Advertisement

The Face of Genocide

Chapter
  • 11 Downloads

Abstract

Today the supporters of the embargo against Iraq rarely argue that the Iraqi people are not suffering. Only the perversely ignorant could doubt the miseries of that tortured nation. Rather the upholders of sanctions choose to argue that all the suffering of the Iraqi civilian population is caused by the brutal intransigence of Sadddam Hussein. If he would only observe all the UN Security Council resolutions, if he would only ‘step aside’, if he would only … then the embargo could be lifted and the terrible suffering of the Iraqi people brought to an end. We can of course debate the extent to which the relevant resolutions (principally 661 and 687; 688 and others are not mandatory resolutions) have been observed (Rolf Ekeus, UN official in charge of dismantling Iraq’s ‘weapons of mass destruction’, concedes that there has been substantial Iraqi co-operation), but such a debate — much favoured by cynical US strategists — represents a deliberate diversion from the central ethical and legal question: to what extent, if at all, is it justifiable to subject a helpless civilian population to disease and starvation in the furtherance of a political objective? Before considering this crucial question, before examining the legal and ethical face of genocide, it is useful to glance at the traditional role of the economic embargo as a coercive tool.

Keywords

Security Council Civilian Population Geneva Convention Economic Sanction Security Council Resolution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Jeffrey J. Schott and Kimberly Ann Elliott, Economic Sanctions Reconsidered: History and Current Policy (Washington, D.C.: Institute for International Economics, 1990) p. 114.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The individual terms admit of different definitions and interpretations (see, for example, M. S. Daoudi and M. S. Dajani, Economic Sanctions: Ideals and Experience (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1983) pp. 2–9) However, because of the comprehensive nature of the anti-Iraq sanctions regime, I have tended to use the terms as functional synonyms. We should remember that Washington preferred to talk, in the early days of sanctions, of interdiction rather than blockade to avoid charges that it was guilty of acts of war.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Quoted in Charles Fornara, ‘Plutarch and the Megarian decree’, 24 Yale Classical Studies, 1975, pp. 213–28.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jim Bradbury, The Medieval Siege (Woodbridge, Suffolk: UK, The Boydell Press, 1992) p. 81.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ibid., p. 82.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ibid., p. 84.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    D. T. Jack, Studies in Economic Warfare (London: King, 1940) pp. 1–42.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The American Civil War (London: Penguin, 1988) p. 378.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Richard S. West Jr, Mr Lincoln’s Navy (New York, 1957) p. 60, cited in ibid.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom, op. cit., p. 378.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Citations in ibid., p. 381.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Citations in ibid.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    W. N. Medlicott, The Economic Blockade (London: HMSO and Longmans Green, Volume l, 1952) p. 9.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Margaret P. Doxey, Economic Sanctions and International Enforcement (London: Macmillan for The Royal Institute of Economic Affairs, 1980) p. 12.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
  16. 16.
    Edward S. Miller, War Plan Orange: The US Strategy to Defeat Japan, 1897–1945 (Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute, 1991) p. 28.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ibid., chapter 14.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ibid., p. 365.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    John Costello, The Pacific War (London: Pan Books, 1981) p. 99.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Medlicott, The Economic Blockade, op. cit.; plus Volume 2, 1959.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Hufbauer et al., Economic Sanctions Reconsidered, op. cit.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Jeffrey J. Schott and Kimberly Ann Elliott, Economic Sanctions Reconsidered: Supplemental Case Histories (Washington D.C.: Institute for International Economics, 1990).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Wilhelm Dibelius, England (London: Jonathan Cape, 1930) p. 103.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Margaret P. Doxey, International Sanctions in Contemporary Perspective (London: Macmillan, 1987) p. 32.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Barry E. Carter, International Economic Sanctions (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988) p. 32.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ibid., p. 35.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ibid., p. 159.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Marc Weiler, ‘The Lockerbie case: a premature end to the “New World Order”?’, African Journal of International and Comparative Law, Number 4 (1992) pp. 1–15.