Mises Daily

Home | Library | Bomb Iraq?

Bomb Iraq?

November 12, 1998

Tags Global EconomyWar and Foreign Policy

More starvation and disease or bombers and
cruise missiles--these are the only actual choices
Washington offers Iraq. No wonder Saddam will
risk being bombed to end the economic blockade.

United Nations' authorities have officially
recognized Iraq's compliance with Resolution 687,
the basic cease fire resolution, for the destruction of all
its weapons of mass destruction, but Washington
now says the blockade must continue until Iraq
complies with new demands such as finding missing Kuwaitis
and such.

Also Washington demands "proving a negative,"
that Iraq has nothing hidden and will not
in the future rebuild its weapons of mass
destruction. At other times it says the blockade
must remain until the starvation ridden Iraqis
succeed in overthrowing their dictator.

Yet Iraq has only refused the continuation of
inspections until the lifting of the blockade,
one of the most severe in modern history,
according to Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright. The blockade prohibits
almost all imports except food and
medicine and then leaves Iraq with
barely half the proceeds of its limited oil
export revenue, and the money is allocated
by a United Nations' bureaucracy
(slowly while the people starve).

Washington uses its veto in the United
Nations to thwart the will of almost
the whole world and is only supported by
Kuwait and Israel.

Washington keeps moving the goal posts
demanding an interminable blockade for
the nation where already in the last 8 years
1,200,000 have died from starvation and disease.
This after the American bombing of the sanitation,
electric, and economic infrastructure
of the nation in l990. Even now Washington
prevents Iraq from obtaining repair parts
for its oil production so it can sell some
oil for food imports and to repair its irrigation and
sanitation systems.

United Nations' Relief Coordinator
Dennis Halliday from England has now
resigned saying he can't any longer
be part of the cause of the misery upon so
many innocent people. He said it was correct
to draw attention to the 4000 to 5,000 children
dying unnecessarily every month due to the impact of sanctions.

He said the crippling trade embargo was
incompatible with the UN charter as
well as UN conventions on human rights
and the rights of the child (BBC News Online 9/30).

Speaking at the United Nations Msgr. James Reinert
of the Vatican delegation condemned the blockade
saying that Pope John Paul had made
"innumerable appeals" on behalf of the people of Iraq.

Bombing will generate more hatred for America
in the Moslem world and badly weaken our moral
authority in the world as we are seen mainly as hypocrites.
Also it will cause other nations' terrorists
to claim justification for killing American
civilians anywhere and cause them to try to develop
biological and chemical weapons as the only way
to be able to fight back against us, possibly
by bringing the battle to the American homeland.

One of the first casualties will be our own freedoms,
as the government chases threats of terrorism here.
Already the FBI was just legislated "emergency"
warrantless wiretap authority to cover whole regions.
Two years ago the Clinton Crime Bill
(supported by the Republican leadership)
proposed gutting the 4th Amendment
which prohibits warrantless searches of private homes.

Iraq never harmed America and is no threat to America.
As far as the defense of Israel, that nation
has atom bombs and the most modern weapons in the Middle
East. It has often proven that it can well defend itself.

Yet it is above all a moral question for Americans.
Never before have we put such a blockade to
leave millions of innocent people in starvation
and misery for years on end. Publicly Washington
calls on the Iraqi people to overthrow
their dictator, Saddam Hussein, as the price
of relieving sanctions. But they
obviously can't.

Yet America's Secretary of State explained
that "yes, we think the price is worth it"
when asked on CBS 60 Minutes program (5/11/96) if
maintaining the blockade was worth the
death of half a million children.

It is high time to question the cost of
what we are doing to the Iraqi people.

Jon Basil Utley is Chairman of Americans Against World Empire. www.iraqwar.org

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.

Follow Mises Institute