23 March 2003

Removing Saddam

I must be missing something. A brutal dictator is being removed from power, yet there are people who are upset about this. How strange.

Saddam Hussein became president of Iraq in 1979 and since then his specialty has been in torturing and massacring his own people.

“Iraq under Saddam’s regime has become a land of hopelessness, sadness, and fear. A country where people are ethnically cleansed; prisoners are tortured in more than 300 prisons in Iraq. Rape is systematic...congenital malformation, birth defects, infertility, cancer, and various disorders are the results of Saddam’s gassing of his own people...the killing and torturing of husbands in front of their wives and children...Iraq under Saddam has become a hell and a museum of crimes.” - Safia Al Souhail, Iraqi citizen, Advocacy Director, International Alliance for Justice.

Tens of thousands have disappeared under Saddam’s rule. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International put the number of disappeared between 70 and 150 thousand persons. According to the United Nations, the second largest targeted group are the Shi’a Muslims. “Ahmed” an anonymous current Iraqi citizen told The Christian Science Monitor (10/31/02) that “If you are arrested, your life is over.”

Saddam has poison gassed his own people. Between 1983 and 1988, he murdered more than 60,000 Iraqi citizens with mustard gas and nerve agents, including women and children. Against the Kurdish population, he used these chemical weapons against more than 40 villages. These weapons not only murder the population, but disfigures, causes cancer and other medical nightmares.

Women and children have no chance in having a normal life under Saddam’s rule. Women are raped and tortured if someone in their family is thought to be disloyal. In another instance, an obstetrician was arrested for criticizing the corruption in the health services. She was then beheaded under the guise of being a prostitute.

Since the last Gulf War Saddam has built himself 48 beautiful palaces, using the money in the oil-for-food program which was supposed to go toward the betterment of the people of Iraq. Pharmaceutical supplies have been exported for resale. Medicine for children is unable to get into the country due to the fact that the government officials expect bribes from medical suppliers. He obviously doesn’t care about the children.

Let’s not forget those non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Saddam has not only already sent those non-existent missiles against the American forces, but on Sunday afternoon, the U.S. 3rd Infantry captured a non-existent chemical weapons plant. How about that?

While it seems that all this information is well known, why is it that France, Russia, Germany and China are against the United States action? Self-interest is the key.

The Heritage Foundation has documented the billions of dollars that has been made off of Saddam Hussein. France is Iraq’s largest European trading partner handling more than 22.5% of Iraq’s imports. They are interested in Iraqi oil. France’s largest oil company Total Fina Elf, negotiated a deal to develop the Majnoon field in western Iraq which contains up to 30 billion barrels of oil. If Saddam is removed, this contract may go to another company, possibly non-French.

Russia is also a good friend of Saddam with Russia controlling 5.8% of Iraq’s annual imports. Their total trade with Iraq was between $530 million and $1 billion for the 6 months ending in December 2001. Iraqi oil seems to be the main issue here too. Russia’s LUKoil currently holds a $4 billion, 23 year contract to rehabilitate the 15 billion barrel West Qurna field in southern Iraq. In 2002, Russia and Iraq signed an agreement worth $40 billion, allowing oil exploration throughout western Iraq. Iraq is also owes Russia $8 billion due to arm sales during the Iran-Iraq war. They too are worried if a new leadership is installed in Iraq.

Germany is next on the list doing 350 million dollars annually in direct trade with Iraq, with another $1 billion through third parties. Next is China. China controls about 5.8% of Iraqi annual imports. They also have a contract to negotiate a 22 year long deal for future oil exploration in the Al Ahdad field in southern Iraq worth billions.

We have seen the terror that has controlled the lives of everyday Iraqis. They live in constant fear of saying the wrong thing to the wrong person and ending up being tortured and murdered. If they are Kurdish or Shi’a they may be removed from their homes or gassed. Those non-existent WMD are now in the open to see. The United States has taken the moral high ground in eliminating the monster of Iraq and creating a democratic system. It’s too bad that France, Russia, Germany and China can’t see past their financial interests in order to do the right thing.

No comments: