June 10, 2000 International Tribunal for U.S./NATO War Crimes in Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia and Iraq: Sanction a Weapon of Mass Destruction
By Kadouri Al Kaysi
Kadouri Al Kaysi an Iraqi American who has organized to expose the impact of sanctions on Iraq. He has lead numerous delegations to Iraq and has traveled with the Iraq Sanction Challenge three times.
In 1992, the United Nations adopted a comprehensive sanctions program for Yugoslavia that was modeled on the August 1990 sanctions resolution adopted against my country, Iraq, and our people. The U.S. said the sanctions on Yugoslavia should be modeled on the Iraq sanctions because they "worked so well." I want to talk for a minute about what it means that sanctions "work well."
In Iraq, in 1990, the mortality rate for children under five was 30 deaths per 1,000 live births. Today, because of sanctions, the number of children under five dying has increased four-fold to 130 deaths per 1,000 live births.
What does this mean? Some 5,000 children this month and every month will die from malnutrition and hunger-related diseases like amoebic dysentery and diarrhea. These children would live long and healthy lives, but they die in painful and cruel death after a few short years because of sanctions.
Some 1.2 million Iraqis are dead today because of sanctions. That is one out of every 20 Iraqi people. Do sanctions work well? Yes, they work very well if your goal is to kill children and their grandparents.
Like Yugoslavia, Iraq is targeted with constant military aggression. Iraq was bombed yesterday [June 9, 2000] and the day before. Since December 1998, the U.S. and British planes have struck Iraq with more than 23,000 bombs. It has become routine.
Tens of thousands of U.S. troops have set up bases in the Persian/Arab Gulf, where they routinely pirate oil tankers and other ships that they believe are carrying trade and commerce with Iraq. You cant really make sanctions effective without the presence of massive military forces.
The U.S. and Britain also declare it illegal for Iraq to fly its own planes over so-called no-fly zones in huge areas in the North and South of Iraq. The U.S. is trying to separate North and South Iraq from the rest of Iraq through the no-fly zone, just as they have tried to separate Kosovo from Serbia.
Sanctions must be understood as part of an overall military strategy. Iraq, like Yugoslavia, has been subject to bombing, economic strangulation, CIA subversion as an overall strategy to weaken both countries and allow the U.S. to become the sole and dominant power in these strategic areasthe Middle East and in Eastern Europe.
Sanctions, like bombing civilians, are a crime against humanity. The case of Iraq offers to the people of the world the clearest and most dramatic example that the U.S. strategy involves the deliberate slaughter of innocent people.
We, the Iraqi people, extend our hand of solidarity to the suffering people of Yugoslavia and Serbia. We are victims of the same crimes, and like the people of Serbia we will never give up in our struggle for national sovereignty and genuine independence.
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