|This photo taken at a rally in Evanston, Ill,
in June 1999, protesting the sanctions
and bombing of Iraq. The banner says
WE ARM DICTATORS
THEN BOMB THEIR PEOPLE.
The small sign says
STOP BOMBING IRAQ -
END THE SANCTIONS
Dave Maciewski holds the banner;
WASHINGTON, D.C.-With only six months left before the start in earnest of the United States presidential election campaign, the U.S. and Britain are preparing for a large scale operation against Iraq, reports Agence France-Presse.
More than 500 U.S. air strikes this year alone, and millions to his opponents, have failed to topple Iraq's president Saddam Hussein. On August 19 U.S. warplanes for the first time since December struck positions outside the no-fly zones set up by the allied forces in northern and southern Iraq. International lawyers argue that these no-fly zones have have not been sanctioned by the UN as claimed by the U.S.
Meanwhile, pressure has been growing to ease the sanctions on Iraq. A UNICEF survey released earlier this month found that "between 1984 and 1989, there were 56 deaths of children under 5 per 1,000 live births compared to 131 deaths per 1,000 live births from 1994 to 1999." More than 1.5 million are reported to have died as a result of U.S. forced UN sanctions on Iraq.
The Associated Press reports that the head of the UN's humanitarian program, France, and other members of the Security Council have expressed desperation with the United States for placing on hold hundreds of aid contracts worth millions of dollars.
Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, in a letter to the UN Security Council says, "The UN is inviting a world ordered by the diplomacy of cruise missiles and economic strangulation, governance by deadly high tech military assaults which are indefensible, and foreign imposed hunger and pestilence. The Superpower scofflaw responsible for both crimes is the same deadbeat that refuses to pay its UN dues, directs the creation of ad hoc UN criminal tribunals not authorized by UN Charter to pursue its chosen enemies and refuses to participate in an International Criminal Tribunal created by treaty approved by 120 nations for fear that it might be held accountable under the rule of law."
-The Wisdom Fund, August 30 1999