Fuel on the Fire by Greg Muttitt
There’s an entire chapter called ‘Invasion of the Chalabis’
from Fuel on the Fire by Greg Muttitt.
This book is really well researched. Expect more posts about it.
Today as the United States continues to intensify its international economic sanctions programme against Iran, it is worth revisiting the catastrophic harm which a previous sanctions campaign against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had upon that country. While the sanctions failed to remove Saddam from power and by many accounts helped him solidify his grip on the country by keeping the overwhelming majority of the population focused purely on subsistence, they took a calculatedly devastating toll on Iraqi civilians.
Between 1989 and 1996 per capita income in the country dropped from $3,510 to below $450, a drop caused primarily by the rapid currency depreciation of the Iraq dinar due to financial sanctions against the country’s central bank. Prices of basic commodities soared, with staples such as wheat, sugar and rice increasing several hundred-fold in a matter of months. From having a relatively modern economy fuelled primarily by oil income, by the year 2000 over 60 per cent of Iraqis were reliant on food rations for their daily sustenance.
Over the course of 10 years of financial sanctions the Iraqi dinar suffered catastrophic collapse, falling from four dinars to one US dollar in 1991 to over 2,100 dinars to the dollar by 2001.
The rapidly deteriorating economic environment due to sanctions had the necessary side-effect of severely undermining the Iraqi education system, which had been funded through oil revenues and had heretofore succeeded in producing historically high literacy rates among both the male and female populations.
According to a study published just before the beginning of the second Iraq War, an estimated one in five Iraqi children stopped attending school between the years 1990 and 1998, and the phenomena of child labour became widely prevalent despite being virtually non-existent just a decade prior. As families were forced into destitution by the country’s faltering currency, the development gains of the previous decades were lost and as the report described it, “Iraqi society was put back by 50 years”.
Compounding the devastation to the economy and to general human development within the country, the Iraqi healthcare system, at one time considered to be the best in the Middle East, was shattered by an embargo on medical supplies to the country. Infant mortality more than quadrupled, as doctors were rendered unable to provide care for easily treatable childhood illnesses."
Sanctioning Society, From Iraq to Iran, Murtaza Hussain
Implementing sanctions do nothing to threaten the power of leaders, but instead they harm the population and worsen the hand-to-mouth relationship between government and its citizens. How many more societies must the west demolish before this becomes clear?
The city of Fallujah remains under siege. Not from U.S. troops, but from a deluge of birth defects that have plagued families since the use of depleted uranium and white phosphorus by U.S. forces in 2004. No government studies have provided a direct link to the use of these weapons because no government studies have been undertaken, and none are contemplated.
Dr. Samira Alani, a pediatric specialist at Fallujah General Hospital, told Al Jazeera, “We have all kinds of defects now, ranging from congenital heart disease to severe physical abnormalities, both in numbers you cannot imagine. There are not even medical terms to describe some of these conditions because we’ve never seen them until now.”"
Eleven Years Later, We Are Still at War via buffleheadcabin
I never even HEARD about this…
— Sinan Antoon, The Barbarian Has to Keep It Real: Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Sinan Antoon (via abudaii)
— Brian Wood Amnesty International’s head of arms control on Amnesty International Press Release: Halt Ships of Shame from USA Carrying Weapons to Egypt (via sharquaouia)