Ten years after the United Nations imposed an embargo
on Iraq, a new U.N.-commissioned study has determined that the country
has suffered "a humanitarian disaster comparable to the worst catastrophes
of the past decades."
The report, written by Belgian law professor Marc
Bossuyt, argues that the sanctions on Iraq are "ineffective" and
An August 6 protest marking the 10-year
anniversary of U.N. sanctions brought more than 3,000 people to
Washington, including Ralph Nader and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio).
"The theory behind economic sanctions is that economic
pressure on civilians will translate into pressure on the government
for change," Bossuyt writes. "This theory is bankrupt both legally
Bossuyt's report is another indication that the Clinton
administration is increasingly isolated on the international stage
in its insistence that the sanctions continue, despite the devastating
toll they are taking on ordinary Iraqis. In the London-based Al-Hayat
newspaper, French Foreign Minister Hubert Vˇdrine called the sanctions
"cruel, ineffective, and dangerous. They punish exclusively the
Iraqi population and the weakest of them." Vˇdrine added that the
sanctions "don't touch the regime" of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
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