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Old 03-18-2003, 06:48 PM   #1
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Containment of Saddam KILLS

Deadlier Than War

By Walter Russell Mead

Washington Post, March 12, 2003


Those who still oppose war in Iraq think containment is an alternative -- a middle way between all-out war and letting Saddam Hussein out of his box.

They are wrong.

Sanctions are inevitably the cornerstone of containment, and in Iraq, sanctions kill.

In this case, containment is not an alternative to war. Containment is war: a slow, grinding war in which the only certainty is that hundreds of thousands of civilians will die.

The Gulf War killed somewhere between 21,000 and 35,000 Iraqis, of whom between 1,000 and 5,000 were civilians.

Based on Iraqi government figures, UNICEF estimates that containment kills roughly 5,000 Iraqi babies (children under 5 years of age) every month, or 60,000 per year. Other estimates are lower, but by any reasonable estimate containment kills about as many people every year as the Gulf War -- and almost all the victims of containment are civilian, and two-thirds are children under 5.

Each year of containment is a new Gulf War.

Saddam Hussein is 65; containing him for another 10 years condemns at least another 360,000 Iraqis to death. Of these, 240,000 will be children under 5.

Those are the low-end estimates. Believe UNICEF and 10 more years kills 600,000 Iraqi babies and altogether almost 1 million Iraqis.

Ever since U.N.-mandated sanctions took effect, Iraqi propaganda has blamed the United States for deliberately murdering Iraqi babies to further U.S. foreign policy goals.

Wrong.

The sanctions exist only because Saddam Hussein has refused for 12 years to honor the terms of a cease-fire he himself signed. In any case, the United Nations and the United States allow Iraq to sell enough oil each month to meet the basic needs of Iraqi civilians. Hussein diverts these resources. Hussein murders the babies.

But containment enables the slaughter. Containment kills.

The slaughter of innocents is the worst cost of containment, but it is not the only cost of containment.

Containment allows Saddam Hussein to control the political climate of the Middle East. If it serves his interest to provoke a crisis, he can shoot at U.S. planes. He can mobilize his troops near Kuwait. He can support terrorists and destabilize his neighbors. The United States must respond to these provocations.

Worse, containment forces the United States to keep large conventional forces in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the region. That costs much more than money.

The existence of al Qaeda, and the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, are part of the price the United States has paid to contain Saddam Hussein.

The link is clear and direct. Since 1991 the United States has had forces in Saudi Arabia. Those forces are there for one purpose only: to defend the kingdom (and its neighbors) from Iraqi attack. If Saddam Hussein had either fallen from power in 1991 or fulfilled the terms of his cease-fire agreement and disarmed, U.S. forces would have left Saudi Arabia.

But Iraqi defiance forced the United States to stay, and one consequence was dire and direct. Osama bin Laden founded al Qaeda because U.S. forces stayed in Saudi Arabia.

This is the link between Saddam Hussein's defiance of international law and the events of Sept. 11; it is clear and compelling. No Iraqi violations, no Sept. 11.

So that is our cost.

And what have we bought?

We've bought the right of a dictator to suppress his own people, disturb the peace of the region and make the world darker and more dangerous for the American people.

We've bought the continuing presence of U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia, causing a profound religious offense to a billion Muslims around the world, and accelerating the alarming drift of Saudi religious and political leaders toward ever more extreme forms of anti-Americanism.

What we can't buy is protection from Hussein's development of weapons of mass destruction. Too many companies and too many states will sell him anything he wants, and Russia and France will continue to sabotage any inspections and sanctions regime.

Morally, politically, financially, containing Iraq is one of the costliest failures in the history of American foreign policy. Containment can be tweaked -- made a little less murderous, a little less dangerous, a little less futile -- but the basic equations don't change. Containing Hussein delivers civilians into the hands of a murderous psychopath, destabilizes the whole Middle East and foments anti-American terror -- with no end in sight.

This is disaster, not policy.

It is time for a change.
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Old 03-18-2003, 07:53 PM   #2
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Love it. This article is great. Dead on.

Why people never look towards this info is beyond me. They think no war is the answer but sometimes war can be the only answer.


Thanks Dread for, yet again, posting a informative article!
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Old 03-18-2003, 08:08 PM   #3
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I wish the President or Blair or someone would get up on the PULPIT and preach something like this!
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Old 03-18-2003, 08:15 PM   #4
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Ya this is what i am thinking. They are/were focusing to much on the WMD element when they should have used a series of different claims. I do agree with going into Iraw but the way Bush has handled it is disapointing. He could and should have used more then one argusment. The way he has killed many of his own people should have been focused on more and this would have been good to know.
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Old 03-18-2003, 08:30 PM   #5
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excellent article. and so true.
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Old 03-19-2003, 07:22 AM   #6
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Interesting indeed, it seems the world thought that the povered Iraqui people would get rid of Saddam due to sanctions.

Mr Blix is said to bring in a detailed programme of work for inspectors in the UN today, lasting no more than a month or two. Unfortunately they won't be given the chance to pursue that.

