[QUOTE]Originally posted by gene phillips:Not entirely. History may record that taking out Saddam in itself was a Good Thing, but the means to that end may not be considered any more "good" than the Vietnam Conflict. I direct your attention to this site dealing with the humanitarian consequences of the Iraq conflict:
And in particular the sections dealing with how the US and UK, for over twelve years since the Gulf War, have enforced sanctions on the Iraqi people that have had no real effect on dislodging Saddam or winning any of the concessions they desired. The articles make clear that every time other UN members have sought to lessen these sanctions, or to switch to what they call "targeted sanctions" (sanctions which target the rich and powerful, rather than the people),
either the US or UK has blocked them. This is something that I have not heard any US newsagency bring up. There was much talk about how France and Russia blocked US resolutions in the UN-- and I do not doubt that they did so, in part, because both countries had made financial investments in Iraq-- but nothing was said about how the US and UK colluded to starve the Iraqi people.
I ask myself, why would these two theoretically-democratic powers do so? And I only come up with two answers:
1) they honestly do not think "targeted sanctions" will work,
2) they wanted the Iraqi people to be weakened as much as possible for future invasion.
Some of you may come up with alternate answers, and I'll be happy to read them-- though I'd respect those opinions more if you actually read some if not all of the articles. Those concerning the sanctions and the "Oil-for-Food" program are particularly telling.
(3) The Iraqi government is the responsibility of the Iraqi people and if they don't want Saddam punished, they should vote him out of office.
(4) Middle-Eastern governments are the responsibility of the Middle East and if they support Saddam, the kind decent leaders of the region will say so.
(5)It's either go with the sanctions, go with invasion and destruction of the regime or go on our way unwilling to be the world's policeman and hope Saddam gets stopped before he does something too bad.
(6)How interested were the American people (or anyone else) in getting rid of him?
Okay, I didn't get all the way through the article Gene linked to [Sorry]. I can only stand so much bureaucratese. Other than that, I did copy a few interesting quotes from the report. Let's see...4. Causes of Suffering Sanctions are not the sole cause of human suffering in Iraq. The government of Iraq bears a heavy burden of responsibility due to the wars it has started, its lack of cooperation with the Security Council, its domestic repression, and its failure to use limited resources fairly... though real concerns about Iraq痴 security threat undoubtedly are legitimate...
So what shall we -- "we" being the UN -- do about punishing the government of Iraq for all of this? I know, let's say we need more time!Consequently, there has been little repair and renewal of Iraq痴 badly-deteriorated infrastructure, including water treatment, electricity, and public health.
Maybe Saddam and his sons should give up some of their palaces. http://www.intellnet.org/news/2003/04/13/19643-1.html Such change will not be free of risk. The government of Iraq cannot be counted on to make benign and peaceful policy choices, or to promote automatically the well-being of its people.
We'll sure give them twelve years worth of chances.Robust weapons monitoring must be reintroduced, to insure disarmament and eliminate production programs for mass destruction weapons. Disarmament in Iraq must be complemented by regional approaches to disarmament, especially elimination of mass destruction weapons and weapons programs in other regional states
The Government of Iraq must give firm assurances to the international community, as a part of reciprocal undertakings, that
It will renounce all plans to buy, build or use weapons of mass destruction and related delivery systems
It will cooperate fully with ongoing UN arms inspection arrangements
It will establish friendly and cooperative relations with neighboring countries
It will take all necessary steps to address the humanitarian emergency as soon as funds become available to do so
It will honor minority rights, including offering special status to the Kurdish areas, and it will take steps to honor its human rights obligations.
If the government of Iraq fails at any time to provide adequate means for inspection and arms control, YEESSSSSS? then:
Narrowly-targeted sanctions, including financial and travel penalties, should be directed at Iraq痴 leaders,
Travel penalties? Financial, what will we do, send him a bill?
Time limits must be part of such a new sanctions regime,
With more time if they want it
Two wars, both started by Saddam Hussein, laid a basis for the harsh impact of comprehensive economic sanctions on Iraq
Nuff said, tiger?
In its report of March 1999, the humanitarian panel set forth. The report concluded with an implicit call for re-development and normalization of the Iraqi economy:
The government of Iraq under Saddam Hussein bears responsibility for the wars and the weapons programs that brought suffering to Iraq痴 people and its neighbors. The government of Iraq has also been a notorious human rights abuser. The United States and the UK often point to these crimes as rationale and justification for the sanctions. But sanctions cannot legally, under the UN Charter or under any standard of international law, serve as punishment for past acts, heinous as they are. Nor, of course, should the punishment fall on the people of Iraq and not the responsible leaders themselves
So what did they do to punish the leader?No one can condone the Iraqi government痴 failings and its lack of proper concern for the well-being of its people. To blame the government of Iraq alone for the human crisis, though, is to ignore the responsibility of the Security Council and two of its leading members.
Then we'll just get rid of the dictator and take over the country ourselves, two problems solved with one throw and the UN just wrings its hands.I would like to think that, in spite of very questionable means, Iraq might still come out of things ahead, since admittedly the economic patronage of France and Russia still left the country ruled by a dictator of the Stalin School. I would like to think that the U.S., knowing that the whole world is watching, will make a real effort THIS TIME to facillitate a good government. But given the fact that Dubya and friends don't seem to know the first thing about how to deal with people who don't have football as their national sport-- I tend to doubt it.
I disagree, and for obvious reasons I hope you're wrong and I'm right, Gene.
Slush saidWhen we were "containing" Saddam the Left was crying about how the sanctions were killing thousands of Iraqi babies each year. Now that we've liberated the Iraqi people and given them a chance at freedom, it's "we should have continued with the containment." I find this completely bewildering. We took Iraq with a relatively low cost in lives (both American and civilian), and we removed Saddam's tyrannous hand from the throat of the citizens of Iraq. You should be thrilled instead of posessing this disgustingly petty attitude.
and then Pat O'Neill responded:It wasn't the sanctions (which were, as others have noted, much more effective in starving the Iraqi people than in doing anything to Saddam) that contained and restrained Saddam...it was the ring of military might surrounding him, including the northern and southern no-fly zones. He couldn't make an aggressive move without being swatted like a fly.
What was the benefit in leaving him there in the first place? Especially when his behavior among the international community is:
April 3, 1991 U.N. Security Council Resolution 687 (1991), Section C, declares that Iraq shall accept unconditionally, under international supervision, the "destruction, removal or rendering harmless" of its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles with a range over 150 kilometers (emphasis added). One week later, Iraq accepts Resolution 687. Its provisions were reiterated and reinforced in subsequent action by the United Nations in June and August of 1991.
May 1991 Iraq accepts the privileges and immunities of the Special Commission (UNSCOM) and its personnel. These guarantees include the right of "unrestricted freedom of entry and exit without delay or hindrance of its personnel, property, supplies, equipment ... (emphasis added)."
June 1991 Iraqi personnel fire warning shots to prevent the inspectors from approaching the vehicles.
September 1991 Iraqi officials confiscate documents from the inspectors. The inspectors refuse to yield a second set of documents. In response, Iraq refuses to allow the team to leave the site with these documents. A four-day standoff ensues, but Iraq permits the team to leave with the documents after a statement from the Security Council threatens enforcement actions.
October 11, 1991 The Security Council adopts Resolution 715, which approves joint UNSCOM and IAEA plans for ongoing monitoring and verification. UNSCOMs plan establishes that Iraq shall "accept unconditionally the inspectors and all other personnel designated by the Special Commission" (emphasis added).
October 1991 Iraq states that it considers the Ongoing Monitoring and Verification Plans adopted by Resolution 715 to be unlawful and states that it is not ready to comply with Resolution 715.
February 1992 Iraq refuses to comply with an UNSCOM/IAEA decision to destroy certain facilities used in proscribed programs and related items.
April 1992 Iraq calls for a halt to UNSCOM's aerial surveillance flights, stating that the aircraft and its pilot might be endangered. The President of the Security Council issues a statement reaffirming UNSCOM's right to conduct such flights. Iraq says that it does not intend to carry out any military action aimed at UNSCOM's aerial flights.
July 6-29, 1992 Iraq refuses an inspection team access to the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture. UNSCOM said it had reliable information that the site contained archives related to proscribed activities. Inspectors gained access only after members of the Council threatened enforcement action.
January 1993 Iraq refuses to allow UNSCOM to use its own aircraft to fly into Iraq.
June-July 1993 Iraq refuses to allow UNSCOM inspectors to install remote-controlled monitoring cameras at two missile engine test stands.
November 26, 1993 Iraq accepts Resolution 715 and the plans for ongoing monitoring and verification.
October 15, 1994 The Security Council adopts Resolution 949, which demands that Iraq "cooperate fully" with UNSCOM and that it withdraw all military units deployed to southern Iraq to their original positions (emphasis added). Iraq withdraws its forces and resumes working with UNSCOM.
March 1996 Iraqi security forces refuse UNSCOM teams access to five sites designated for inspection. The teams enter the sites after delays of up to 17 hours.
March 19, 1996 The Security Council issues a presidential statement expressing its concern over Iraq's behavior, which it terms "a clear violation of Iraq's obligations under relevant resolutions." The council also demands that Iraq allow UNSCOM teams immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to all sites designated for inspection (emphasis added).
March 27, 1996 Security Council Resolution 1051 approves the export/import monitoring mechanism for Iraq and demands that Iraq meet unconditionally all its obligations under the mechanism and cooperate fully with the Special Commission and the director-general of the IAEA (emphasis added).
June 1996 Iraq denies UNSCOM teams access to sites under investigation for their involvement in the "concealment mechanism" for proscribed items.
June 12, 1996 The Security Council adopts Resolution 1060, which terms Iraq's actions a clear violation of the provisions of the council's earlier resolutions. It also demands that Iraq grant "immediate and unrestricted access" to all sites designated for inspection by UNSCOM (emphasis added).
June 13, 1996 Despite the adoption of Resolution 1060, Iraq again denies access to another inspection team.
November 1996 Iraq blocks UNSCOM from removing remnants of missile engines for in-depth analysis outside Iraq.
June 1997 Iraqi escorts on board an UNSCOM helicopter try to physically prevent the UNSCOM pilot from flying the helicopter in the direction of its intended destination.
June 21, 1997 Iraq again blocks UNSCOM teams from entering certain sites for inspection.
June 21, 1997 The Security Council adopts Resolution 1115, which condemns Iraq's actions and demands that Iraq allow UNSCOM's team immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any sites for inspection and officials for interviews (emphasis added).
September 13, 1997 An Iraqi officer attacks an UNSCOM inspector on board an UNSCOM helicopter while the inspector was attempting to take photographs of unauthorized movement of Iraqi vehicles inside a site designated for inspection.
September 17, 1997 While seeking access to a site declared by Iraq to be "sensitive," UNSCOM inspectors witness and videotape Iraqi guards moving files, burning documents, and dumping ash-filled waste cans into a nearby river.
November 12, 1997 The Security Council adopts Resolution 1137, condemning Iraq for continually violating its obligations, including its decision to seek to impose conditions on cooperation with UNSCOM (emphasis added). The resolution also imposes a travel restriction on Iraqi officials who are responsible for or participated in instances of non-compliance.
November 3, 1997 Iraq demands that US citizens working for UNSCOM leave Iraq immediately.
December 22, 1997 The Security Council issues a statement calling upon the government of Iraq to cooperate fully with the commission and stresses that failure by Iraq to provide immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any site is an unacceptable and clear violation of Security Council resolutions (emphasis added)
February 20-23, 1998 Iraq signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations on February 23, 1998. Iraq pledges to accept all relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate fully with UNSCOM and the IAEA, and to grant to UNSCOM and the IAEA "immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access for their inspections (emphasis added).
August 5, 1998 The Revolutionary Command Council and the Baath Party Command decide to stop cooperating with UNSCOM and the IAEA until the Security Council agrees to lift the oil embargo as a first step towards ending sanctions.