The Secret Behind the Sanctions


Pentagon Documents Show U.S. Intentionally Used Sanctions to Destroy

Iraq's Water Supply.



Shocking Revelations on Sanctions' 11th Anniversary



Madison, Wisconsin -- The U.S. government intentionally used sanctions

against Iraq to degrade the country's water supply after the Gulf War, 

The

Progressive magazine reports in its September issue, citing seven

partially declassified Pentagon documents dating back to 1991.





Thomas J. Nagy, author of the cover story "The Secret Behind the

Sanctions: How the U.S. Intentionally Destroyed Iraq's Water Supply," 

says

the documents demonstrate that "the United States knew it had the 

capacity

to devastate the water treatment system of Iraq. It knew what the

consequences would be: increased outbreaks of disease and high rates of

child mortality. And it was more concerned about the public relations

nightmare for Washington than the actual nightmare that the sanctions

created for innocent Iraqis."





Nagy cites a January 22, 1991, Defense Intelligence Agency document

entitled "Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities," which states: "Iraq 

will

suffer increasing shortages of purified water because of the lack of

required chemicals and desalination membranes. Incidences of disease,

including possible epidemics, will become probable unless the 

population

were careful to boil water." That document adds that "it probably will

take at least six months (to June 1991) before the system is fully

degraded."





The documents mention possible diseases that may flow from the 

degradation

of Iraq's water supply. These include: cholera, diarrhea, diphtheria,

hepatitis A, hepatitis B, kwashiorkor, measles, meningitis, pertussis, 

and

typhoid.





The article says, "The sanctions, imposed for a decade largely at the

insistence of the United States, constitute a violation of the Geneva

Convention."





A 1979 protocol to the Geneva Convention states: "It is prohibited to

attack, destroy, remove, or render useless objects indispensable to the

survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, crops, 

livestock,

drinking water installations and supplies, and irrigation works."





The story is timely, as this week marks the eleventh anniversary of 

U.N.

sanctions on Iraq.





"When the inglorious history of Iraq sanctions is written, these 

documents

will demonstrate a level of callousness that is almost unspeakable," 

said

Matthew Rothschild, editor of The Progressive.





Thomas J. Nagy teaches at the School of Business and Public Management 

at

George Washington University. The documents he cites appear on a

Department of Defense web site at www.gulflink.osd.mil. His article is 

on

The Progressive's web site at:



http://www.progressive.org./0801issue/nagy0901.html






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