US – Iraq relations – April 2000

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A decade after Operation Desert Storm, the US is still at war with Iraq. It’s the longest air war in American history. Nearly 12,000 missions last year alone were flown against 300 Iraqi targets. It’s the economic sanctions, though, that are causing the worst collateral damage in Iraq.

After eight years of embargo, Iraq’s currency has lost 98% of its value, and there’s a total break down in health care, education, and basic social services. Even food and water are hard to come by, and UNICEF reports that sanctions cost the lives of 200 children each day, and as many adults.

Two of the highest UN officials in charge of administering the sanctions have resigned in protest. Even Scott Ritter, the maverick arms inspector, calls US policy toward Iraq “morally bankrupt,” pointing out that it has only helped make Saddam Hussein stronger and Iraq’s civil society weaker.

(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)

from April 2000, Connection Archives