Iraq under Siege: The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War

By Anthony Arnove | Go to book overview

Chapter 15
Building the Movement to End Sanctions

Sharon Smith

For nine long years, sanctions against Iraq have been strangling its population. By the time the US and British militaries began the most recent bombing campaign against Iraq at the end of 1998—a campaign that still continues—more than 1 million Iraqis, many of them children, had died as a result of the United Nations sanctions on Iraq and the effects of the Persian Gulf War. 1 After dropping more than 300 cruise missiles and hundreds of bombs in December 1998, the United States claimed (apparently failing to see the irony) that the four-day bombardment was needed to stop Saddam Hussein from developing "weapons of mass destruction." 2

US foreign policy toward Iraq has consisted of this two-pronged deadly campaign since the end of the Persian Gulf War in 1991. For most of this time, mainstream newspapers across the United States have barely mentioned the sanctions, except perhaps as a passing comment while reporting the latest bombing raid or an upcoming discussion on the UN Security Council.

This should not be too surprising, given the role played by the US news media during the Gulf War. During that war, reporters (often wearing US army fatigues and surrounded by army vehicles) were complicit in the government's efforts to withhold information about the number of Iraqi casualties (coldly reported as "collateral damage," as if real people were not being killed) and the annihilation of Iraq's infrastructure. How could those of us not schooled in military jargon have guessed that within the "military theater" were oil production facilities and water sanitation plants? The round-the-clock coverage provided by the competing networks (each with its unique designer logo and theme song) managed to leave out the most important facts: that tens of thousands of Iraqis were killed after six weeks of carpet-bombing; that "smart bombs" more often than not missed their targets; and that, by the end of the war, Iraq had been re-

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Iraq under Siege: The Deadly Impact of Sanctions and War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Praise for Irag under Siege i
  • Title Page iii
  • Table of Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction 9
  • Notes 17
  • Part 1 - The Roots of Us/Uk Policy 21
  • Chapter 1 - America's War against Iraq: 1990-1999 23
  • Notes 32
  • Chapter 2 - Iraq: the Impact of Sanctions and Us Policy 35
  • Notes 46
  • Chapter 3 - Us Iraq Policy 47
  • Notes 55
  • Part 2 - Myths and Realities 57
  • Chapter 4 - Collateral Damage 59
  • Notes 64
  • Chapter 5 - Myths and Realities regarding Iraq and Sanctions 67
  • Notes 73
  • Chapter 6 - The Media's Deadly Spin on Iraq 77
  • Notes 89
  • Chapter 7 - The Hidden War 93
  • Notes 103
  • Chapter 8 - One Iraqi's Story 105
  • Notes 107
  • Part 3 - Life under Sanctions 109
  • Chapter 9 - Raising Voices 111
  • Notes 124
  • Chapter 10 - Targets—not Victims 127
  • Notes 136
  • Chapter 11 - Sanctions: Killing a Country and a People 137
  • Notes 147
  • Part 4 - Documenting the Impact of Sanctions 149
  • Chapter 12 - Sanctions, Food, Nutrition, and Health in Iraq 151
  • Notes 165
  • Chapter 13 - Toxic Pollution, the Gulf War, and Sanctions 169
  • Notes 175
  • Part 5 - Activist Responses 179
  • Chapter 14 - Sanctions Are Weapons of Mass Destruction 181
  • Notes 183
  • Chapter 15 - Building the Movement to End Sanctions 185
  • Notes 196
  • Chapter 16 - Resources Organizations Working to End Sanctions on Iraq 199
  • About the Authors 201
  • Index 205
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