Ramsey Clark : Report to UN Security Council

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Posted by AssyrianVoices4Peace from dialup- ( on Sunday, October 13, 2002 at 0:06AM :

Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 15:24:19 -0500
Subject: Ramsey Clark: Report to UN Security Council re: Iraq

The following letter from former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark
has been sent to each member of the Security Council. Please help circulate this information widely.

January 26, 2000

Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom to the United Nations

Dear H.E. Sir Jeremy Greenstock, KCMG,

A delegation of U.S. citizens from twenty states has just returned from Iraq. On January 17, we observed in Baghdad the 9th Anniversary of
the beginning of the January 17 - February 28, 1991. U.S. aircraft flew 110,000 aerial sorties against Iraq, averaging one every 30 seconds,
dropping 88,500 tons of explosives, the equivalent of 7 l/2 Hiroshima

This was by far the most intensive bombardment in history.It killed tens of thousands of people, injuring many more. Medicines and medical supplies were exhausted. It devastated water systems from reservoir, pumping station, pipeline, filtration plant to kitchen faucet as well as urban sewage and sanitation systems nationwide. Food
production, processing, storage, distribution, and marketing facilities

were widely destroyed. Poultry was nearly wiped out by loss of

electricity and lack of grain. Animal herds were decimated. Fertilizer

and insecticide plants and storage structures were destroyed.

Communications systems, telephone, radio, TV, were shattered.

Transportation was badly battered. Vital industries were attacked

everywhere. Electric power was knocked out across the nation in the

first 24 hours of the assault. Petroleum production, refining, storage

and distribution from well to service station were attacked across the


The combined effect of this vast destruction of essential goods,

services and industries with the most comprehensive economic

sanctions of modern times, first imposed on Hiroshima Day, August 6,

1990, has caused more than a million and a half deaths.

Conditions of Life and Death in Iraq

I have traveled to and within Iraq ten times since sanctions were

imposed, once during the bombing in 1991. Each year, the death rate

has risen radically. The numbers of deaths have been reported

internationally regularly and updated each month since 1991. In Iraq,

they are palpable. UN agencies, the World Health Organization, the

Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Program,

UNICEF and others have found and confirmed the deaths time and

time again. They must shock the conscience of every sentient human

being. Comprehensive reports by UN agencies and other sources are

available to you. You are charged with this knowledge. The total

numbers of deaths in every segment of the society has risen radically in

each of the past nine years under U.S./U.N. sanctions.

As a tragic illustration total annual deaths of children in Iraq under the

age of five from respiratory infection, diarrhea and gastroenteritis and

malnutrition are:

1989:7110 deaths
1999(Jan.- Nov.): 73572

The annual number of deaths of children under age five grew more

than tenfold from 1989 to 1999. Total deaths of children under age

five from these selected causes alone during 1990 to November 1999

is 502,492.

While children under age five are the most vulnerable age group,

except for the extreme elderly, every age group has suffered radical

increases in the numbers of deaths. Members of the population with

serious chronic illnesses requiring regular medication, or therapy,

suffer the highest percentages of death of any sectors, approaching

100% for some illnesses where survival rates were as high as 95%

before sanctions.

The sanctions target to kill, or injure infants, children, the elderly, and

the chronically ill.

The Red Crescent and other knowledgeable professional groups

believe it will be years after the end of sanctions before the increase in

deaths from most causes stops rising because of the cumulative effect

of the sanctions on the physical conditions of parents, children, the

new born and the overall environment.

Most of those who survive suffer severe physical and mental injury

from the sanctions. Indicative of the impact of sanctions is the

enormous rise in the percentage of registered births under 2.5

kilograms, a dangerously low birth weight in a nation without adequate

food, medicine and medical supplies and equipment. Like death,

under weight births have risen radically every year:

Year / % of live births at weights under 2.5 kilograms

1999(Jan. - Nov.): 24.1

The percentage of live births below 2.5 kg. has increased more than

fivefold to one in four registered births. The consequence for the lives

of these children is enormous. Many will have underdeveloped

organs, mental retardation, remain smaller and weaker than average

and be more vulnerable to sickness, malnutrition and bad water. Their

life expectancy has been reduced by as much as 30%. Probably 90%

of all the infants born in Iraq since 1990 have significantly lower birth

weights than they would if there were no sanctions. The effect on lives

and health of children with higher birth weights is also drastic. This is

why foreign medical teams for five years have referred to a "stunted

generation" in Iraq.

Suggestive of the struggle the children living and dying under

sanctions in Iraq face are the following increases since 1990 in

treated cases of nutrition related sicknesses and deficiencies.

