In his letter of August 27 in Catholic New York, John March put the blame squarely on Saddam Hussein for the sanctions. This is the kind of statement that guarantees political correctness.
The question that needs to be asked, however, is this: Are the sanctions achieving the results for which they were put in place, that is, to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, by forcing Saddam Hussein to disclose them? The answer is a categoric NO because Saddam Hussein is not hurt by the sanctions. The people of Iraq are. Unless the U.S. administration has an undeclared goal, any objective observer can see that the sanctions are a failure because there are targeting the wrong people.
And here lies the responsibility of the United States. If the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and the United States is one of them, were able to get together to impose sanctions on Iraq, they should be able to get together to ban arms sales to Iraq. After all, these very states are the merchants of death in this world.
Imposing such sweeping sanctions for eight years on 20 million human beings while knowing that they are ineffective is, in my opinion, a crime against humanity.
September 17, 1998