Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Iraqi Sanctions: Were They Worth It?

One reason I support Operation Iraqi Freedom is my opposition to the toxic alternative in the Gulf War ceasefire enforcement, namely the pre-OIF status quo with Saddam of the dangerous, costly, vilified, and eroding ad hoc 'containment'. Among its drawbacks, which included that Saddam had broken the UNSCR 687 arms embargo as the Iraqi people continued to suffer, was the 'containment' was exploited by al Qaeda as a cornerstone of terrorist propaganda.
Iraqi Sanctions: Were They Worth It?
by Sheldon Richman, January 2004 [POSTED FEBRUARY 9, 2004]

In May 1996 Madeleine Albright, who was then the U.S. ambassador to the UN, was asked by 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl, in reference to years of U.S.-led economic sanctions against Iraq,

We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that is more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

To which Ambassador Albright responded,

I think that is a very hard choice, but the price, we think, the price is worth it.

[Read the rest.]
See An Appeal to Indict the Iraqi Regime for Crimes of Genocide (1997), the 1997-2003 Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq, the UN Security Council (S/1999/100) panel assessment of the humanitarian situation in Iraq (1999), and the Independent Inquiry Committee report on the manipulation of the Oil-for-Food programme (2005).

OIF was a controversial, difficult decision by President Bush. But the alternatives to the regime change - letting Saddam escape from Iraq's ceasefire obligations and the toxic, broken 'containment' - aren't better. At least we're trying our best to help the Iraqi people now with nation-building peace operations instead of the pre-OIF status quo of our effective complicity with intransigently noncompliant, unreconstructed Saddam in purposely, indefinitely, and uselessly causing Iraqi suffering.

- Eric

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