Genocide In Iraq: The Case Against the UN Security Council and Member States

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Authors: Abdul--Haq al-Ani & Tarik al-Ani

Paperback: 167 pages
Publisher: Clarity Press (30 Sep 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0985335300
ISBN-13: 978-0985335304

Book Description

Imposing sanctions on Iraq was one of the most heinous of crimes committed in the 20th century. Yet it has received little attention in the Anglo-American world. Despite the calamitous destruction resulting from the sanctions, no serious attempts by legal professionals, academics or philosophers have been undertaken to address the full scope of the immorality and illegality of such a criminal and unprecedented mass punishment. "Genocide in Iraq" offers a comprehensive coverage of Iraq's politics, its building, its destruction through aggression and sanctions, and an analysis of the legality of these sanctions from the point of view of international and human rights laws. It presents a detailed policy analysis indicating how, under Ba'ath rule, Iraq had risen to become - before 12 years of total sanctions were globally enforced - the most progressive and developed Arab nation in the Middle East. It then contrasts that rising nation to the devastated remains left in the aftermath of sanctions, which nonetheless was yet to endure, in 2003, the full force of the American "shock and awe" invasion. The book explains why it was necessary to occupy Baghdad. It also puts forward the uniqueness of Iraq as at the heart of both Sunni and Shi'a theology, arguing it was this very centrality of Iraq, which far outweighs the significance of Arabia in socio-economic, religious and geostrategic dimensions, that at the same time makes Iraq a target. It details the building of Iraq by the Ba'ath regime, part of which was done with remarkable speed, putting to rest the argument that other countries in the area were developed at a similar pace. It also details the devastation of Iraq by 2003 after 12 years of sanctions - a devastation so dreadful that by the UN's own accounting, some 500,000 child deaths were due to it; a devastation so pervasive and overwhelming that two of the UN's own key administrators of the sanctions program, Dennis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, resigned in protest. No other book published in English has made such an in-depth research and comparison of the two eras. Although previous books may have touched on the breach of international law through sanctions, this book, while making similar arguments on the breach of international humanitarian and human rights law, goes further and argues that the Security Council itself, member states and the individual relevant members of the governments of that period are guilty of these crimes. More significantly, the book argues for the first time that imposing total sanctions is the equivalent of committing genocide. It challenges the argument by some that there is any need to establish specific intent to establish the crime of Genocide. In its section dealing with the Sanction Committee, it demonstrates how one man at any time could hold the whole of Iraq to ransom by denying the export of items so vital to the basic survival needs of millions. The little that has been written has concentrated on a single aspect of the effects or consequences of the sanctions; mostly in articles in dedicated journals whose readership is limited. But as the crime of genocide is one on which there is no statute of limitations, it is hoped that this book will serve not only as an indictment of and barrier to future global imposition of sanctions, but also as a tool in bringing the actual perpetrators of this crime to a Nuremberg-style day of judgment.

Read an Excerpt

The starting point for the consideration of sanctions under international law is Article 39 of the UN Charter which gives rise to the right of the Security Council to consider taking such measures as sanctions against a member state. Under Article 39, as sited above, the Security Council "shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression” before deciding on the measure to be taken. Once the Security Council determines the existence of the conditions under Article 39, then all the measures taken by the Security Council under Articles 41 and 42 ought to be taken only "to maintain or restore international peace and security”. The Security Council is not empowered under the Charter to maintain the measure without determining at each stage that the threat to international peace remains. It is not empowered to simply extend the imposition of these measures on the grounds that its demands have not been met. The continuous imposition of sanctions on Iraq would have been an unlawful act even if Iraq had not indeed disarmed itself. The Security Council should have determined at each stage of the sanctions that failing to impose them would have created a threat to international peace. It is submitted here that the Security Council never carried out such determination during the twelve years of sanctions. It would have been ludicrous for any state to argue that Iraq, after its destruction in 1991, was a threat to international peace.

It is clear that the clever drafting of Article 39 was intended to prevent the Security Council from acting on the whim of a single state or a group of states seeking to further some political objectives. Sadly that is precisely what the Security Council did in imposing sanctions on Iraq as it served the American plan for the Middle East.

In fact it is submitted here that the imposition of sanctions on Iraq, when it was no longer a threat to international peace, was itself an act of war or aggression and by imposing the sanctions, the Security Council was itself guilty of breaching international law.

It has been argued, and we subscribe to such an argument, that the principle under Article 22 of the Hague Convention 1907 which reads: "The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited”, applies to the right to impose sanctions.

