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Monday, October 17, 2005

Starvation after "liberation"

Al-Jazeera, October 14:

"A United Nations human rights investigator has accused the US and British forces in Iraq of breaching international law by depriving civilians of food and water in besieged cities.

"But the US military denied the charge and said that while supplies were sometimes disrupted by combat, food was never deliberately withheld.

"Jean Ziegler, a former Swiss sociology professor who is UN special rapporteur on the right to food, said on Friday that the Geneva Conventions banned military forces from using 'starvation of civilians as a method of warfare'.

"But he said that in Falluja, Tal Afar and Samarra, Iraqi and US-led forces had cut off or restricted food and water to encourage residents to flee before assaults on entrenched Sunni fighters over the past year.

"'A drama is taking place in total silence in Iraq, where the coalition's occupying forces are using hunger and deprivation of water as a weapon of war against the civilian population,' Ziegler told a news briefing in Geneva."

There is no way to independently verify these claims, though US denials should be ignored. The lack of truly independent news from Iraq - and the UN's disturbing acquiescence with occupation authorities - gives these accusations the air of authenticity.

In related news:

"A purported al-Qaida web posting has charged the US with fabricating a letter from the group's overall second-in-command allegedly to its leader in Iraq asking for money and laying out the group's plans for the Middle East.

'We in al-Qaida declare that there is no truth to these claims, and they are baseless, except in the imagination of the politicians of the Black (White) House,' according to the statement on a website known as a clearing house for al-Qaida material.

"The statement was signed by Abu Maysara, who claims to be spokesman for al-Qaida in Iraq. It could not be authenticated."

Can we trust this? Impossible to know. The point remains, however: the American, British and Australian governments are spinning themselves to death defending the Iraqi quagmire.


Blogger Ibrahamav said...

"There is no way to independently verify these claims, though US denials should be ignored."

Let me repeat myself:
"There is no way to independently verify these claims, though US denials should be ignored."

You can't prove you are telling the truth, yet you demand we believe you anyway.


Monday, October 17, 2005 12:48:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...


I woudln;t be so quick to lay down the law with respect to verified news accounts. Isn't it you who alwasy champions us reading between the lines when something implicating Israel is released?

Monday, October 17, 2005 1:03:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Nothing the US says about this war can be believed, and likewise the UK and Australia.
I simply don't know if these claims are true, but US denials should be ignored for the simple fact that they've lied before and nobody can independently check it out. The UN is maybe one body that can. Maybe.

Monday, October 17, 2005 1:08:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

"Nothing the US says can be believed."

LMAO. What a warning label.

Monday, October 17, 2005 1:21:00 pm  
Blogger Human said...

At the time of the 2nd battle of Falluga there were many reports of food and medical convoys being turned away. This as far as argument goes is a moot point. All the slaughter in Iraq is based on a pack of lies.

Monday, October 17, 2005 2:19:00 pm  
Blogger Ian Westmore said...

The CoW violations of the First Protocol to the 1949 Conventions on food are no surprise. The same Protocols also ban deliberately targeting 'objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population' (Article 54). During the 1991 Gulf War US and RAF planes deliberately targeted water and sewage plants and repeated the dose in 2003.

They compounded the crime during the intervening 12 years by refusing to allow parts required to fix these facilities past the blockade. Most of the 500,000 kids that UNICEF estimate died during this period (and continue to die) succumbed to diseases attributable to contaminated water and exposed sewage. As one of the countries that supplied naval vessels to enforce the blockade, we are also guilty!

These violation would be classified as 'Grave Breeches' as defined by Part IV, Article 147 of the 1949 Convention. Grave breeches are the ones that get you hung.

BTW- I noticed that Rapporteur Ziegler also, rightly, condemned the use of civilian "human shields" by the insurgency. Has the UN ever commented on the Israeli Defense Force for doing the same thing?

Monday, October 17, 2005 4:50:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Ian, you have no proof regarding the deaths of 500,000 children. The only fact you can actually state is that they died being ignored by their great leader, Saddam Hitler, while he built palaces and bought weapons with the money earmark for those children's survival.

The death of everyone of those 500,000 was cause by the actions of Saddam. He is directly responsible and your efforts to let him off the meat hook is deplorable.

Monday, October 17, 2005 11:15:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Repeat after me: Western govts have no responsiblity for the world's problems. 'Evil' leaders - read Western supported - are the source of all evil and should be removed.
But then, how would Western governments operate in the world?
Re Iraq and sanctions, the figures are relatively undisputed and Western culpability, well, again, 'we're' clean, they're evil...

Monday, October 17, 2005 11:20:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

No one is questioning the figures. But the money was there. Saddam spent it on Palaces, Bullets, and PR men like you to tell the world that the western democracies were killing his 500,000 children.

And you fell for it. Shame.

Monday, October 17, 2005 11:39:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

"they died being ignored by their great leader, Saddam Hitler, while he built palaces and bought weapons with the money earmark for those children's survival."

This borders on stupidity Ibrahamav. I am no fan of George Galloway, but he hit the nail on the head said thee Iraqi's died before they even knew they were Iraqis.

And how naive to think that the West didn't know who they woud be huritng with these sanction? Certainly not Sadam. And Madelaine Albrigth didn;t seem to have a problem with the 500,000 sacrifice, She considered it a worthwhile investment.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 3:05:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Poor Adamo - forced into inaction because every single course of action required to overthrow a murderous dictator will result in somebody dying who shouldn't, but at least no blood is on addamos hands.

Who cares about the dead kurds and shi'ites and others. As long as no blood can be found on addamo's useless, worthless, meaningless hands.

Did the US intend for 500,000 Iraqi children to die? Did the US think that Saddam would allow 500,000 Iraqi children to die for his glory? Did the US think that saddam would cause 500,000 children to die so he could thumb his nose?

Addamo, you are a moron.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 4:56:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...


So you think the US gave a crap abou the Kurds and Shiites? They didn't seem to seeing as they kept arming Sadam at the time, while making public noises abotu how outrageous it was.

You are so black and white at times.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 9:00:00 am  
Blogger Ian Westmore said...

Ibrahamav said...

No one is questioning the figures. But the money was there. Saddam spent it on Palaces, Bullets, and PR men like you to tell the world that the western democracies were killing his 500,000 children.

It wasn't a question of money. The US/UK/Australia blocked shipments of the parts needed to rebuild the water and sewage infustrature. They also blocked delivery of X-Ray machines, incubators, heart/lung machines and many medicines, including antibiotics. Even morphine was denied.

That the destruction was deliberate is a matter of rec ord, Pentagon documents detailing the policy and its anticipated effects were found on the US Dept of Defense website. Not sure if they still are but this site shows you how to find them

You may also like to answer why the US destroyed electrical generating both in 1991 and 2003, but during the bombing of Belgrade it used carbon bombs to temporarily cut power by tripping circuit breakers. Could it be because Serbs are Europeans and there kids are more therefore of greater value?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 7:15:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Addamo, do you think the US supplied Saddam so that he could make war on his own people and invade Kuwait?

You are so transparent, shallow, and false.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 12:36:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Ian, you are stating that the UN deliberately violated the Geneva Convention at the behest of the US while continuing to corrupt the oil for food project for theirs and Saddam's enrichment, and the US was powerless to stop it.

So have been so hoodwinked it is laughable. Except that Saddam managed to kill 500,000 children and shift the blame to the US.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 12:42:00 am  
Blogger James Waterton said...

The USA didn't arm Iraq much. The French and Russians supplied a great deal more arms. Saddam was never a close American ally, and he didn't spend much time as an ally. There is a left-wing myth that he was a long term American bosom buddy. This is patently false.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 4:22:00 am  
Blogger James Waterton said...

The Chinese were major suppliers, too.

Biased link, but graph taken from reliable stats.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 4:54:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

I have no idea how much the US gave Sadam, but one suspects it was enough to be embarrassed about.

When Sadam submitted his 11,800 page report on WMD to the UN prior to the invasion, the American's intercepted it and pulled 8000 pages. Germany certainly had a lot to answer for.

As for relationships, Sadam fell into the "useful pawn" category.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 9:50:00 am  
Blogger James Waterton said...

For a period of time, sure. Saddam used American support to his advantage, too.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 11:56:00 am  

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