Monitor: International comment on the effect of continued action by the UN over Iraq

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The Independent Culture
THE UNITED Nations has two purposes: promoting international peace and security, and alleviating human suffering. Rarely have the two clashed so directly as they have in the case of Iraq. The sanctions regime has hurt the Baghdad government, but it has not been crippled. Efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction have been set back, but they could be resumed. There can be no guarantee that Iraq will not threaten its neighbours. The UN must now look long and hard at the sanctions regime in place and decide if it is working. If so, the UN should strengthen the sanctions. If the air campaign is the right thing to do, then the Security Council should endorse it and give the US and Britain the international legal backing that they deserve. If they are not, then they should be lifted. Anything less demeans the UN and punishes the innocent.

Japan Times

THE FOREIGN states' condemnations of air strikes on Iraq were not sufficient: we call for action, not words. To those states we say Sirs, your worry and solidarity do not weigh heavily on the balance of positions. Your declarations will not save a single Iraqi child from death and will not stop the crimes of America and Britain.

Babel, Iraq

THE UNITED Nations is charged with a dual mandate: to guarantee peace and security and to enhance the human condition. Never before have those two goals been at such odds as in the case of Iraqi sanctions. The tension has created a sanctions fatigue within the United Nations and has nearly destroyed the fragile Security Council consensus regarding sanctions that opened the decade. The same moral high ground that rightly argued for UN sanctions against Iraq in 1990 now demands their suspension. Where Iraq's actions in 1990 warranted being ostracized from the international community via sanctions, the need now is to create the conditions necessary for responding to the tragedies that sanctions have wrought, and to engage Iraq again with the international community. (David Cortright and George Lopez)

Los Angeles Times