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You've heard President Bush state repeatedly that "Iraq has violated UN Security Council Resolutions 16 times." That's bad enough, for sure. But isn't 51,000 times a bit worse?
The No-Fly Zones in Northern and Southern Iraq have no backing in a UN mandate. But for more than 10 years, British and American war planes have monitored and bombed in these zones; their activities have been stepped up recently, attacking air defence installations in advance of the impending aggression and invasion of Iraq.
They are incompatible, of course, with the obligation to respect Iraq's sovereignty, as stated in Security Council resolutions.
Here is a little piece of information from the Iraqi News Agency, INA. Western decision-makers and media may conveniently dismiss it as propaganda since it doesn't fit the standardised image of good and evil, right and wrong:
"The total number of air raids launched by the enemy ravens coming from Saudi, Turkey and Kuwait bases over the period December 17, 1998 to March 10, 2003 is 51,273, the spokesman (for the Air Defence Command) concluded." See: http://www.uruklink.net/iraqnews/enews13.htm
A few days ago we at TFF alerted you to the fact that the United States has unilaterally violated the UN Demilitarised Zone on the border between Iraq and Kuwait. This mission, UNIKOM, was established by the Security Council. Today, on March 17, the UN staff on the Iraqi side has been evacuated. See: http://www.transnational.org/pressinf/2003/pf175_USKuwait.html
TFF's conflict-mitigation team has visited southern Iraq and the UNIKOM mission.
Please observe that many of the UK and US planes flew in and out of Iraq from Kuwait. Every single time they have done so the last decade, they have violated the Security Council mandate on which UNIKOM is based. The reason? A demilitarised zone includes the air space above it.
So these are double violations: of Iraq's sovereignty and of the United Nations.
Who shouts "material breach" at whom?
The Security Council meets in a few hours. Hopefully, it will focus on and condemn the repeated, multi-year and thousands of British and American violations of the UN, its resolutions and Charter and of Iraq's sovereignty.
It must also discuss how it is at all possible for the United States to request that IAEA inspectors leave Iraq. They are there to do inspections, also based on decisions by the Security Council.
Jan Oberg is director of the TFF at www.trannaitonal.org Copyright Jan Oberg 2003. For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement .