The Coastal Post - December, the six-day event.

Weapons Of Mass Destruction

BY EDWARD W. MILLER

Spin-masters on radio and in newspapers, National Security Council Zionists, Leslie Gelb and Eagleburger, Pentagon officials and politicians on CNN and talk shows-all have been beating the drums of war, while glibly referring to Saddam Hussein's hidden weapons of mass destruction. Though our military destroyed every artillery shell and missile they got their hands on (exposing our troops to contamination in the process) and the UN inspection team has for seven years ferreted out Iraq's few remaining weapons, the continuing public relations attack was lit up when two weeks ago Saddam, fed up with this unending US-led assault on his country and his administration, slammed the door on the UN's US "inspectors," saying in effect that those members of the team were obnoxious, were abusing their inspection privileges while spying on the everyday activities of his government. The fact that at least three and perhaps five from the US-UN team were from our CIA, and that other UN personnel had set up a black market in Iraqi antiquities hasn't made our front pages, but angers Iraqis. While the Clinton White House and our British lackeys are beating the drums of war and wasting taxpayers' millions by ordering B-2 bombers and extra carrier fleets to the Gulf, and Israel, who is behind much of this effort, is making a big fuss over gas masks for her people, cooler heads in the UN Security Council, including France and Russia, are trying to deal with this public relations outrage in an intelligent manner. Except for Israel and Britain, no country, not even Kuwait, really supports Clinton's military options.

In November, ex-Attorney General Ramsey Clark returned from his seventh inspection trip to Iraq, where he checked on hospitals, food supplies and the general health of the people. The details of his inspection were sent on the 14th of November to Ambassador William Richardson, US Mission, the UN. I received a faxed copy of the report and discussed the findings over the phone with Ramsey Clark on the 19th. I quote, both from our conversation and the report he sent to the UN.

In essence, what Clark refers to as "genocidal sanctions" imposed by the UN against the Iraqi people have been in force since Hiroshima Day, 1990. The overall Iraqi death rate from carefully-monitored causes due to these sanctions has increased each year since 1989. For children under age five, the increase in deaths exceeds a multiple of eight, from 7,100 in 1989 to 57,000 in 1996. For persons over age five, the death rate has increased more than four times, from 20,200 to 83,200. Deaths from malnutrition-related illnesses, not previously seen in Iraq, have increased 16-fold to total 1,354,000 since 1996.

Diseases of poor sanitation-amoebic dysentery, malaria, typhoid fever, scabies, and cholera-are up from zero in 1989 into the thousands by 1996, and rising. Low-weight births (under 2.5kg), which represent almost a quarter of all live births, have increased five-fold, thus Saddam's starving mothers are birthing a generation of stunted offspring. Two large general hospitals, in Basra and Baghdad, lack the simple tools of modern medicine-catheters, needles and syringes, medicines, dependable electricity, chemotherapy supplies, antibiotics, etc-so that even the necessary major surgery is down from a monthly average of over 15,000 operations in 1989 to 4,100 in September of 1997.

Clark says, "In short, there is a human disaster created by the United Nations, a genocide intended to destroy a national, religious, and ethnic group, deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring physical destruction in whole or in part."

During the Gulf War (an unnecessary conflict, since Saddam was still calling President Bush to negotiate his withdrawal from Kuwait when the missiles arrived over Baghdad), the Allies deliberately destroyed the infrastructure of Iraq, wiping out power plants, telephone exchanges, bridges, water purification and sewage disposal plants. This torrential bomb and missile attack (exceeding WWII tonnage) had little or nothing to do with removing Saddam's forces from Kuwait. As Ramsey Clark reported, "The accuracy of US missiles and bombs can be measured by the fact that during the systematic assault on a defenseless society in January and February, 1991, every type of civilian facility was destroyed-homes, apartment projects, markets and shops, schools, hospitals, mosques, churches and synagogues. The punitive cruise missiles in later years killed such dangerous people as hotel workers...in Baghdad, the director of the Museum of Modern Art and the most inspired woman artist in the world in her home."

Today, Clinton glibly speaks of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, which, in reality are long since gone. However, the US-UN weapons of mass destruction are still very much in force. Starvation, the chief such weapon wielded by the US-led UN campaign, has so far killed over 1.5 million Iraqis and is still being employed.

The media speaks of Saddam's "biological weapons," but in reality, as Noam Chomsky noted, the systematic bombing of a people's water supply, hospitals and sewage-disposal systems is biological warfare at its cruelest. No need to loft biological missiles when you can destroy a civilization's daily control of potable water and disease. Both the Bush and Clinton administrations have continued this inhumane assault by placing embargos on the instruments and machinery necessary to rebuild Iraq's water-refining plants, pumping stations and sewage-disposal units. Washington's UN excuses this calculated murder, saying" Saddam might use this machinery to build weapons systems." So the slaughter goes on.

Ramsey Clark also pointed out that the latest UN Security Council response, the prohibition of travel by Iraqi leadership, is because "its clear motive is to silence voices. You do not want the Iraqi Minister of Health to inform the world of the genocidal effect of your sanctions. You do not want political leaders to answer or debate the false claims of US propaganda. You want the people of Iraq to suffer and die in isolation, voiceless and without remorse."

Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crimes of Genocide, section (c) defines genocide as "deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part."

In the last generation, the US has embarked on two disastrous wars in the Asian theater. Beaten in both campaigns, we lost thousands of our fine young men while inflicting unbelievable damage on the Koreans, Laotians, Cambodians, Vietnamese and their neighbors. In our own hemisphere, Ex-President Bush bombed Panama, killing some 3-4 thousand civilians, purportedly to capture our CIA employee, General Noriega, and in the Mideast, Israel launched a genocidal war against Lebanon, and still occupies that country as well as Syria, the West Bank and Gaza which she seized in '67. Despite these military assaults, the UN Security Council has made no move to send inspection teams across our land to remove our weapons of mass destruction, nor attempted to enforce numerous Resolutions against Israel's repeated human rights violations. The failure of the UN to speak out against the chief villains, while acting with deadly suppression against Iraq, has done much to destroy the validity of this organization.

Saddam, of course, has been putting up with more annoying intrusions. The UN-US partitioned his country with north and south no-fly zones, wherein Iraqis could control those rebel groups armed by our CIA during the Gulf War, and Saddam, whose Vice President was a Kurd and who previously had honored three autonomous Kurdish districts with representatives in his cabinet, discovered that the US-UN zone, instead of "protecting the Kurds" in Iraq's north, was to repeatedly allow the Turkish army to cross into Iraq and massacre these people.

In an 1996 interview between Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes and the then-ambassador to the UN, Madeleine Albright, Stahl asked Albright to explain US policy in light of the devastation Stahl had personally witnessed in Iraq. Alright responded, "It's a hard decision, Leslie, but we think the price...is worth it."

Hopefully, our Russian and French friends will restrain Clinton's knee-jerk military response, allow Saddam's' people to breathe again and put their oil and gas reserves back into the world marketplace. Enough of our killing.

:By Edward W. Miller0 """"ysmgmas@@$0 i |ZXL m!"""xqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqm