Same Old Stupid Sanctions
News and Analysis:
1) Same Old Stupid Sanctions (Voices in the Wilderness, United States)
2) UN Resolution 1409 (2002)
3) Jordan's King Warns Against US Action Against Iraq (Reuters)
4) Iraq accepts oil deal, blasts sanctions changes (Reuters)
1) Same Old Stupid Sanctions
Date: 5/14/02 6:14:45 PM Pacific Daylight Time
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Voices in the Wilderness)
It looks as though the UN will adopt a British "smart sanctions"
proposal in a blaze of propaganda designed to prolong the suffering of
the Iraqi people. This Big Lie must be challenged at every opportunity.
We will be told that 'sanctions are being lifted; from now on all
suffering in Iraq is entirely the responsibility of Baghdad'. This is a
The Three Needs
Even after the changes, economic sanctions will still:
1) prevent the speedy reconstruction of the public health infrastructure
2) prevent the revival of the Iraqi economy, needed to provide jobs and
living wages for Iraqi families; and
3) prevent the development of the Iraqi oil industry needed to provide a
guaranteed steady income for reconstruction and revival.
The Four Tools
These are not real smart sanctions. Real smart sanctions target
particular elements in a government, and apply sanctions against them
(the army, the top political leadership, and so on).
The fake "smart sanctions" package Britain is putting through will still
ban the entire population of Iraq from bringing in foreign exchange,
from obtaining foreign loans or foreign investment, or from selling
Iraqi goods (other than oil) in foreign markets.
Iraq is allowed to sell oil to buy humanitarian goods (see box), but no
foreign exchange enters Iraq through 'oil-for-food'. The economy remains
collapsed and cut off from the world.
From Green to Amber
What the so-called "smart sanctions" may do is make it easier for Iraq
to import humanitarian goods. At the moment, when Iraq wishes to import
humanitarian goods, the items it orders are checked against a "green
list" of permitted goods. Items not on the list can be blocked by
members of the Security Council indefinitely - for any/no reason.
At the moment, $5.3bn worth of goods is on hold, almost all of it
stopped by the US and the UK. In the new system, there will be a list of
goods which are suspect - an 'amber list' - and all other civilian goods
will go through automatically.
Depending on how the new list is drawn up, the introduction of the
'amber list' may prevent the US and UK from interfering so much with the
UN 'oil-for-food' program.
This is not About Holds
The argument against the economic sanctions is not about food and
medicines. It is not primarily about how many goods Iraq can bring in,
or about the Sanctions Committee 'holds'.
Even if the US and UK stopped imposing any holds whatsoever on civilian
and 'dual-use' goods, the economic sanctions would continue to kill. Mr
Tun Myat, the current UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, said on 30
Nov. 2001, 'No matter how much was brought in, Iraq still did not have a
functioning economy, without which it was not realistic to significantly
improve the situation there.' (UN Press Briefing)
In Mar. 1999, a group of aid experts asked by the UN Security Council to
study the situation in Iraq concluded that '[t]he humanitarian situation
in Iraq will continue to be a dire one in the absence of a sustained
revival of the Iraqi economy.
According to the Fl, the "smart" sanctions 'will not revive Iraq's
devastated economy while control over Iraq's oil revenues remains in the
hands of the UN, and foreign investment and credits are still
prohibited' (Fl, 28 May 2001)
'[A]lthough [Iraq] would be able to import more [under smart"
sanctions], it would still be denied the free movement of labour and
capital that it desperately needs... 'Iraq needs massive investment to
rebuild its industry, its power grids and its schools, and needs cash in
hand to pay its engineers, doctors and teachers. None of this looks
likely to happen under smart sanctions.' (Economist, 26 May 2001)
'[T]he British proposal of "smart sanctions" offers an aspirin where
surgery is called for.' (Economist, 24 Feb.2001)
Only lifting the economic sanctions altogether can revive the Iraqi
economy and enable the speedy reconstruction of Iraq's public health
Collin Powell let the cat out of the bag: 'Sanctions and the
pressure of sanctions are part of a strategy of regime change'. (FT, 14
Feb. 2002, p. 18) Sanctions are actually a blunt tool of political
The so-called "smart" sanctions are no more than a propaganda
designed to undercut the growing anti-sanctions movement and to build
support for the coming war.
Voices in the Wilderness
1460 West Carmen Ave
The new resolution on Iraq was passed earlier today, and was adopted
unanimously. Text is below, followed by the URLs for the UN reports.
Resolution 1409 (2002)
The Security Council,
"Recalling its previous relevant resolutions, including
resolutions 986 (1995) of 14 April 1995, 1284 (1999) of 17 December 1999, 1352
(2001) of 1 June 2001, 1360 (2001) of 3 July 2001, and 1382 (2001) of 29
November 2001, as they relate to the improvement of the humanitarian programme
"Convinced of the need as a temporary measure to continue to
provide for the civilian needs of the Iraqi people until the fulfilment by the
Government of Iraq of the relevant resolutions, including notably
resolutions 687 (1991) of 3 April 1991 and 1284 (1999), allows the
Council to take further action with regard to the prohibitions referred to in
resolution 661 (1990) of 6 August 1990 in accordance with the provisions
of these resolutions,
"Recalling its decision in resolution 1382 (2001) to adopt the
proposed Goods Review List and procedures for its application annexed to
resolution 1382 (2001), subject to any refinements to them agreed by the
Council in light of further consultations, for implementation beginning
on 30 May 2002,
"Determined to improve the humanitarian situation in Iraq,
"Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the
sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq,
"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
"1. Decides that the provisions of resolution 986 (1995),
except those contained in paragraphs 4, 11 and 12, and the provisions of
paragraphs 2, 3 and 5 to 13 of resolution 1360 (2001), and subject to
paragraph 15 of resolution 1284 (1999) and the other provisions of this
present resolution, shall remain in force for a new period of 180 days
beginning at 0001 hours, Eastern Daylight Time, on 30 May 2002;
"2. Decides to adopt the revised Goods Review List
(S/2002/515) and the revised attached procedures for its application for
implementation beginning at 0001 hours, Eastern Daylight Time, on 30 May 2002 as a
basis for the humanitarian programme in Iraq as referred to in resolution 986
(1995) and other relevant resolutions;
"3. Authorizes States, beginning at 0001 hours, Eastern
Daylight Time, on 30 May 2002, to permit, notwithstanding the provisions
of paragraph 3 of resolution 661 (1990) and subject to the procedures
for the application of the Goods Review List (S/2002/515), the sale or
supply of any commodities or products other than commodities or products
referred to in paragraph 24 of resolution 687 (1991) as it relates to military
commodities and products, or military-related commodities or products
covered by the Goods Review List (S/2002/515) pursuant to paragraph 24
of resolution 687 (1991) whose sale or supply to Iraq has not been approved
by the Committee established pursuant to resolution 661 (1990);
"4. Decides that, beginning at 0001 hours, Eastern Daylight
Time, on 30 May 2002, the funds in the escrow account established
pursuant to paragraph 7 of resolution 986 (1995) may also be used to
finance the sale or supply to Iraq of those commodities or products that
are authorized for sale or supply to Iraq under paragraph 3 above,
provided that the conditions of paragraph 8 (a) of resolution 986 (1995)
"5. Decides to conduct regularly thorough reviews of the
Goods Review List and the procedures for its implementation and to consider
any necessary adjustment and further decides that the first such review and
consideration of necessary adjustment shall be conducted prior to the
end of the 180-day period established pursuant to paragraph 1 above;
"6. Decides that, for the purposes of this resolution,
references in resolution 1360 (2001) to the 150-day period established
by that resolution shall be interpreted to refer to the 180-day period
established pursuant to paragraph 1 above;
"7. Requests that the Secretary-General and the Committee
established pursuant to resolution 661 (1990) submit at least two weeks
prior to the end of the 180-day period the reports referred to in
paragraphs 5 and 6 of resolution 1360 (2001);
"8. Requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with
interested parties, to submit an assessment report on the implementation
of the Goods Review List and its procedures by the end of the next
period of implementation of resolution 986 (1995) beginning on 30 May 2002 and
to include in the report recommendations on any necessary revision of the
Goods Review List and its procedures, including the processing of
contracts under paragraph 20 of resolution 687 (1991) and the utility
of the Distribution Plan as referred to in paragraph 8 (a) (ii) of
resolution 986 (1995);
"9. Decides to remain seized of the matter."
