Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Pilger: A People Betrayed
"Denis Halliday is a courtly Irishman who spent 34 years with the UN, latterly as Assistant Secretary-General. When he resigned in 1998 as the UN's Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Iraq in protest at the effects of the embargo on the civilian population, it was, he wrote, "because the policy of economic sanctions is totally bankrupt. We are in the process of destroying an entire society. It is as simple as that ... Five thousand children are dying every month ... I don't want to administer a programme that results in figures like these."

"Since I met Halliday, I have been struck by the principle behind his carefully chosen, uncompromising words. "I had been instructed," he said, "to implement a policy that satisfies the definition of genocide: a deliberate policy that has effectively killed well over a million individuals, children and adults. We all know that the regime - Saddam Hussein - is not paying the price for economic sanctions; on the contrary, he has been strengthened by them. It is the little people who are losing their children or their parents for lack of untreated water. What is clear is that the Security Council is now out of control, for its actions here undermine its own Charter, and the Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Convention. History will slaughter those responsible."

Pilger's article describes the almost unbelievable reality of the Gulf war, depleted uranium and the sanctions policy - something new in its sustained cruelty and destructiveness. History will indeed slaughter those responsible.

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