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Occupation-made Hunger in Iraq

by Ghali Hassan

www.globalresearch.ca 20 June 2005

"We'll bring food and medicine to the Iraqi people". President G.W. Bush, March 6, 2003.

While Western media and Western pundits are busy arguing and ranting about the lies and pretexts that led to US-Britain war on Iraq, the Iraqi people are suffering from shortages of food and the daily brutality of the Occupation. The new propaganda twist provides a perfect smokescreen for the continuing US crimes against the Iraqi people.

In addition to the disastrous living condition brought to Iraq by the US war, a recent report by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), which monitors the distribution of rations, found the majority of the Iraqi population lack the required daily calories to survive and remain healthy. The new WFP Emergency report revealed that, "there are significant country-wide shortfalls in rice, sugar and milk and infant formula". It added; "Some governorates continue to report serious shortfalls of nearly every commodity". The subsidised rations - sugar, rice, flour, baby milk, tea, vegetable oil and a few other essentials -, the brainchild of Saddam Hussein, are nowhere to be matched by the US and its allies. Further, the cost of the rations has almost tripled since the invasion and unemployment is as high as 65-70 per cent. This has reduced Iraqis purchasing power, and hence, their calories intake (daily dietary needs) to survive.

Today, Iraqis are considered lucky to get half of what was once free entitlement. "More than half of Iraq's population lives below the poverty line. The country's median income was equivalent to about $255 (366,000 dinars) in 2003, it fell to about $144 (207,000 dinars) in 2004", according to the recent UN ILCS study, which shows that living conditions Iraq over the past year, have not improved, and in some cases have worsened. The study, which is produced by the puppet government and UN officials, cited lack of electricity, poor sewage systems and a lack of clean water as particularly persistent problems contributing to the deteriorating state of Iraq's health care system.

Before the U.S-Britain war on Iraq, some 60 percent of the Iraq's population was dependent upon the government for food aid. The program was unique in its distribution and efficiency to reach Iraqis. It was this unique program that kept the Iraqi population short of starvation from the US-Britain sponsored genocidal sanctions, a pretext for the non-existence of WMD. In 2000, UN officials gave Iraq high marks in conducting the program honestly and efficiently, to provide Iraqis with enough to survive and remain healthy. "The situation of the right to food in Iraq is of serious concern", said UN special rapporteur, Professor Jean Ziegler, in a report to the UN Human Rights Commission on March 31, 2005. "The [US] war on Iraq and its aftermath have almost doubled malnutrition rates among Iraqi children", added the well-known expert on the right to food. Meanwhile Iraq's wealth is shipped out of the country.

Eyewitness evidence shows that most of the food, if delivered, to Iraqis is contaminated or 'over the expiration date', as Iraqis call most imported foods. Encouraged by the deliberate destruction of Iraq's agricultural sector, the Occupation authorities and their allies are using Iraq as a dumping ground for contaminated food products and consumer goods from the US, the corrupt Arab regimes, Turkey, Poland and Australia, a source of much of the recent contaminated and rejected food exports.

On the boarder with Jordan, a U.S. ally in the war on Iraq, the US and its appointed officials in the Ministry of Health have removed the border examination unit to allow the entry of contaminated food products "not fit for human consumption" into Iraq. The Iraq-Jordan border is considered a "safe" point for smuggling of illegal materials and passage into Iraq. In the south, the Kuwaiti stooges and their US masters are in control of Iraq's point of entry.

In addition to the hundreds of thousands of already killed Iraqis, hundreds of innocent Iraqis are killed every week by Occupation forces and their collaborators. The number of imprisoned Iraqis is increasing every day. Tens of thousand of Iraqi men and children as young as 12 years old, are imprisoned in hundreds of US-run prisons throughout Iraq. Furthermore, Israeli Mossad death scuds operating in Iraq are targeting Iraqi scientists and academics in order to remove Iraq's human resources. A US State Department report revealed that Israeli agents have liquidated (murdered) "around 350 Iraqi scientists in various fields of knowledge and 200 university professors". This is of course with the full cooperation of the US occupation forces in Iraq.

Meanwhile, in western Iraq, the US military is conducting major attacks against Iraqi towns and villages near the Syrian border. Similar to the criminal destruction Fallujah, US helicopter gunships and F-16 fighter planes, using legally banned napalm-type firebombs (MK77s type bombs used in Vietnam) and bombs as heavy as 500 lb (220 kg), are attacking population centres in towns such as Haditha, Ramadi, Al-Qaim and Karabila. Iraqi officials in Al-Qaim told Al-Jazeera that US forces are embarking on "indiscriminate killing" of civilians and the destruction of the town infrastructure.

The US goal is to terrorise the entire Iraqi population and promote a US version of "democracy", a euphemism for a new form of Western imperialism and colonial dictatorship dressed in staged elections. Western imperialism has no future in Iraq, and the only peaceful solution for US aggression is the immediate and full withdrawal of US invading troops from Iraq.

Those who thought it was "morally" acceptable to invade Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein by violence have shown to be wrong and lack an accurate understanding of the Iraqi people. The violence of US Occupation and the rate of civilian deaths in Iraq under Occupation are far greater than anything perpetrated by the regime of Saddam Hussein. In the entire history of Iraq, the Iraqi people have never experienced the kind of "freedom", violence and hunger brought to them by Messrs Bush and Blair. Hence, the Iraqi people's quest for freedom and national independence cannot be stopped by US violence.

Unless those who initiated this illegal war of aggression and the crimes against the Iraqi people are brought to justice and prosecuted for war crimes - and the evidence is overwhelming -, Western morality will continue on the path of self-deception and moral bankruptcy.

Global Research Contributing Editor Ghali Hassan lives in Perth, Western Australia. He can be reached by e-mail here


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