Letter: Our medieval treatment of Iraq's people

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Sir: Thank you for exposing the dangerous infantilism of US policy towards "Saddam's Iraq" (report, 27 March; letters, 1 April). We are back to the worst excesses of medieval despots where the opponent's serfs were slaughtered to make a point.

"Starvation as a method of warfare" is explicitly forbidden by the 1971 additions to the Geneva Conventions.

As the British government refuses to allow any Iraqis to spend the money they saved in British banks, Unicef has paid for water-purifying equipment to repair a little of the damage done by our bombing campaign in 1991. This money is taken out of the mouths of starving refugees in Central Africa.

The comprehensive wrecking of the Iraqi economy is equivalent to a "natural disaster" (according to Oxfam) for the Horn of Africa, where remittances from Iraq once allowed a modest prosperity to many poor families.

Demagogues such as Clinton and Major maintain themselves in power by pandering to the most vicious populist scapegoating of a whole nation of 19 million people.