America has seen fit to Ignore Aspects of International law [Archives:2002/02/Focus]

January 7 2002

Denis J.Halliday
One of the more sinister US military actions of the Gulf War-up there with the use of Depleted Uranium, the obscene airforce turkey Shoot on the Basra road and the burying-alive of Iraqi troops by army bulldozers- was the deliberate destruction of the capacity of Iraq to produce and distribute electric power for civilian uses.
One can object on the grounds that the planned and executed destruction of such an essential civilian infrastructure is in breech of international law, specifically the Geneva Conventions and Protocols set in place to protect innocents in time of war. Then, as now however, America has seen fit to ignore aspects of international law, including the Convention and the Declaration of Human Rights, when so doing is considered by Washington to be in the best interests of the USA.
This is likely to continue, as long as might is seen to be right by Washington political of law will continue as long as the European Union, the United Nations General Assembly, and the Secretary-General fail to stand up and take on the sole superpower.
More immediate is that having destroyed sources of electric power, the US blocked domestic or foreign investment for reconstruction. The result of this is not only warm evenings and spoilt food, but the collapse of the essential water treatment and distribution systems of the country. These are systems absolutely critical (as well documented in Washington) in a country that is largely urban, where some 70% plus of the population live in cities and towns. And in a country where natural water supplies tend to be brackish and therefore require treatment before being piped to the users.
Were this not bad enough, the US also destroyed much of the sanitation systems of Urban Iraq, thereby creating conditions where drinking water and sewage systems merge together. The result in 1991 and to this day, is that the majority of children under 12 months, and under five years as reported by UNICEF, die today of water borne diseases. Starting life with malnourished and anemic mothers, an absence of breast feeding, inheriting low natural immunities, these children are unable to fight such simple problems as diarrhea and dysentery. Children die in Iraq today under the UN embargo, linked to Gulf war damage, in numbers and in the full knowledge of the member states of the UN Security Council. With this knowledge, but determining to sustain the economic embargo preventing improvements, constitutes genocide under the provisions of the UN Convention on Genocide. The shortages in Iraq today of electric power and the resulting absence of the civilian populace constitutes an ongoing crime against humanity. A crime committed in our name by the US-Driven United Nations.
The article is contributed
by Ramzi Kysia,
press Liason-voices in the wilderness