Three antiwar takes on anti-occupation bombing of UN mission (cleaned up)

Fred Feldman ffeldman at
Wed Aug 20 22:39:28 MDT 2003

DENIS HALLIDAY, (212) 288-5895, djhalliday at, Available for a
limited number of interviews, Halliday is former head of the U.N.
oil-for-food program in Iraq. He said today: "We all think of the U.N.
as this benign entity, but in Iraq it's held responsible for a great
deal of suffering of the Iraqi people.

The U.N. has been particularly corrupted by the Security Council.
Resolutions on Israel go unenforced.

We love to talk about our good humanitarian work -- and there's
certainly truth to that, good people trying to help Iraqis were just
killed -- but the Secretary General has implemented programs which are
inherently incompatible with the U.N. Charter."

PHYLLIS BENNIS, (202) 234-9382 ext 206, (202) 667-1650,
pbennis at,
A fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, author of "Calling the
Shots: Policy and the September 11th Crisis."

 Bennis said today: "The murderous attack on U.N. headquarters in
Baghdad, in targeting civilians, was a violation of international law
as well as a huge tragedy for the victims, their families and for the
global organization as a whole. But such an attack should not have
been a surprise.

The U.S.-U.K. war and occupation of Iraq were and remain illegal.
However happy Iraqis were to see the end of the regime of Saddam
Hussein, they remain understandably angry towards military occupation.

The U.N. should never have agreed to participate under the authority
of that occupation force; to do so provides a political fig leaf for
an illegal occupation....

Under the Geneva Conventions it remains the responsibility of the U.S.
and U.K. as the occupying powers -- not the United Nations -- to
provide for the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people....

The U.N. should pull out of Iraq, and refuse to return until the U.S.
ends its occupation.

Despicable role of UN in Iraq, by KITTY BRYANT (appeared on the
listserve of the Committee to End the Occupation of Iraq,
ceo-i-subsdcribe at

It is wrong to interpret the bombing of UN headquarters in a
simple-minded fashion, for the UN has played a despicable role in
Iraq.  Remember the protest resignations of top UN officials,Denis
Halliday in 1998, and Hans von Sponek in 1999, who charged the UN with
complicity in genocide against the people of Iraq.

Since 1990, the UN has denied Iraq essential imports - for water
purification, for hospitals, for factories, for agriculture, for
schools, and for oilproduction.   The UN-endorsed Coalition Force
bombed Iraq for 26-straight days in 1991, destroying Iraq’s key
economic and social infrastructures, a deliberate strategy to magnify
the effects of comprehensiveeconomic sanctions.  Iraqis are convinced
UN sanctions destroyed their economy because they saw it happen, not
because of Saddam Hussein’s propaganda.

The UN demanded that Iraq cooperate with, and pay for, years of
weapons inspections.  Meanwhile the US maintained an aggressive
military campaign against Iraq, through a naval blockade, an air war,
and rotating training exercises by which US armed forces honed their
skills and tested new weapons.

While Iraq grew progressively weaker, the US permanently located the
nuclear-armed Fifth Fleet, built high-tech bases, and deployed weapons
of mass destruction (cluster bombs, napalm, depleted-uranium coated
munitions) against Iraq.

UN weapons inspectors served the interests of the US; the US
infiltrated CIA operatives and used UN information to target its
bombing campaigns. Although the weight of the evidence increasingly
supported Iraq’s claim that it never had nuclear weapons and that it
had destroyed its biological and chemica lweapons ahead of weapons
inspections, the UN refused to lift sanctions. Thousands of Iraqis
died each month from their effects.

UN officials like Kofi Annan and Sergio Vieira de Mello are chosen by
US Presidents like Clinton and Bush because they do not challenge US
aggression against Iraq or UN complicity.  Instead US-hand-picked UN
bureaucrats aim for broader 'international' participation in the
plunder of Iraq, under terms dictated by the world’s sole superpower.

The UN in Iraq has long been the face of a cruel farce, whereby
wolfish policies of war are masked by the sheepish cloth of a UN blue

Kitty Bryant

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