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Ten Years After: A Look at Sanctions On Iraq

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Today is the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the Gulf War. To mark the occasion, activists yesterdaydemonstrated outside the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. They offered outgoing U.S. ambassador to the UNRichard Holbrooke a meal of lentils and untreated East River water, to approximate the daily meal rationed to theIraqi people under the most severe sanctions in the history of the United Nations. Sixteen people were arrested oncharges of disorderly conduct and blocking a public building.

Today, as Clinton prepares to leave office, we will take a look at the last ten years of U.S. policy towards Iraq.During this time Iraq has gone from relative prosperity to massive poverty and has seen the death of 1.5 millioncitizens, 600,000 of them children under 5. While US officials claim the Iraqi government could use revenues fromthe Oil for Food program to feed its people, UN officials have declared the program hopelessly inadequate. DenisHalliday, a former coordinator of the UN humanitarian program in Iraq resigned in protest in 1998, saying, “I havebeen instructed to implement a policy that satisfies the definition of genocide: a deliberate policy that haseffectively killed well over a million individuals, children and adults… History will slaughter thoseresponsible.”

Guests:

  • Denis Halliday, former assistant secretary general of the United Nations; UN representative in Iraq,1997-98; UN Humanitarian Coordinator.
  • David Mack, vice president, Middle East Institute; former Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates; DeputyAssistant Secretary of Near Eastern Affairs, 1990-1993.
  • Kathy Kelly, co-founder Voices in the Wilderness; from jail via cell phone.
  • Dan Berrigan, Catholic priest and longtime Ploughshares activist; from jail via cell phone.

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