English: "When I visited Auschwitz I was horrified. And when I visited Iraq, I thought to myself, 'What will we tell the children in fifty years when they ask what we did when the people in Iraq were dying?'"
Français (traduction libre): «Quand j'ai visité Auschwitz, j'étais horrifiée. Et lorsque j'ai visité l'Irak, je me suis dite: 'Qu'allons nous dire à nos enfants dans cinquante ans lorsqu'ils nous demanderont ce que nous faisions alors que le peuple irakien mourrait.»
- Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
English: "As soldiers, we were trained to abide by international laws relating to the treatment and protection of civilian populations. Economic sanctions which prevent or otherwise hamper nations from maintaining the public health of their citizens, are in violation of these international laws, including Geneva Protocol 1, Article 54, which prohibits the 'starvation of civilians as a method of warfare.' The UN and the U.S. must work toward an immediate end to the humanitarian crisis in Iraq."
Français (trad. libre): «En tant que soldats, ont nous a entraîné à respecter les lois internationales concernant le traitement et la protection des populations civiles. Des sanctions économiques qui empêchent des nations de maintenir la santé publique de leurs citoyens ou qui limitent leur capacité de le faire, sont en violation des lois internationales, dont le Protocole I, Article 54 des Conventions de Genève qui interdit 'la privation de nourriture de civils comme méthode de guerre.'. L'ONU et les É.U. doivent travailler vers l'arrêt immédiat de cette crise humanitaire en Irak.»
- National Gulf War Resource Center Statement (NGWRC), ''Gulf War Veterans Express Concern About Recent Developments in the 8-Year War''.
The NGWRC is the largest Gulf War veterans organization in the USA, has come out against economic sanctions which "prevent or otherwise hamper nations from maintaining the public health of their people." Comprising over 54 member groups from around the country, the NGWRC works to be a resource for information, support, and referrals for all those concerned with the complexities of Gulf War issues, especially Gulf War illnesses. Already successful in passing a comprehensive bill to ensure better health care for sick veterans, the NGWRC is now focusing on Depleted Uranium (DU) and protecting both U.S. troops and civilians from DU exposure.
English: "... Witnessing the effects of the sanctions gave me many sleepless nights and broke my heart. Usually after a war, after working day and night, some normality is slowly re-established, and things improve and start to function again, but not then in Iraq. This was the fifth time I had worked after or during a war, and I was more shocked than ever before. This absolutely mad, man made disaster seemed endless and hopeless....
The impact of the Gulf War on child health in Iraq was and is beyond belief. It is simply another war crime.....
I asked myself many times where do the rights of children fit in here? Why should any, but especially children under the age of five, suffer so much and die in such numbers? Sadly, I had to witness ever repeated scenes of children dying as I walked through hospital wards....
Most families had forgotten what a chicken or any other type of meat tasted like. Even the food of the poor, dates and lentils, became unaffordable...
My worried conscience is not helped by repeatedly hearing from politicians and reading newspaper editorials that it is sad, but it is the Iraqi leadership's fault and not ours and that the leadership is using the children as propaganda. I will never accept that children and their mothers have to be punished for the deemed wrongs of their nation's government. I believe that only the guilty should be punished. Two wrongs don't make a right...."
- Margarita Skinner <email@example.com>, former 1991-92 UNICEF's Health Coordinator in Baghdad, 'Between Despair and Hope. Windows on my Middle East Journey 1967-1992' (London & New York: Radcliffe Press, 1998).
Français: «Le gouvernement [irakien] dit que tout ceci est dû à neuf années de déprivation,» a déclaré Fabrice von Sponeck, coordonnateur de l'aide humanitaire de l'ONU en Irak. «D'autres auront d'autres réponses .... et l'UNICEF, moi-même et d'autres diront que peu importe quelles sont les causes, ceci est la réalité et il nous faut essayer de surmonter celle-ci de manière à éviter la mort non-nécessaire d'enfants [soulignement ajouté].»
"The government [of Irak] says that this is all due to nine years of deprivation," said U.N. humanitarian aid coordinator Fabrice von Sponeck. "Others will have another answer ... and UNICEF and myself and others will say that whatever the causes are, this is the reality and one must try to overcome this reality to avoid unnecessary death of children [emphasis added]."
- ABCNEWS.com, 'Looking Up: Iraqis Confident That Sanctions Will Soon Weaken', Oct. 27, 1999. Source: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/world/DailyNews/Iraq991026.html
Français: En 1996, lors d'une émission de 60 Minutes ("Punishing Saddam", 12 Mai,1996) sur CBS, Lesley Stahl a demandé la question suivante à la Secrétaire d'État des États Unis, Madeleine Albright:
Nous avons entendu qu'un demi million d'enfants étaient morts [en Irak]. Je veux dire, c'est plus d'enfants décédés qu'à Hiroshima. Et vous savez, est-ce que le prix en vaut vraiment la peine?
Albright a répondu,
Je crois que c'est un choix très difficile, mais le prix... nous croyons que le prix en vaut la peine.
(Elle était ambassadrice américaine à l'ONU à l'époque. Traduction libre.)