The text of the resolution, the Procedures for implementation of the
Goods Review List and excerpts frmo the debate at the Security Council are at:
A UN brief news report is at:
3) Jordan's King Warns Against US Action Against Iraq
Mon May 13, 4:16 PM ET
By Deborah Zabarenko
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Jordan's King Abdullah warned on Monday against U.S. military action aimed at ousting Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites), saying that an armed conflict with Iraq added to Israeli-Palestinian tensions would be devastating for the region.
"With the Israeli-Palestinian crisis going on, with the anger and frustration throughout the Middle East really at levels that people cannot take anymore ... another armed conflict in the region will be too much for people to bear," the king said.
"Let's give dialogue a chance," he told a luncheon sponsored by the Brookings Institution think tank. "The Iraqis need to know that international public opinion is very strong against them."
"We, the international community, need to encourage them in that respect but if anybody has any sensitivity to what's going on between the Israelis and the Palestinians and how it's affecting the Arab street -- to add Iraq onto the menu now, I think, would be devastating," Abdullah said.
The king recalled how his father, the late King Hussein, pushed for U.S. dialogue with Iraq before the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites), and how Jordan become isolated in the process.
Speculation has risen over the past few months that President Bush (news - web sites) might be preparing to launch an assault after he named Iraq, along with Iran and North Korea (news - web sites), as part of an "axis of evil" that threatened world security.
Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) was quoted as saying on Sunday that the United States had no plans to attack Iraq, but in an interview with Nordic papers, he said aggressive efforts should be deployed to bring about a change of regime in Baghdad.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Friday that Iraq was forging ahead with developing chemical, nuclear and biological weapons and the weapons to deliver them.
Asked how he reconciled Bush's call for a Palestinian state with the recent vote by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (news - web sites)'s Likud party never to permit one, Abdullah stressed the need for regional security.
"What the Israelis need is security," he said. "What they want to be able to do is live safely in the region, not just to the borders of the countries that border Israel. And the Arabs also want to have that future, but the core issue is the Palestinian state."
"So I would suggest that maybe we're keeping too much to what the leaders have to say about this and not enough about the people," the king said.
BAGHDAD, May 16 (Reuters) - Iraq said on Thursday that it accepted a
six-month extension of the United Nations oil-for- food deal, but blasted
changes to Iraqi sanctions regime approved unanimously by the Security
The Security Council on Tuesday approved unanimously the biggest overhaul of Iraqi sanctions in years, aimed at speeding up civilian goods for ordinary Iraqis but maintaining bans on military supplies.
"Iraq will deal with UN resolution 1409 adopted by the Security Council concerning extension of the memorandum of understanding for six months," Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf said in a statement carried by the official Iraqi News Agency.
It followed a meeting of top Iraqi officials chaired by President Saddam Hussein.
Iraq exports almost two million barrels per day of crude oil to world markets under the sanctions, and is a key petroleum supplier to the United States.
The Baghdad meeting denounced the changes to the sanctions regime and accused the United States of imposing them on Iraq.
Syria, Iraq's neighbour and the only Arab member of the 15-nation council, decided at the last moment to vote in favour but opened the meeting by sharply criticising the resolution for perpetuating the 12-year-old U.N. sanctions.
The vote was a victory for the United States, which seeks to topple Saddam, but negotiated for months on the resolution with Russia, which wants to see Iraqi sanctions suspended.
The new regime established a 300-page list of "dual use" goods that could have military applications, ranging from trucks to telecommunications, which will not be allowed for import.
These would need review but items not on the list, from sewing machines to bicycles, can move to Iraq more quickly. Military goods continued to be banned outright.
05/16/02 05:51 ET