Year / Number of cases


1990: 485 (base)

1991: 12796 26.3 times

1994: 20975 42.6 "

1998: 30232 61.4 "

Year / Number of cases


1990: 5193 (base)

1991: 96186 18.5 times

1994: 192296 37 "

1998: 264468 50.8 "

Year / Number of cases

Protein, Calorie, Vitamin deficiency, Malnutrition

1990: 96809 (base)

1991: 947974 9.8 times

1994: 1576194 16.3 "

1998: 1910309 19.7

Kwashiorkor is an extremely dangerous end product of malnutrition

in which the victim wastes and dies without early intensive care. Few

doctors in Iraq had ever seen a case before late 1990. From

medical school and continuing studies they associated Kwashiorkor

with starvation in the poorest regions of Africa and south Asia during

periods of war, drought, pestilence and other calamities. Marasmus

inflicts a lower death rate than kwashiorkor, but is extremely

dangerous, permanently damaging and requires early and extended

care for survival. The effects of severe and protracted malnutrition

are permanent and life shortening.

Common communicable diseases preventable by vaccination which

are provided nearly all children in developed countries and were

standard in Iraq before 1990 have increased by multiples. While

rates for these diseases fluctuate unlike the death rates and rates for

malnutrition related sickness, because of the cyclical nature of their

communication, they have been regularly higher, increasingly so, and

have afflicted additional hundreds of thousands of children. Increases

in 1998 over 1989 were as follows: whooping cough, 3.4 times;

measles, 4.5 times (25, 818 cases); mumps, 3.7 times (35,881).

The Sanctions Committee of the Security Council has failed to

approve negotiated contracts for Iraq to purchase vaccines for these

and other diseases. Poliomyelitis, which had been virtually

extinguished in Iraq, has increased by a multiple ranging from 2 to

18.6 times since 1989. Cholera rose from zero cases in 1989 to

2560 cases in 1998 and conditions in Iraq threaten an epidemic.

Amoebic dysentery was 13 times greater in 1998, totaling 264,290

cases, over 1989 and much higher in several earlier years. Typhoid

fever was up 10.9 times to 19825 cases in 1998 over 1989.

Scabies increased every year from zero cases in 1989 to 43,580 in

1998. Every adult knows the misery, suffering and sometimes

heartbreak these preventable communicable diseases cause.

Doctors, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, all persons in health care,

work under tragic conditions. Doctors and nurses uniformly state

that patients they could easily save under normal conditions die every

day. The hospitals are in wretched condition: dark, cold, dirty,

stairwells crumbling, walls peeling, beds without sheets, plumbing

inoperable, electricity erratic, equipment without parts, medicines,

oxygen, aesthetics, antiseptics, antibiotics, x-ray film, catheters,

gauze, aspirin, light bulbs, pencils always scarce, often unavailable.

Common life saving medicines from dehydration tablets to insulin are

never in adequate supply.

In plain numbers without measuring the conditions under which they

were performed, or the availability of important equipment and

supplies, major surgical operations have declined each year from a

monthly average of 15,125 in 1989 to 3823 in November 1999 or

by 74.7%. The monthly average number of laboratory investigations

has declined from 1,494,050 in 1989 to 454,375 in November

1999, or by 68.6%.

Drastic deterioration in the whole environment, the physical plant,

sanitation and the introduction of some 25,000,000 ounces of

depleted uranium by U.S. aircraft and missiles have caused enormous

increases in illnesses from tuberculosis to leukemia and other cancers,

tumors and malformations in fetuses. These conditions will take

many years and billions of dollars to restore to 1989 levels. The

hundreds of thousands of lives destroyed and the health of millions

damaged can never be restored.

Today unemployment is 60%. 95% of the private sector of the

economy is shut down. There are no ambulances. 80% of the

sanitation trucks from 10 years ago are inoperable. There are no

new trucks, cars, tractors, buses, or other vehicles. Food

distribution from a comprehensive rationing system controlling staples

delivers 1100 calories per day for every person throughout the

country, Kurd, Sunni and Shi'ite Muslim, Christian, Jew, rich, poor,

alien, with special rations for infants, pregnant women, the severely

malnourished, and others with special needs. The poor cannot

significantly supplement their food rations. In 1989, daily caloric

intake in Iraq averaged 3400.

These brief facts demonstrate the deadly conditions of life

deliberately inflicted on the entire population of Iraq, but which

inherently impact on infants, children, the elderly and chronically ill

first and destroy a vast part of the nation and its overwhelmingly

Muslim peoples.

Representative of the attitude of the U.S. government foreign policy

makers toward Iraq and the sanctions are the considered remarks of

former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in a syndicated

newspaper article published in the second week of January 2000 in

which he referred to the "alleged suffering of the Iraqi people." Then

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright spoke

more forthrightly, if more cruelly. She stated in an interview on the

top-rated CBS national network magazine show 60 Minutes, seen

by tens of millions of people in the spring of 1997, that she believed

the deaths from the sanctions of 585,000 Iraqi children under the age

of five as direct result of sanctions reported by the U.S. Food and

Agriculture Organization in late 1986 was a price worth paying to

maintain the sanctions against Iraq.

