals.
Furthermore, they say, sanctions have prevented the importation of many vital items, such as chlorine and pumps, that would be used in water systems, because they also can be used in weapons production. [Meanwhile Saddam built palaces for himself and his family all over Iraq]

Since 1996, Iraq has been allowed to sell oil to raise money for humanitarian relief. Sanctions foes say the program has been too little too late.
Originally, Iraq was allowed to sell up to $2 billion of oil every six months. That amount has expanded through the years to where it is now open-ended. About a quarter of the money goes to Kuwait as war reparations, and about 3 percent goes to the U.N. for administration of the program.'

No comments :