In commemoration of the 10 years of
war and sanctions on Iraq
On Sunday, 4th March 2001, the Spanish Campaign
for Lifting the Sanctions on Iraq (SCLSI) organised a public Conference
in Madrid to conmemorate the the 10 years of war and sanctions on Iraq,
with the participation of James Petras (Unversity of Birghamton, New York).
His speech dealt with Economic crisis and US foreign policy: perspectives
for the left after the election of Bush.
The Conference was followed by a high number of
assistents from academic, activists and militants movements and social organisations
from Madrid and Spain who once more expressed with his participation their
solidarity with the Iraqi people and their compromise in denouncing the
interventionism of US policy in Iraq through war and sanctions.
The Conference saluted as well the firmness and
solidity of the Iraqui people, the resistence of the Palestinian Intifada
and the collective and massive movilizations of the Arab peoples as a sign
of the crash of the US impossed New Regional Order on a popular refusal
Mr. Ramsey Clark, form the International Action
Center, and Mr. Hans Von Sponeck, Former Coordinator of the Humanitariam
Programme of UN for Iraq sent both messages of support to the Conference
that we are adjusting herewith.
Message from Ramsey Clark to the Spanish Campaign
for Lifting the Sanctions on Iraq
I would like to send my greetings and solidarity to the Spanish Committee
to Lift the Sanctions against Iraq and to the series of meetings the SCLSI
has organized this March.
The United States has bombed Iraq from aircraft and cruise missiles with
impunity since the cease-fire 0 years ago in1991. In the week before the
inauguration of William J.Clinton as President of the United States on January
20, 1993, President George Bush authorized a fierce campaign of bombing.
President Clinton continued the aerial attacks and bombing on January 21,
1993 and throughout his eight years in office.
On occasion large numbers of cruise missiles were launched hitting among
many civilian facilities the Al Rashid Hotel in Baghdad and the home of
Iraq,s most famous painter and the Director of its Museum of Modern Art,
Leyla al Attar.
Out of thousands of unlawful aerial sorties and hundreds of violent attacks
on defenseless people in Iraq, including the passengers on a UN helicopter,
the U.S. did not suffer a single casualty. Still the U.S. has insisted it
must attack and kill Iraqis to protect its aircraft, which had no right
to fly over Iraq, though no U.S. aircraft have been hit.
U.S. aircraft, joined occasionally by UK planes attacking targets in
Iraq are engaged in criminal violence and crimes against peace. Those who
ordered the flights and attacks and the pilots who executed the orders committed
criminal acts that have caused the deaths of hundreds of people.
Just two weeks ago the George W. Bush administration launched its own
bombing raid on Baghdad for the first time in years. The International Action
Center within the United States joined with others throughout the Middle
East and throughout the world to protest that criminal bombing raid, holding
demonstrations in 25 U.S. cities.
The genocide in Iraq caused by Security Council sanctions forced by the
United States and the bombing of Iraq by U.S. aircraft and missiles continues
unabated. I conducted a nationwide survey of Iraq with 50 other U.S. citizens
in January 2001. It was my eleventh trip to Iraq since sanctions were imposed
on August 6, 1990. This survey confirmed that deaths caused by sanctions
increased for the tenth consecutive year, though the rate of increase has
declined. General health conditions continue to deteriorate, apparently
from the cumulative effects of decade-long severe shortages, though available
food and medicine has increased slightly.
The U.S. government realizes that world opinion will no longer tolerate
the sanctions. That,s why the U.S. is seeking to take credit for modifying
sanctions, while its purpose will be to continue to control their implementation
and cause their reinstatement for alleged violations by Iraq. Under the
ruse of arms inspections and false claims of arms violations, the U.S. has
systematically frustrated any easing of sanctions.
The U.S. has claimed that Iraq was withholding food and medicine from
its own people. It has failed to prove these charges. In reality, Iraq,s
model system of food distribution and rationing has saved its people from
even harsher consequences.
The sanctions must be removed completely and immediately. Every day the
sanctions continue adds to the death toll of the worst genocide of the last
decade of the most violent century in human history.
March 2, 2001
Message from Hans Von Sponeck to the Spanish
Campaign for Lifting the Sanctions on Iraq
"Ten years of sanctions have succeeded in destroying a people. Organized
disinformation by those in power has helped to justify maintaining sanctions.
The political battle continues to be fought on the back of innocent people.
It is they who pay the painful price for a wrong policy. The human rights
coin has two sides. Lawlessness of one kind does not justify lawlessness
of another. The public conscience must rise to protest against the continuation
of suffering of an innocent population and the violation of the very laws
the global community has created to protect those who have nothing to do
with a political conflict."
With all good wishes,
Yours, Hans von Sponeck, Former UN Humanitarian Coordinator for
Solidarity with the Iraqi people - Stop
No more agressions - With the Intifada and the Palestinian People