- Published on Sunday, 10 February 2013 08:00
Throughout the 1990s, the US and the EU applied sanctions to Iraq ostensibly to bring pressure to bear on Saddam Hussein. The real pressure was felt by the people of Iraq, particularly children. The numbers are disputed with claims of as many as 567,000 children dying; a more recent study suggests a figure nearer 350,000. Irrespective of the exact numbers, each death is an individual tragedy affecting the families of the dead children of whom Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton's Secretary of State, asserted were a "price worth paying". Then of course there are the thousands of deaths resulting from Bush and Blair's illegal attack on Iraq which targeted the civilian population as well as the regime.
A Hard Look at Iraq Sanctions
How quickly we forget. Under the bogus cover that Iran is building nuclear weapons, the justification for sanctions on Iraq, the US and EU are targeting civilians and particularly children through "economic" sanctions. Calling them economic sanctions obscures the reality of a people being deprived of food and essential medical supplies. The absence of an Iranian weapons program has been confirmed by annual US intelligence assessments since 2003 and echoed last year by Leon Panetta, US Secretary of State. Yet the US and EU continue to commit war crimes against nearly 80 million Iranians.
The 1977 Additional Protocols to the 1949 Geneva Conventions prohibit any measure that has the effect of depriving a civilian population of objects indispensable to its survival. Article 70 of Protocol I mandates relief operations to aid a civilian population that is “not adequately provided” with supplies and Article 18 of Protocol II requires relief operations for a civilian population that suffers “undue hardship owing to a lack of supplies essential for its survival, such as foodstuffs and medical supplies.”
US Officials Confess to Targeting Iran’s Civilian Population
By Franklin Lamb