With help from Russia, France and the Arab world, Iraq has ended a de facto air travel embargo. Now it’s chipping away at 10-year-old U.N. economic sanctions and seeking more control over its oil resources. Baghdad’s campaign to end its long diplomatic isolation appears to be gaining momentum.
Long-closed borders with Jordan and Saudi Arabia are opening up to U.N.-approved goods. Dozens of businessmen, officials, scientists, artists and athletes have traveled to Iraq for the first time since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Baghdad demanded–and is getting–payment for oil sales in euros instead U.S. dollars, the hated currency of an enemy state.
According to UN estimates, 5,000 Iraqi children die every month from the effects of the U.N.-U.S. imposed embargo against Iraq. Last week, Democracy Now! asked President Clinton why he still supported this embargo. Today, we get a response from a Gulf War veteran who is trying to have the embargo lifted.
- President Bill Clinton, in an exclusive interview with Democracy Now!
- Erik Gustafson, Gulf War veteran and head of the Education for Peace in Iraq Center.