English: In 1996, present US secretary of state Madeleine Albright was asked the following question on CBS' 60 Minutes ("Punishing Saddam", May 12,1996) by Lesley Stahl:
We have heard that half a million children have died [in Iraq]. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And you know, is the price worth it?
I think this is a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it.
(She was US ambassador to the UN at the time)
Analyse du DroitVP / DroitVP analysis:
Français: Notez qu'elle n'a pas nié que 500,000 enfants irakiens étaient morts ! Quels bénéfices valent le prix de 500,000 enfants ? Elle est donc pleinement consciente de la mort et de la souffrance en masse causées par cette politique criminelle et elle choisit délibérément de la continuer.
English: Note that she did not deny that 500,000 Iraqi children had died ! What benefits are worth the price of 500,000 children ? She is therefore aware of the mass death and suffering caused and chooses deliberately to continue this criminal policy.
Nobel Laureates Mairead Corrigan Maguire, co-founder of the Peace People movement of Northern Ireland, and Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Latin America Coordinator of Service for Peace and Justice (SERPAJ) of Argentina. They were part of a seven-person delegation to Iraq sponsored by the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR USA):
"This is genocide," explained Esquivel. "Children are dying slowly and painfully [emphasis added]. If we want democracy and human rights in Iraq, we have to stop the economic sanctions, which kill people and destroy all educational and social services." Maguire added, "I have seen children dying of simple illness, while their mothers sit helplessly by. President Clinton should help bring peace and stability to Iraq just as he helped forge the peace deal in Northern Ireland. We in Ireland are grateful for what he has accomplished with the help of Prime Minister Blair. But he should be consistent in his call for dialogue and disarmament as the only way to make peace. He needs to stop the economic sanctions and bombings of Iraq, and engage in honest dialogue with Iraq. In fifty years," she concluded, "we will wonder, where was the world when Iraqi children were dying?"
The Nobel Laureates concluded that the United Nations' Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World, 2000-2010," should begin with the immediate lifting of the economic sanctions against Iraq, ending of the US bombings, and beginning of a dialogue that brings Iraq back into the world community of nations.
From CNN's Christianne Amanpour : The following statement was made on CNN's "Larry King Live", December 17, 1998:
I don't think you can underestimate just how much the people of Iraq have suffered over the last eight years. These punishing sanctions that are designed to punish the government and to force the government into compliance have only really hurt the people and hurt them very much indeed.
From hardline former UNSCOM arms inspector Scott Ritter ...
Economic sanctions ... failed. We're killing 5,000 kids under the age of five every month. Now people say Saddam's killing them, but ultimately, sanctions are killing them, and we shouldn't be supportive of something that causes innocent people to suffer to such a degree. Bombing Iraq, enforcing no-fly zones -- to what end? To what purpose?
(The following is from Newsroom, New Zealand.
Interviewer: How do you feel about people like Denis Halliday who resigned at a similar time to you in protest at the sanctions?
Ritter: I have nothing but the highest respect for Denis Halliday. And it would surprise a lot of people to find out that I totally agree with Denis Halliday. Sanctions are horrible. The sanctions regime being imposed on Iraq is a huge injustice being perpetrated by the United Nations at the behest of the United States. Sanctions were imposed on Iraq to punish Iraq for invading Kuwait. ... But the purpose of sanctions is to create harm in Iraq. To create pain. ... (but) the pain is being felt by 22 million innocent iraqi people, not by the leadership, not by Saddam Hussein, not by his cronies. So therefore sanctions are going after the wrong people. The people of Iraq are not the decision makers.
From David Kay, who led the first United Nations inspection team into Iraq in 1991.
Interview at www.salonmagazine.com/news/1998/11/13newsc2.html
Q: What's wrong with just continuing with sanctions?
Answer: First of all, (Saddam's) making $1 billion a year from oil even with the sanctions. Secondly, sanctions have decimated the middle class. Unlike the rest of the Middle East, Iraq has a middle class that's had extensive contact with Europe and the West. Not just a trader class, but doctors, scientists and technicians. These people are suffering, and I think we have failed them.
Pierrette Vu Thi, a planning officer for Unicef, has a different spin on one of the US military planners' favourite buzzwords - "degradation". While advocates of the military option talk about "degrading" President Saddam's capacity to threaten his neighbours, Ms Vu Thi says that the real "degradation" is occurring in Iraq's social fabric.
(...) "The oil-for-food programme has not addressed this degradation," she says.
- David Sharrock, 'Iraq is falling apart. We are ruined', The Guardian, April 24, 1999
Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, November 10, 1998.
The laws-of-war duty to avoid damage to civilians requires extraordinary precautions in urban settings. Attacks on electrical facilities, "dual-use" civilian facilities, and military sites in areas of civilian presence could result in disproportionate civilian losses. The Gulf War bombing of Iraq's electrical system is a good example of what must not happen again.
Jeff McMahan and Robert Kim, The Just War and the Gulf War,
Canadian Journal of Philosophy, vol. 23, n. 4, December 1993, p.536.
The punishment of people not responsible for political decisions is most akin to a terrorist measure; the aim of such a measure is to influence the government's course of action by deliberately assaulting the civilian population.