As for Bin Laden: he started out as a part of the mujaheed forces in Afghanistan to oppose the Soviet union. Nobody minded him back then, nobody minded Saddam - Iraq was given intelligence info on Iran to fight them.
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Old 03-19-2003, 09:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2girl
Interesting indeed, it seems the world thought that the povered Iraqui people would get rid of Saddam due to sanctions.
Saddam would have been gone a long time ago had containment been enforced.

Here is one example:

Iraq has managed to skim money from the oil sales that go through the UN System. Starting in 2000, Iraq began demanding a surcharge of 20 to 70 cents on each barrel sold. The buyers were forced to pay this surcharge to Iraqi bank accounts outside the oil-for-food program. To sweaten the deal , the Iraqi government began significantly underpricing its oil-enough to both compensate the buyer for the surcharge and still keep the price per barrel 35 to 65 cents below market rate to give companies the incentive to violate sanctions by violating the surcharge. (POLLACK PG 215)


Now lets think about this. The money from the oil sales is supposed to go into an account to buy food for the people of IRAQ. Instead Saddam has made a bundle while it is estimated that because of this abuse of the program the Iraqi people have lost $2 Billion that should have been used to buy food and humanitarian relief.

What two nations on the securioty council benefit from buying Iraqi oil the most? FRANCE and RUSSIA.

So, looking at the fact that they continue to deal with this BASTARD they have contributed to more deaths of the Iraqi people than the pending war is projected too.

It sickens me that this has been allowed to continue. It sickens me that they say this is an unjust war, when clearly they are participating in Saddam's killing of his own people. Another example of the PRICE of peace.
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Old 03-19-2003, 10:25 AM   #8
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Another thing....

It is hard to overthrow when you are impoverished. Why have so many starved? The regime is in charge of food distribution, not the UN. Iraq insisted on this, so instead of humanitarian relief getting to where it is needed, because the UN did not have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to him, they allow him to distribute the food.

This is the system he set up:

As a result of the rationing system and later the food-for-oil system, both of which placed distribution of essential supplies in the regime's hands, Bagdahd now has far greater control over the lives of it's citizens than it ever had before. The ration cards introduced in response to imposition the sanctions are now vital to the livelihood of the vast majority of Iraqis, as the rations provide roughly three quartersof their monthly calories. The regime has been quick to use this power to stregnthen its grip over the people...."As one refugee with a family still in Iraq observed, 'The need to have a ration card is a form of pressure on families to do what the governement wants-for example, to go on a demonstration or to vote.' The need to produce a ration card, along with other documents, to gain access to services is an additional form of pressure." Ration cards need to be approved by the local Ba'th Party official and can be denied for a whole variety of reasons-such as having a deserter or a refugee in the family. The internal security services routinely deprive people of ration cards as a means of punishement (POLLACK The Threatening Storm p 135-136).

Maybe this explains why so many in Iraq are too scared to do anything. If a relative deserts the army you lose 3/4 of your calories. WOW!!!!! The cards are controlled by the political party.

LET FREEDOM RING!!!!!!!
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Old 03-19-2003, 03:16 PM   #9
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So why did UN not make sure Iraqui people get the benefits of money gained from selling oil? Why did they leave it to a regime like that?
(there were starving people in Romania, yet they overthrew Causesceau, and in Serbia, yet they overthrew Milosevic - as well as many communist countries - yet the sistem fell apart)

I think that others should not be blamed for how Saddam used the money.
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Old 03-19-2003, 03:33 PM   #10
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You miss the point U2Girl. He circumvented the system that the UN set up to help the people. Instead of charging what the oil was worth, he lowered the price thereby cutting the amount of money going into the food for oil program. At the same time he increased the TAX, giving him more money.

The UN Security Council was helpless to act...because if they did....GUESS WHO WOULD VETO!!!!!

The US made attempts at fixing things through the UN to repair containment. GUESS WHO WOULD VETO!!!!!!


Shameful!!!!! The OIL that FRANCE and RUSSIA has benfitted from has cost more than the number of people lost in the entire Gulf War. THink about it 12 Gulf Wars of people killed so that certain nations on the Security Council can benefit.


France and others have blocked attempts to fix containment and they have blocked attempts to fix it militarily, not for peace. The fact is in this case, WAR and the removal of this regime will save lives.
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Old 03-19-2003, 03:44 PM   #11
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So the "oil for food" UN programme didn't have some sort of assurance that the price of oil can not be changed by Sadddam?

Aren't the OPEC countries the ones that decide the cost of oil?
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Old 03-19-2003, 03:49 PM   #12
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OPEC can only try to prevent any one member nation from undercutting the rest through lower prices.
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Old 03-19-2003, 04:52 PM   #13
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A well-thought, generally accurate and exceedingly well-written article. I don't agree with it, but I know an intelligent discussion when I see one. World leaders should take note.

Ant.
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Old 03-20-2003, 06:45 PM   #14
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What about it do you disagree with Anthony?
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Old 03-20-2003, 06:54 PM   #15
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Dread,

I know ken pollack wrote THE BOOK on Saddam.

and you and others have referred to it.

I did hear that he opposed going in without UN support, interesting?
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