Letter: Heavy price of angering the US

Share
Related Topics
Sir: Simon Faulkner (letter, 9 August) is right to dub the sanctions regime against Iraq "barbaric". The United States is currently blocking dozens of food and medicine shipments to Iraq, allowable even under UN Resolution 986. I have in my possession a copy of a letter signed by David H Harmon, acting supervisor of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (US Treasury), in which he threatens aid workers illegally collecting and transporting medical relief supplies to the people of Iraq with "up to 12 years in prison and $1m in fines".

The blocking of civilian access to food and medicine, as a means of punishing "pariah" states, is now part of American policy, pursued through the United Nations where possible and unilaterally, through extraterritorial legislation, where not.

Apart from Iraq, Cuba is the most obvious victim. Through domestic law (primarily the 1992 Cuban Democracy Act and the 1996 Helms-Burton Act) the US is fostering malnutrition in the civilian population. The American Association for World Health, the US committee for the World Health Organisation, reported in March 1997 that US policy on Cuba was contributing to "serious nutritional defects, particularly among pregnant women ... food shortages were linked to a devastating outbreak of neuropathy numbering in the tens of thousands".

The US blockage on Cuban access to water-treatment chemicals and spare parts for water-supply systems has led to a "rising incidence of morbidity and mortality". Denied nausea-preventing drugs, 35 surveyed children in a cancer ward "were vomiting on average 28 to 30 times a day". The last UN General Assembly vote (October 1996) on US policy towards Cuba was 137 against and three for.

Washington worked hard to impose Iraq-style sanctions on Libya, via an extension of Security Council Resolution 748 (1992), but was frustrated by the European need for Libyan oil. The US urged total UN sanctions on North Korea in 1991. Here Iraq-style sanctions were blocked by the threat of a Chinese veto in the Security Council.

American foreign policy represents a multifaceted violation of the UN Genocide Convention (Articles II and III) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

GEOFF SIMONS

Stockport, Greater Manchester

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SEN Teacher, Permanent Role in Ashford

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Randstad urgently seeks a qualif...

SAP BI CONSULTANT

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SAP BI CONSULTA...

Infrastructure Manager - Southampton - Up to £45K

£35000 - £45000 per annum + 36 days holiday and more: Deerfoot IT Resources Li...

Drama Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Liverpool: We are looking for someone who can t...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Spy chief speaks on the record: "Thank you, and that's it, really"

John Rentoul
 

The daily catch-up: fathers looking after children, World Cup questions and Nostradamus

John Rentoul
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice