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Orwellian Partial Withdrawal from Iraq: Genocide is Success

By       Message David Model     Permalink
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On August 13, 2010, President Obama triumphantly uttered the following shameless words: " Because of our troops and civilians -- and because of the resilience of the Iraqi people -- Iraq has the opportunity to embrace a new destiny, even though many challenges remain." He doesn't quite refer to the outcome of the ostensible war and occupation against Iraq as a victory but meretriciously claims that: "In an age without surrender ceremonies, we must earn victory through the success of our partners and the strength of our own nation." The success of Iraq will be an uphill struggle of Everestian proportions having been foredoomed by the genocide it suffered at the hands of the Americans.

Obscured by Obama's glorification of America's role "to help Iraq seize the chance for a better future" is the ugly truth that, since 1990, America is responsible for committing the heinous crime of genocide in the "cradle of civilization." From the 1970s to the present, as a result of American bombing, sanctions, an embargo and occupation, Iraq has been transformed from a modern industrial nation to a developing country.

Notwithstanding his brutal dictatorship, Saddam implemented progressive economic and social programs which have been obscured by U.S. relentless propaganda. Saddam oversaw the seizure of foreign oil interests which he nationalized, thereby producing skyrocketing revenues on which he built a welfare state. He established the "National Campaign for the Eradication of Illiteracy," "Compulsory Free Education in Iraq," free universal health care and subsidy programs to farmers. In addition, he built roads, promoted mining, revolutionized energy industries, distributed electricity to nearly every city in Iraq, provided welfare services and distributed land to peasant farmers.

Progress in Iraq was short-lived. The bombing in 1991 was based on the spurious charge that Saddam refused to withdraw his troops from Kuwait despite many futile attempts by him to resolve the issue peacefully. Bombing persisted for 42 days, dropping over 80-million tons of explosives on electrical generators, water utilities, sewage treatment plants, irrigation systems, communication systems, transportation centers, silos, food storage and processing facilities, factories, 676 schools, 52 community health centers, cities and villages and, in the process, killing 300,000 people.

According to the UN Genocide Convention, "In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, as such: deliberately inflicting on the group, conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part."

These criteria apply to Iraq after the bombing. Ninety percent of Iraq's electrical capacity was destroyed, denying Iraqis the opportunity to boil water for purification and the hospitals' capability to use much of their medical equipment. The need to boil water was a direct result of the destruction of Iraq's water treatment plants and chlorine plants as well as the problem of raw sewage infesting the streets.

Furthermore, Iraq's capacity to produce food was severely impeded by the bombing of silos, food processing plants, food storage facilities, food distribution centers and irrigation systems. Food production was impeded even further by the bombing of a tractor assembly plant and a fertilizer plant.

At the end of the ostensible war, Iraqis were rendered incapable of feeding themselves, purifying water, healing the sick and of rebuilding infrastructure or industrial facilities. These conditions meet the above criteria of the Genocide Convention.

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Also, on the issue of intent, Robert Gellately, Ben Kiernan and others contend that intent occurs when: "Acts of destruction that are not the specific goal but are predictable outcomes or by-products of a policy, which may have been avoided by a change in that policy." Clearly, the outcome of 109,000 sorties dropping 80-million tons of bombs on civilian targets would be highly predictable to any reasonable person.

The excessive bombing condemned Iraqis to starvation and disease and an inability to overcome these tragic problems due to the sanctions imposed on Iraq since 1990.

On April 3 1991, UN Resolution 687 imposed on Iraq a requirement that Saddam would have to abandon his ambitions to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and destroy all related facilities and stockpiles before sanctions would be lifted. Although it was a UN committee drafting the list of products that had been approved for imports and exports, the U.S. was granted a veto on the contents of the list.

The sanctions were not really aimed at preventing Hussein from building WMD but were a continuation of the bombing with the purpose of imposing tortuous hardships on the people of Iraq to pressure them to remove Saddam themselves. Included in the sanctions were bans on food products, chlorine and parts to repair the water treatment plants and electrical utilities and medical supplies and drugs. According to the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War: "Sanctions have prevented a significant repair of the infrastructure and the combination of damaged or destroyed electrical plants, water storage and sewage treatment facilities combined with a profound lack of imported foods and medicine has created a medical disaster of stunning proportions." A UNICEF report of April 1993 reported that: "Sanctions are inhibiting the importation of spare parts, chemicals, reagents, and the means of transportation required to provide water and sanitation services to the civilian population of Iraq." As a result of the sanctions, UNICEF estimates that at least one million people died as of 1998, half of whom were children.

Admittedly, Iraq was in possession of WMD or in the process of building them. On the other hand, numerous inspection teams supervised the destruction of existing weapons, storage facilities and plants. UNSCOM inspected Iraq from 1991 until 1998 and in its report to the Security Council in 1996, noted that: "The special commission has been in existence for more than five years. During that time it has recorded significant progress."

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In addition, Director General Mohamed Elbaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that "There were no indications that Iraq had achieved its programme objective, or produced or otherwise acquired any meaningful amounts of weapons-usable nuclear material." On November 8, 2002, the UN authorized further inspections which were accepted by Iraq. Dr. Hans Blix, Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC, the UN inspection team sent to Iraq, stated in his report to the Security Council that: "Iraq has cooperated rather well so far with UNMOVIC. The most important point to make is that access has been provided to all sites we have wanted to inspect."

And, on January 27, 2003, the IAEA reported that: "No prohibited nuclear activities have been identified during these inspections."

These reports reduce the propaganda of the George W. Bush administration to absurd, blatant and flagrant lies. Stories about the threat of a mushroom cloud are nefarious and unconscionable prevarications.

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I have been a professor of political science at Seneca College in Toronto. I have published five books the last of which "Selling Out: Consuming Ourselves to Death" was released in May/08. As well, I have been featured in CounterPunch, Z (more...)

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