U.S./UN Sanctions on Iraq Defied Once Again
by Sara Flounders and Sarah SloanTwenty delegates from the United States have taken another large shipment of medicine to Iraq in defiance of the U.S./UN economic sanctions.
The delegates arrived in Iraq on Tuesday. The delegation includes former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, members of the American Muslims for Global Peace and Justice, and others. The Iraq Sanctions Challenge trip to Iraq, from December 6-13, is a follow-up to the first Challenge of 84 delegates in May 1998.
The U.S. delegates are attending an international conference in Baghdad marking the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On December 9, Clark was the keynote speaker; Gumbleton also spoke.
The same day, UNSCOM weapons inspectors once again provoked a confrontation that the U.S. may use to justify its desired bombing campaign.
In his speech, Clark said, "Security Council sanctions against Iraq, which are forced by the United States, have devastated the entire nation, taking the lives of more than 1,500,000 people, mostly infants, children, chronically ill and elderly, and harming millions more by hunger, sickness and sorrow. The sanctions destroy the `dignity and rights' of the people of Iraq and are the most extreme form of `cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,' which are prohibited by the Declaration.
"Despite the cruelest destruction of the most basic human rights and liberties of all the people in Iraq, including rights to medicine, safe drinking water and sufficient food, the United States government, with the mainstream media in near perfect harmony, proclaims itself the world's champion of liberty and human rights.
"The problem is not merely one of definitions. It is a problem of power, will and accountability. The United States intends to have its way and serve its own interests, against Iraq, Cuba, Libya, Iran, the Sudan and many other countries whatever the consequences to the liberties and rights of those who live there."
To arrange interviews and speaking engagements, contact Sarah Sloan in New York at the International Action Center 212-633-6646.
What is the first step forward that you would recommend to ease these problems?
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