Security Council Conflicts Over Sanctions

by Sarah Graham-Brown
published in MER193

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Intervention, Sovereignty and Responsibility

by Sarah Graham-Brown
published in MER193

Four years after Operation Desert Storm, and the mass uprisings that followed in the southern and northern parts of Iraq against Saddam Hussein’s regime, the country’s economic and social fabric is in tatters. Economic sanctions, following a destructive war and compounded by the Iraqi government’s abusive and divisive social and political policies, have devoured the country’s once substantial middle class and further impoverished the already poor. Even if tomorrow the sanctions were lifted and the regime were to vanish, the capacity of Iraqi society to reconstitute itself is in grave peril.

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From the Editors

published in MER193

A public debate over the US-led economic sanctions policy against Iraq is long overdue. More than four years have passed since the Gulf war ceasefire and Baghdad’s bloody suppression of the popular uprisings that followed. The regime, the ostensible target of the sanctions, appears to be firmly in place. The vast majority of individual Iraqis, whose best interests are cited as a major justification for the policy, are suffering a degree of trauma and deprivation that has already set in motion a dynamic of social disintegration and self-destruction that will affect the entire region -- and may be very difficult to reverse.

Iraqi Sanctions, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

by Roger Normand
published in MER200

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Protesting Sanctions Against Iraq

A View from Jordan

by Jillian Schwedler
published in MER208

Aida Dabbas is program officer for the Jordanian-American Binational Fulbright Commission in Amman. She has been an active opponent of the sanctions against Iraq and of the US arms buildup in the region. Jillian Schwedler, an editor of this magazine, spoke with her by telephone in June.

You recently visited Iraq for the first time.

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The Containment Myth

US Middle East Policy in Theory and Practice

by Stephen Hubbell
published in MER208

Among those who direct American foreign policy, there is near unanimity that the collapse of communism represents a kind of zero hour. The end of the Cold War so transformed the geopolitical landscape as to render the present era historically discontinuous from the epoch that preceded it. Policy makers contend that America’s mission abroad has had to change to keep pace with these new circumstances.

"Sanctions Have an Impact on All of Us"

by Denis Halliday
published in MER209

The following comments are excerpted from a speech delivered on Capitol Hill on October 6, 1998 by Denis Halliday, former UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, shortly after he resigned his post in protest over the sanctions’ devastating impact on the Iraqi people.

"The Bombing Has Started Again"

by Kathy Kelly
published in MER210

I recently informed an editor of a national news program about a delegation of Nobel laureates who planned to visit Iraq in March. He responded that “Iraq’s not on the screen now that the bombing has stopped.” A puzzling response, since on that very day, the US had bombed seven sites in Iraq.

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Iran's Human Rights Record Should Be As 'Intolerable' As Its Nukes

by Kaveh Ehsani | published December 17, 2004

The Islamic Republic of Iran is in hot water with Washington and European capitals because of its apparent pursuit of a nuclear bomb. Dangling carrots of increased trade, the Europeans are trying to persuade Iran to renounce atomic ambitions. Skeptical of these methods but bogged down in Iraq, the Bush administration has grumbled on the sidelines.

We Need Negotiations, Not Saber-Rattling, With Iran

by Kaveh Ehsani | published May 6, 2006

“All options are on the table,” says President George W. Bush when asked about press reports that the Pentagon is drawing up plans to bomb Iran to derail the nuclear research program there. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei shoots back: "The Iranian nation will respond to any blow with double the intensity." Even if Bush’s saber rattling is merely a psychological ploy, and even if the Iranians are also just blowing smoke, the danger is that the cycle of threat and counter-threat could spin out of control.