The Common Good
May-June 2000

Iraq Sanctions: 'The slaughter of innocents'

by Ryan Beiler | May-June 2000

While the U.S.-backed sanctions against Iraq continue to devastate that country, a growing clamor of voices is rising up in opposition

While the U.S.-backed sanctions against Iraq continue to devastate that country— UNICEF estimates the sanctions to have resulted in the deaths of more than 500,000 Iraqi children—a growing clamor of voices is rising up in opposition:

"Our support, my support, my commitment is for the Iraqi people as a group of deprived people whose tragedy should end." —Hans Von Sponeck, former U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Iraq. Von Sponeck and Jutta Burghardt, head of the U.N. World Food Program for Iraq, resigned effective March 31 in protest of continuing sanctions against Iraq.

"Millions of children are suffering and we refuse to close our eyes to the slaughter of innocents." —Democratic Whip David E. Bonior

"We believe that each child deserves the basic rights to food, medicine, and clean drinking water. We also believe that it is possible to do this for the children of Iraq."—From an appeal signed by 35 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, including Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, and Shimon Perez

"Morally, it is wrong to hold the Iraqi people responsible for the actions of a brutal and reckless government." —From a letter to President Clinton initiated by Reps. Tom Campbell (R-CA) and John Conyers (D-MI) and signed by 70 members of Congress

"The comprehensive application of an economic embargo in a manner that ignores the fundamental humanitarian needs and rights of 22 million people to basic health care, food, and shelter is unacceptable." —From a letter to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan from the World Council of Churches

"What America’s doing with Iraq today is criminalàa violation of international law." —Scott Ritter, former head of the U.N. disarmament team in Iraq

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