Table of Contents

Preface by Joshua Castellano; Chapter 1; Introduction; What is happening in the Arab World?; Why this Book?; Chapter 2; Iraq's Millennia of Rich History; The Unique Historical Role of Iraq; Inviolability of the Colonialists' Drawn Borders Post WWI; How the Shi'a vs. Sunni Divide in Islam Impacted Early Iraq; Building Baghdad, Capital of an Empire; Chapter 3; History 1916 to 2003: Monarchy to Occupation; Overview of Iraq's 20th Century Political History; Nuri As-Saeed's Rule; General Qasim's Rule; The Arifs' Rule; The Significance of the Ba'ath Movement in the Arab Middle East; Learning the Lessons of the 1963 Failure of the Ba'ath.; The Ba'ath Succeeds in Freezing the Kurdish Problem; The Iraqi Night of the Long Knives; The Ill-conceived Invasion of Iran Leads to Ba'ath Decline; The First Consequence of the Iraqi Invasion of Iran; Where the Ba'ath Failed: Some Conjectures; Chapter 4; The Ba'ath Pursues the Economic Development of Iraq; Planning: The Cornerstone of the Ba'ath Strategy for Iraq's Development; The National Development Plan (NDP): The Most Ambitious Plan in the History of Iraq; The 1975 Development Plan: A Transitional Development Plan; The Second Development Plan 1976-1980; The Development Plan and the Oil Sector; Oil and the Rise and Decline of the Iraqi Economy; The Nationalization of Oil and its Consequences; Industrial Development under the Ba'ath; Infrastructure Development under the Ba'ath; Developing the Generation and Supply of Electricity; Developing the Transportation System in Iraq; Significant Development of Telecommunications in Iraq under the Ba'ath; The Ba'ath Plans for the Development of the Agriculture and Irrigation Sector; Agrarian Reform Law 1958 Enhanced and Enforced by the Ba'ath; General Increase in agricultural products; Understanding the Surface Water Resources; The Ba'ath Achievements in the Construction of dams, irrigation projects and land reclamation; The Impact of the Iran-Iraq war on Development; Military Expansion and its Effects on the Economy; Understanding the Economic Costs of the Iran-Iraq War; Chapter 5; The Ba'ath's Progressive Social and Political Policies; The Progressive National Front (PNF); New Labor Laws: A Major Contribution to Social and Economic Justice; A Distinctive Contribution to the Liberation of Women in the Arab World; A Unique Attitude to Religious Freedom in the Arab World; Ba'ath Ideology in the Education Sector: Free Education for All at All Levels; Primary and Secondary Schools; Vocational Education; The Ba'ath Plan to Provide Free Health Service to All; Success in Providing Potable Water; Building and Provision of Hospitals; Setting up Health Centers; Setting up Peoples' Clinics as Secondary Health Service; Chapter 6; The Destruction of Iraq; When Did the Destruction Really Begin?; Planned Incremental Destruction: Dividing the Sanctions Regime into Distinctive; Phases; Phase One: Sanctions Preceding the 1991 Attack; Was there a Real Chance for Peace Prior to the 1991 "Allied" Attack?; Sanctions Indicate Pre-planning for an Attack on Iraq; Operation Desert Storm: Extensive Unnecessary Damages Indicate; Intent to Destroy Iraq; After the 1991 Attack: Evaluating the Damage; Phase Two: New Sanctions, New Pretexts; The Invisible Weapon of Mass Destruction: Sanctions and the Massive; Civilian Death Toll; Impact of Sanctions on the Destruction of the 80-year-old; Infrastructure; Impact of Sanctions on the Health System Devolved by the Ba'ath; Impact of Sanctions on Education/Literacy after Iraq Managed to Eradicate Illiteracy; Impact of Sanctions on Water and Sewage Treatment Facilities; Impact of Sanctions on the Oil Industry: Running Down Iraq's Economic Lifeline; Impact of Sanctions on the Agrarian Sector: Forced Reliance on Imports for All Iraqi Food Needs; Chapter 7; Sanctions and International Law; UN Resolutions on Iraq vs. Resolutions on Israel: But One Example of Ongoing Double; Standards in UN Application of Punitive Measures; Invoking Chapter VII: The Abuse of International Law; The Questionable Legality of Total Sanctions under the UN Charter; The Illegality of Total Sanctions under International Humanitarian Law; Human Rights Law and Sanctions; Chapter 8; The Sanctions Committee; First Phase of the Committee's Operation 1990-1996; Second Phase of the Committee's Operation 1996-2003; Annual Reporting After Oil-for-Food Programme; The Report of One Security Council Meeting Tells the Whole Story; Executive Director of the Iraq Programme Addresses the Security; Council on the Evils of Sanctions; A Significant Challenge to the Legality of Security Council Resolutions: The Ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ); Chapter 9; Sanctions as Genocide; Background to the Genocide Convention and Its Adoption; Reaction to the Convention during the Deliberations; Problems with Application of the Convention; Relevant Articles of the Genocide Convention to Sanctions; Intent in Genocide: Its Meaning and Use to Obviate Criminal Liability; The 'Specific Intent' View and its Argument; The 'Basic Intent' View and its Argument; Was Genocide Committed in Iraq?; Our Alternative for the Meaning of Intent in Genocide; Who is Complicit in Committing Genocide?; Conclusion.


"We are now in there responsible for killing people, destroying their families, their children, allowing their older parents to die for lack of basic medicines... We're in there allowing children to die who were not born yet when Saddam Hussein made the mistake of invading Kuwait." Between 1 million and 1.5 million Iraqis have died from malnutrition or inadequate health care resulting from economic sanctions, said Halliday... "For me what is tragic, in addition to the tragedy of Iraq itself, is the fact that the United Nations Security Council member states... are maintaining a program of economic sanctions deliberately, knowingly killing thousands of Iraqis each month. And that definition fits genocide." (Dennis Halliday, former UN assistant secretary-general and from September 1997 to September 1998 the UN humanitarian coordinator of the Oil-for-Food program, September 30, 1999.)"

About the Authors

Dr. Abdul-Haq al-Ani is an Iraqi-born, British-trained barrister who served as a legal adviser on Saddam Hussein's defence to his daughter, Raghad Saddam Hussein. Called to the Bar in 1996, he also holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and a Diploma in International Studies from the University of London. Founding editor of The Arab Review, he has written widely on culture, politics and religion. He joined the Ba'ath party while in his his teens, but left it in disappointment a few years later, prior to the Ba'ath Party assuming power in 1968. He is author of The Trial of Saddam Hussein.

Tarik Al-Ani is an architect by profession, a translator, and a researcher of Arab/Islamic issues, who has been a strong opponent of the genocidal sanctions and the wars against Iraq. He has publicly written and talked about these issues in Finland where he works and lives. Joshua Castellano is Professor of Law and Head of the Law Department, Middlesex University, UK.

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