The Sanctions Violate the Genocide Convention of 1948

Genocide is defined in the Genocide Convention, in part, as follows:

Article II...genocide means any of the following acts committed

with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical,

racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the


(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated

to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

There can be no doubt that the sanctions against Iraq intentionally

destroyed in major part members of a national group and a religious

group, as such, killing members of the groups, causing bodily and

mental harm to their members and deliberately inflicting conditions of

life calculated to bring about their physical destruction, at least, in

part. If this is not genocide, what is?

The United States, after decades of resisting, finally ratified the

Genocide Convention before these sanctions were imposed. It has

frequently accused other governments of genocide, sometimes

assaulting them severely with its massive, high tech military weapons

against which nearly all nations are defenseless.

The Food for Oil Program has failed to stop the increased death rates

The Food for Oil program was approved in December 1996 as a

means of maintaining the sanctions against Iraq which were meeting

growing opposition in the Security Council. After three years of

operation barely six billion dollars in contracts under the program

have been received from 19 billion dollars of oil sales. Despite Iraq's

desperate needs, more of the funds from sales of its oil have been

turned over to the U.S., the UN and others making claims against

Iraq than have been allocated to contracts approved for purchase of

food, medicine, equipment and equipment parts for the people of

Iraq. Five billion in contracts for purchases entered into by Iraq has

not been approved.

As has been seen the deaths of children and every other segment of

the society from the sanctions have continued to rise in 1997, 1998

and 1999. To rebuild the health care system, the food production

processing, storage and distribution system and the water systems

will cost many billions. Restoring facilities for health,

communications, transportation, education, industry and clean up of

the environment polluted by the U. S. aerial assaults, including the use

of depleted uranium found in extremely dangerous concentrations in

parts of Iraq, will cost many tens of billions of dollars.

Iraq was devoting more than 20 billion annually to public facilities,

goods and services before 1989. Income from oil sales for 1997-

1999 averaged under 2 billion dollars annually, 10% of the amounts

available before sanctions. If Iraq devoted all of the funds under the

Oil for Food Program to food, medicine and water, the deaths

caused by sanctions would continue to rise and the health of the

nation decline. The United States has proceeded to frustrate

approval of contracts under the program in a systematic way to

prolong the genocide against Iraq.

United States military aircraft deliberately destroyed Iraq's water

storage, distribution and quality control systems during the intensive

bombing during January and February 1991. Within two weeks

there was no running water in any city or town in Iraq. Many tens of

thousands of people in Iraq have died as a direct result of drinking

contaminated water.

Iraq has entered into contracts totaling $700,000,000 for water and

sewage projects. This sum is a very small fraction of current needs.

Only $65,000,000 has been received, less than 9%. This is done

deliberately to continue conditions of life destructive of the population

of Iraq. Purchase of chlorine for municipal water treatment, a

standard international usage, has been completely rejected. People

continue to die at increasing rates from bad water.

Oil production for even the very low levels authorized under the

program, less than 1/3 of the pre-sanctions level, has been difficult to

achieve and usually below authorized amounts, because of

deteriorated and destroyed facilities and lack of equipment and parts.

Still the sanctions committee has approved only 18% of the tendered

contracts for oil production, refining and transport. This is done to

prevent Iraq from restoring its ability to save its people through the

sales of oil.

Of the $207 million sought for communications under the program,

not a penny has been approved. The sanctions committee fears

communicated truth will set opinion free and end the sanctions.

The Oil for Food Program has never been anything more than a

means for slowly increasing the rate of destruction of the people of

Iraq. Security Council Resolution 1284 is simply a means of starting

the process over again. During three years under the program from

1996 to 1999, well over 200,000 children under age five died in

drastically increasing numbers each year at a rate growing from just

under 9 to well over 10 times the number who died in 1989. That

experience must not be repeated. The sanctions must be ended now.

It is criminal to hold the lives of the people of Iraq hostage to demands of

the U.S. against their government, whatever those demands may be. In war it is

prohibited to use starvation as a weapon. Medical aid must be given enemy

wounded. Under sanctions an Iraqi is being deliberately killed every two

minutes by conditions of life inflicted by the sanctions. Sanctions are the

functional equivalent of pointing guns at the heads of Iraq's children and

elderly while saying do what we demand to their government, or we

will shoot, then pulling a trigger every two minutes, or less.

To save the United Nations in the judgment of history, the Security

Council must end the sanctions immediately. They are genocide.

To save itself from the judgment of the people of the world, the U.S.

must immediately act to end the sanctions and account for its acts.


-- AssyrianVoices4Peace
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