Global Policy Forum

Iraq Criticizes USA, UK

May 10, 2001

Iraqi Cultural Minister Hamid Yusuf Hammadi, speaking at a conference against the UN embargo, has said that the US administration and the British government have used against Iraq a weapon more devastating than any weapon of mass destruction: the embargo. The US administration and British government, he also said, have violated the rights of their citizens, by deliberately withholding and distorting information in order to persuade them to back crimes committed against Iraq. Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz also addressed the conference, and he said that UN Security Council had adopted a series of unfair resolutions against Iraq. The following is the text of a report by Iraqi news agency INA web site:

Baghdad, 8 May: The international conference on the Embargo Violation of Human Rights began its work in Iraq today in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz. Hamid Yusuf Hammadi, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the cultural centre, Bayt al-Hikmah, made a speech in which he said: Despite the massive death and destruction that the Zionist Anglo-American coalition caused to Iraq in 1991 and the subsequent 10 years of the embargo - which was huge by any standard - the US Administration and the British government had been able through the fabrication of and even blackout on reports to persuade the American and British people to back the crimes that were committed against Iraq. The exception was those free personalities that dared to condemn the genocide campaign against the Iraqi people.

Hammadi explained that the US Administration and the British Government violated the right of the American and British individual to knowledge and information, since they purposely distorted this information and withheld this knowledge. He said: Thus the American and British public was deprived of the truth that is afforded by the ability to choose and judge. They also curbed the desire of the US and British public to fulfil its aims, since it was deprived of the truth or misled by news agencies, the press, and parliamentarians who serve the oligarchic establishment.

Hammadi affirmed that the weapon of censorship and brain washing is more dangerous than the military one. He referred to the US Congress report in its 88th session, which says: "We can achieve some of the aims of our foreign policy by dealing directly with the peoples in foreign countries, rather than with their governments by using modern telecommunication means and technologies. We can also reach the broad and influential sectors of the population in our country or in those countries and try to enlighten them or influence their inclinations. In fact, we can sometimes prompt them to pursue a certain course to exercise tangible or decisive pressure on their governments."

The chairman of the Board of Trustees also referred to the statement that was made by the late Gerald Segal, head of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, to instigate the attack on Iraq in April 1998. He said: "The secret of our success in defeating the Soviets lies in our ability to contain and corrupt. The Soviet danger was contained through NATO and the Soviets were corrupted through trade, the slogans on human rights, and beamed programmes."

Hammadi said: The results of the starvation and torture of Iraqis filled the reports that were submitted by the UN secretary-general's envoys, including the report by Martti Ahtisaari and the reports by Prince Sadruddin Agha Khan. This is in addition to the reports compiled by Harvard University, World Health Organization, UNICEF, and officials of the UN humanitarian programme in Baghdad who were compelled to resign from their posts by their free, noble conscience. There were also condemnations by numerous non-governmental organizations and societies.

Hammadi added: At the time when the Security Council resolutions affirm respect for Iraq's sovereignty and non-interference in its internal affairs, we find the United States and Britain blatantly and heedlessly violating these resolutions as well as the UN Charter and international rules and norms. The speaker referred to the so-called non-fly zones, which, he said, have been imposed by the United States and Britain in northern and southern Iraq through an illegal decision without any authorization from the Security Council. He also referred to the daily US and British terrorization and bombing of civilians in these two areas and burning of their farms since 1991. Moreover, he referred to the declared US policy and arrogant attitude that calls for replacing Iraq's independent national government with a puppet regime.

The chairman of the board of trustees said: The US administration and the British government have used against Iraq, even after its withdrawal from Kuwait, a weapon that is more devastating than the weapons of mass destruction. This is the weapon of total and lasting embargo with the blessing of the Security Council, which is supposed to be the sponsor of peace, security and stability and the guardian of the unity and independence of all countries and any interference in their affairs.

Hammadi affirmed that the US government, which has interfered more than 200 times during the past 60 years in the countries of Latin America, Asia, African and the Arab homeland, has not achieved any success except in the promoting the arms race, resorting to the technology of death, establishing puppet regimes that oppress their peoples, stealing other peoples' resources, glorifying the power of violence and force, and spreading lies, bribery, corruption, and murder. In fact, it has only succeeded in becoming the biggest power that pollutes human thought and the world environment as well.

The speaker explained that the US scandalous violation of human international law, the UN Charter, and cultural norms and the threat it entails to security and stability in the region and the world, clearly exposes the fallacy of US claims about its concern for international legitimacy. He called upon thinkers in the west and the east to raise their voices high against this renegade behaviour and to prompt all organizations, societies, and unions in the world to exert further pressure in order to reveal the ugly Anglo-American face for the sake of truth, justice, well-being, and human rights.

Concluding his speech, Hammadi said: The least that human conscience calls for is the establishment of an international legal body to demand the rights of 1.7 million Iraqis who died due to their deprivation of medicine and food, shelling by bombs, or radiation through the use of depleted uranium.

In his speech, Tariq Aziz affirmed that the Iraqi issue, whether concerning the violation of human rights or international law, is considered a special one in this modern age. He said: The Security Council adopted a series of unfair resolutions against Iraq by using the Iraqi forces entry into Kuwait as excuse. They included Resolution 661 that did not stop at the point of imposing an unfair embargo in all its forms, but went beyond that to massing an unprecedented build-up of US forces since World War II ostensibly to evict the Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

He said that the United States succeeded through its domination of the Security Council in securing Resolution 678 of 1999 to justify its sinful aggression against Iraq. He indicated that the United States used pressure, bribery, and threats to twist the arms of the council members and secure this resolution.

Tariq Aziz explained that the aim behind reviewing the vicious methods that were used to secure this resolution and continue the aggression and the embargo was to point out the corrupt means that were used to pass Security Council resolutions. The corrupt method used to pass these resolutions proves their illegality, he said.

The deputy prime minister indicated that the 30-state aggression, which covered the whole of Iraq from the extreme north to the extreme south, did not only attack military forces, but also power and water plants, sewage schemes, hospitals, roads, bridges, in fact the whole infrastructure, and civilian installations. It was a blatant violation of Iraqi human rights, he said.

Aziz affirmed that US insistence on continuing with the aggression and the embargo against Iraq is considered an open violation of all international pacts, laws, and norms and the principles of human rights. He explained that Iraq has fulfilled all its obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions despite their injustice and unfairness.

The deputy prime minister said that the continuous US-British military aggression on Iraq and the imposition of the so-called no-fly zones in the north and the south constitute a blatant violation of international law. He indicated that this unjustifiable and illegitimate aggression is causing the martyrdom of civilians and the destruction of civilian and service installations.

Concluding his speech, Tariq Aziz expressed his confidence in Iraq's victory over all the attempts, plots, and intrigues that are being hatched by US imperialism and its Zionist protege to undermine the will power of the people, who, he said, are facing the open aggression and unfair embargo with rare courage.

The conference is attended by 100 figures from Lebanon, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Morocco, Pakistan, France, Hungary, Switzerland, Turkey, Germany, Russia, Britain, Mali, Bangladesh, and Nigeria. The participants will discuss in the next two days 20 studies dealing with the following subjects: The legality of the embargo from the viewpoint of international law, the link between the embargo and the aggression against Iraq after the cease-fire and international responsibility, the embargo against Iraq as a violation of human rights, the role of the international community in ending the embargo and the aggression, and the use of depleted uranium as an example of the link between aggression and the embargo.

In their first session, which was headed by German researcher, the participants discussed three studies that dealt with the subject of the embargo and the problem of the sanctions by Dr Edmond of France, the embargo on Iraq and the need for its immediate removal by Dr Sharma of India, and the Security Council's continued adherence to total embargo measures against Iraq despite the effects it has left on the Iraqi people by Dr Nizar al-Anbaki, dean of the Faculty of Law at Baghdad University.

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