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Ibid., p. 15.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Simon Tisdall and John Hooper, ‘US plays down illegal Israeli missile sales’, The Guardian, London, 28 October 1991; Rupert Cornwell, ‘Bush turns blind eye to Israeli arms deals’, The Independent, London, 28 October 1991.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Michael Sheridan, ‘US allies alarmed at trade ban on Iran’, The Independent, London, 2 May 1995.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    David Hirst, ‘US sanctions against Iran are a gift to extremists of Zionism and Islam’, The Guardian, London, 19 May 1995.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy (London: Verso, 1991) p. 3.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Bob Woodward, The Commanders (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991) p. 34.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    See, for example, the paper by Richard E. Webb, ‘Analysis of the Constitution with respect to the authority to make war and alliances, and the employment of force against Iraq by Presidential act’, Bavaria, Germany, 15 January 1991.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Ibid., p. 2.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Ibid., p. 3.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Carter, International Economic Sanctions, op. cit., chapter 4.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Webb, ‘Analysis of the Constitution’, op. cit., presents a detailed analysis of the US Constitution (pp. 4–11) to provide ‘essential proof’ of the Constitutional violations (listed pp. 1–3).Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Ramsey Clark, The Fire this Time (New York: Thunder Mouth’s Press, 1992).Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Saul Bloom, John M. Miller, James Warner and Philippa Winkler (eds), Hidden Casualties: The Environmental, Health and Political Consequences of the Persian Gulf War (San Francisco: ARC/Arms Control Research Center; London: Earthscan, 1994) pp. 298–302.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Ibid., p. 300.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Richard Dowden, ‘Not as nice as he looked’, The Independent, London, 16 October 1992.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1939, Volume: War — and Neutrality (New York: Macmillan, 1941) pp. 454, 511–12, 587–9.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Robert Batchelder, The Irreversible Decision, 1939–1950 (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1961) pp. 172–3.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    John Dower, War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (London: Faber and Faber, 1986) p. 40.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Quoted in ibid., pp. 40–41.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Ibid., with citations.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Bertrand Russell, War Crimes in Vietnam (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1967) p. 59; see also US War Crimes in Vietnam (Hanoi: Juridical Science Institute, 1968); The Winter Soldier Investigation: An Inquiry into American War Crimes, by Vietnam Veterans Against the War (Beacon Press, US, 1972); Martha Hess, Then the Americans Came: Voices from Vietnam (New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1993).Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Robert Jay Lifton and Eric Markusen, The Genocidal Mentality: Nazi Holocaust and Nuclear Threat (London: Macmillan, 1991) p. 13.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Bishara A. Bahbah, ‘The crisis in the Gulf — why Iraq invaded Kuwait’, in Phyllis Bennis and Michel Moushabeck (eds), Beyond the Storm (London: Canongate, 1992) p. 52.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Mohamed Heikal, Illusions of Triumph (London: HarperCollins, 1992) p. 137.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Baghdad Radio, 18 June 1990, cited by Dilip Hiro, Desert Shield to Desert Storm (London: Paladin, 1992) pp. 83–4.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Pierre Salinger and Eric Laurent, Secret Dossier: The Hidden Agenda Behind the Gulf War (London: Penguin, 1991) p. 33.Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Hiro, Desert Shield to Desert Storm, op. cit., p. 89.Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Leonard Doyle, ‘Gulf threat “is earning billions for Britain”’, The Independent, London, 22 October 1990; Michael Kinsley, ‘Where the Gulf crisis is a barrel of laughs’, The Guardian, London, 5 November 1990; Irwin Stelzer, ‘Gulf war allies collude to raise the price of oil’, The Sunday Times, London, 17 March 1991.Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    David Bowen, ‘Iraq sparks fears of oil price crash’, The Independent on Sunday, London, 27 August 1995.Google Scholar
  58. 58.
  59. 59.
    Michael Sheridan, ‘Future of Iraq rests on germ war checks’, The Independent, London, 30 September 1995.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Geoff Simons 1996

Authors and Affiliations

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations