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August 09, 2001
Anti-Sanctions 40-day Fast



Statement by Denis J. Halliday at United Nations in New York
August 6, 2001
Opening of 40-day Fast by Voices in the Wilderness


The theme of this Press Conference and the impending fast by Voices in the Wilderness is: BREAKING RANKS. On Hiroshima Day, this is timely, although too late for the million-plus Iraqis already killed by a United Nations Security Council - manipulated by the US and the UK, and supported by the weakness of other member states.

Regardless, it is of great urgency for those Member States - not yet irreparably corrupted by the United States - to end the killing. They know - we all know - that by freeing up the Iraqi economy, allowing investment and recovery, by enabling Iraqi rebuilding of electric power and potable water supplies, this can be accomplished. Is the US/UN afraid of giving Baghdad a victory? Is that justification for the superpower to sustain genocide? Is might - so fragile? It is certainly wrong. The US knows it can stop its own arms trade with the Middle-East, and that of the other member states of the Security Council. They know how to implement paragraph 14 of Resolution 687 - removing weapons of mass destruction. Washington drafted it! Do they refuse to do so because of US self-interest? Whatever it is - it is a tragic breech of international law, unacceptable to decent Americans, and constitutes a crime against humanity.

It is also timely for the Secretary-General, while the UN has some small credibility remaining, to take a stand against abuse of the UN Charter, Human Rights and the Security Council itself. He must use his moral authority to speak out and condemn the Council and its intent - intent to destroy the Iraqi people. He must take the leadership expected of his office to demand of Washington an end to UN killing of the youngest Iraqi children, as reported by UNICEF. There is no time for compromise and politics of survival. The children of Iraq are not suffering as the Secretary-General often says - they are being killed - and by the very United Nations expected to uphold their well being - their very right to live.

And it is timely for UN staff members to examine their continuing servicing of the Security Council embargo - knowing (as they do) the deadly impact. There is a time to question authority and a time to refuse orders - as history shows us. How will we explain our complicity to our children and grandchildren when the truth of UN genocide in Iraq comes out, as it surely will.

The US says it's all the fault of Baghdad? How simplistic! Surely after 11 years, no thinking person believes that! None of us can continue to hide behind our fears and frustration with Baghdad. Have we all become victims of US/UK propaganda of demonization that we can justify the UN punishing the innocent people of Iraq, including Iraqi Kurds? We must get over our fears. Open a dialogue. Endeavour to influence as we did in the past when it suited us. Let the people of Iraq manage their own affairs. Respect their sovereignty. End the bombing. End our arms trade. End the double standards applicable to the countries of the Middle-East. End the Embargo. End the killing in the name of the United Nations.

Together we have a heavy responsibility to end this crime against humanity - for which there is no possible justification. Today as we remember a crime committed on the people of Hiroshima - let us start afresh, to demand termination of all crimes against the people of Iraq. We have no choice but to speak out.

Denis J. Halliday