f the purpose of the new sanctions rules, passed by the UN on May 14, is – as the media imply – to relieve the Iraqis’ suffering, and shift the blame for their ordeal from the US and its allies back to Saddam Hussain, then Washington must think again...
On June 4, when members of the United Nations security council failed to reach agreement on a new sanctions plan proposed by the US and Britain, they decided to extend by one month, instead of the usual six months, the programme under which Iraq can sell oil to raise funds to buy food and to pay “reparations” to western governments.
Iraq won a significant political victory on July 4, when the US and Britain were forced to abandon their ‘smart sanctions’ proposals and agree to a five-month extension of the ‘oil-for-food’ programme.
The streets of Baghdad are filled with vendors, taxicabs and a tenacious spirit. As a result of stagnant salaries and enormous inflation, most of Iraq’s work force has taken to the streets to find other ways of earning a living.
From a distance, you wouldn’t think that this is a city under siege. And why should you? Its giant bridges, ancient ruins and ever-flowing rivers are a sign of a well-nurtured civilization. Once you get close to its alleyways, streets and hospitals however, you will be shocked to see a very different reality.
Ayatullah Muhammed Sadiq al-Sadr was a marked man the moment he demanded that the Iraqi regime release 106 Islamic scholars jailed since the March 1991 uprising in Southern Iraq. He was gunned down together with his two sons - Mustafa and Muammal - in the holy city of Najaf on February 19, a week after his defiant call.
What is America’s strategy vis-a-vis Iraq? This is a question being widely debated in the west now, and the general opinion is that it doesn’t have one, but is simply hoping something will come along.
Killing Iraqi civilians, especially children, has become so routine that it hardly evokes a yawn in the western media. For those who consider this to be harsh judgement, just look at the media coverage of the latest outrage perpetrated by the US on January 25...
Had they been animals, there would be loud protests in the streets of almost all western capitals to save them. Leaders of the ‘civilised’ west would be vexed over this tragedy and call it an affront to humane values.
The government and media in the United States have led a shrill campaign against Saddam Husain for seven years obfuscating truth about the suffering inflicted on the Iraqi people as a result of sanctions.