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Old 11-03-2005, 05:58 PM   #1
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Former diplomat blames UN for killing millions

'The Dublin born former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations has told a jury that he holds the UN responsible for killing many thousands of people, including children, in Iraq through the imposition of sanctions.

Mr Denis Halliday, who headed the "oil for food" humanitarian programme in Iraq before his resignation in October 1998, was giving evidence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in the defence of five antiwar protesters accused of damaging a US aeroplane at Shannon Airport.

Mr Halliday told Mr Conor Devally SC (with Mr Luan O Braonain BL), prosecuting, under cross examination, that he gave up his post as he was constrained by the UN Security Council from using Iraq’s oil revenue to rebuild infrastructure within the country which had been destroyed during the 1991 Gulf War.

He said: "I disagreed with what the UN asked me to do. The role was unacceptable to me".

It was day seven of the trial of five accused who pleaded not guilty to two counts each of causing damage without lawful excuse to a naval plane, property of the United States government, and to glass door panels, property of Aer Rianta at Shannon Airport, Clare on February 3, 2003.

They are Ciaron O’Reilly (aged 45), an Australian national and Damien Moran (aged 25) both of South Circular Road, Rialto; Nuin Dunlop (aged 34), a US citizen and counsellor living on Walkinstown Road, Dublin; Karen Fallon (aged 34), a Scottish marine biologist living on South Circular Road, Rialto; and Deirdre Clancy (aged 35), a copy editor of Castle Avenue, Clontarf.

Mr Halliday told the jury of seven women and five men that he reported the effects of sanctions to the UN Security Council but "the UN did not listen". "Loss of life was apparently not important to New York," he said.'

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Old 11-04-2005, 05:32 AM   #2
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I feel that it is an unfair assessment, the United Nations was pursuing a policy of containment of Iraq that involved sanctions, the Oil for Food program in principle was designed to mitigate the suffering of the Iraqi people it was the gross manipulation of sanctions by the Baathists as a means of population control that exacerbated death.

Hundreds of thousands, even millions of innocent people died under these condtions, it was the ongoing price of not dealing with the regime in 1991 thanks to the realists like Brent Scowcroft.

The only other option would have been to cave into the pressure and remove sanctions while Saddam was still in power and still with ambiguous WMD programs.

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Old 11-05-2005, 02:07 PM   #3
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I often think that "Oil for Food" was just a way for Westerners to absolve themselves from the guilt of making an entire country suffer because of one man. I question whether anyone really believed it would work. The conclusion that this Bush Administration took was an inevitable one, I long feared. Too many mistakes were committed during the first Gulf War, and, knowing American culture, an unfinished conflict boils the blood of our politicians.

The least Bush could have done was to make up plausible excuses to go to war, rather than the hasty assortment of lies that was instead dealt out.

I just hope, someday, that we can stop committing the same errors and holding the same grudges of the previous generations as we always seem to do.

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