U.N. -- Accessory After the Fact?
Former head of the U.N. oil-for-food program, Halliday
said today: "The people of Iraq are being crushed brutally
everyday as we watch our TV. The U.N. and international
law are being set aside by the U.N. Security Council
member states. The Secretary General provides a weak voice
reminding us all of Charter provisions, but too late and
PHYLLIS BENNIS, pbenniscompuserve.com, http://www.ips-dc.org
Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, Bennis is
author of the book "Before and After: U.S. Foreign Policy
and the September 11th Crisis." She said today:
"International law, specifically the Geneva Conventions,
requires the belligerent occupying power to take
responsibility (meaning pay) for the humanitarian needs of
the civilian population under occupation. Thus, the U.S.
and the U.K. are responsible for all costs of emergency
care, including food, medicine, and initial rehabilitation
efforts, at least during the period while hostilities
continue. Oil-for-food funds should not be released and
used to pay for emergency supplies -- those funds belong
to Iraq. They should remain frozen until a functioning
independent government is in power in Baghdad and then
turned back over to Iraq."
ROGER NORMAND, rnormandcesr.org, http://www.cesr.org
Executive director of the Center for Economic and Social
Rights, Normand said today: "This is a defining moment for
the United Nations. Kofi Annan should immediately condemn
the illegal invasion of Iraq. The U.N. should insist on
retaining control over the oil-for-food funds for the
benefit of the Iraqi people. The U.N. should not allow the
U.S.-U.K. to seize billions of Iraqi oil wealth to pay
companies like Halliburton to rebuild what the U.S.-U.K.
has destroyed at U.S. taxpayer expense."
MICHAEL RATNER, mratnerigc.org
JULES LOBEL, lobellaw.pitt.edu, http://www.ccr-ny.org
Ratner is president of the Center for Constitutional
Rights. Lobel is professor of international law at the
University of Pittsburgh and a CCR board member. Lobel
said today: "We have been asking for a 'Uniting for Peace'
Resolution (337), which allows the U.N. General Assembly
to step in and prevent aggressive wars and acts when the
Security Council is unable to do so. Seemingly very
concerned about the possibility of this resolution being
brought to the U.N. floor and passing, the U.S. government
has sent a high-pressure letter to all nations of the
world demanding that they avoid 'calls for an emergency
session of the General Assembly, [which] will not change
the path that we are on....'"
BERT SACKS, bertconnectexpress.com, http://www.endiraqsanctions.org
Sacks was fined $10,000 last year by the U.S. government
after he took medicines to Iraq. He said today:
"Yesterday, standing next to President Bush, Prime
Minister Tony Blair said that 'Over the past five years,
400,000 Iraqi children under the age of five died of
malnutrition and disease ... because of the nature of the
regime under which they are living. Now, that is why we're
acting.' Well, that's certainly why I was acting. I took
medicine to children in Iraq and I was fined $10,000 for
admitting this. The regime that caused the preventable
death of these children is the regime of sanctions pushed
by the U.S. and the U.K."