Prominent Voices on Iraq

“This is not foreign policy — it is sanctioned mass-murder that is nearing holocaust proportions. If we remain silent, we are condoning a genocide that is being perpetrated in the name of peace in the Middle East, a mass slaughter that is being perpetrated in our name.

“The time has come for a call to action to people of conscience. We are past the point where silence is passive consent — when a crime reaches these proportions, silence is complicity.”

— Noam Chomsky, Edward Herman, Edward Said, and Howard Zinn, in a Jan. 8 “Call to Action on Sanctions and the U.S. War Against the People of Iraq.”

“President Clinton [has] said that other nations besides Iraq have weapons of mass destruction, but Iraq alone has used them. He could say this only to a population deprived of history. No nation in the world possesses greater weapons of mass destruction than we do, and none has used them more often, or with greater loss of civilian life. In Hiroshima and Nagasaki, more than 100,000 civilians died after the United States dropped atom bombs on them. In Korea and Vietnam, millions died after the United States dropped “conventional” weapons on them. So who are we to brag about our restraint in using weapons of mass destruction?”

— Historian Howard Zinn, from an article in the February 1999 Progressive magazine.

“There is one crime against humanity in this last decade of the millennium that exceeds all others in its magnitude, cruelty, and portent. It is the U.S.-forced sanctions against the 20 million people of Iraq. . . . If the UN participates in such genocidal sanctions backed by the threat of military violence — and if the people of the world fail to prevent such conduct — the violence, terror, and human misery of the new millennium will exceed anything we have known.”

— Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General

“We see a tragic incompatibility between sanctions that are harming the innocent children and people of Iraq, and the United Nations charter, specifically the Convention on Human Rights and the Rights of the Child. The incompatibility with the spirit and letter of the charter constitutes a tragedy for the United Nations. . . “

— Dennis Halliday, in a speech on Capitol Hill on Oct. 6, 1998. Halliday made the speech shortly after he resigned as UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, in protest over the sanctions’ impact on the Iraqi people.