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Imposing sanctions on Iraq was one of the most heinous of crimes committed in the 20th century. Yet it has received little attention in the Anglo-American world. Despite the calamitous destruction resulting from the sanctions, no serious attempts by legal professionals, academics or philosophers have been undertaken to address the full scope of the immorality and illegality of such a criminal and unprecedented mass punishment.Genocide in Iraq offers a comprehensive coverage of Iraq's politics, its building, its destruction through aggression and sanctions, and an analysis of the legality of these sanctions from the point of view of international laws and human rights laws. It presents a detailed policy analysis indicating how, under Ba'ath rule, Iraq had risen to become-beTheCase Against the UN Security Council and Member StatesbyAbdul-Haq al-Ani and Tarik al-Anipreface byJoshua CastellanoGENOCIDE IN IRAQ3fore 12 years of total sanctions were globally enforced-the most progressive and developed Arab nation in the Middle East. It then contrasts that rising nation to the devastated remains left in the aftermath of sanctions, which nonetheless was yet to endure, in 2003, the full force of the American "shock and awe" invasion.The book explains why, in modern times, imperialist powers felt it was necessary to occupy Baghdad. It also puts forward the uniqueness of Iraq as at the heart of both Sunni and Shi'a theology, arguing it was this very centrality of Iraq, which far outweighs the significance of Arabia in socio-economic, religious and geostrategic dimensions, that at the same time makes Iraq a target.It details the building of Iraq by the Ba'ath regime, part of which was done with remarkable speed, putting to rest the argument that other countries in the area were developed at a similar pace. It also details the devastation of Iraq by 2003 after 12 years of sanctions-a devastation so dreadful that by the UN's own accounting, some 500,000 child deaths were due to it; a devastation so pervasive and overwhelming that two of the UN's own key administrators of the sanctions program, Dennis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, resigned in protest.No other book published in English has made such an in-depth research and comparison of the two eras.
The starting point for the consideration of sanctions under international law is Article 39 of the UN Charter which gives rise to the right of the Security Council to consider taking such measures as sanctions against a member state. Under Article 39, as sited above, the Security Council "shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression” before deciding on the measure to be taken. Once the Security Council determines the existence of the conditions under Article 39, then all the measures taken by the Security Council under Articles 41 and 42 ought to be taken only "to maintain or restore international peace and security”. The Security Council is not empowered under the Charter to maintain the measure without determining at each stage that the threat to international peace remains. It is not empowered to simply extend the imposition of these measures on the grounds that its demands have not been met. The continuous imposition of sanctions on Iraq would have been an unlawful act even if Iraq had not indeed disarmed itself. The Security Council should have determined at each stage of the sanctions that failing to impose them would have created a threat to international peace. It is submitted here that the Security Council never carried out such determination during the twelve years of sanctions. It would have been ludicrous for any state to argue that Iraq, after its destruction in 1991, was a threat to international peace.It is clear that the clever drafting of Article 39 was intended to prevent the Security Council from acting on the whim of a single state or a group of states seeking to further some political objectives. Sadly that is precisely what the Security Council did in imposing sanctions on Iraq as it served the American plan for the Middle East.In fact it is submitted here that the imposition of sanctions on Iraq, when it was no longer a threat to international peace, was itself an act of war or aggression and by imposing the sanctions, the Security Council was itself guilty of breaching international law.It has been argued, and we subscribe to such an argument, that the principle under Article 22 of the Hague Convention 1907 which reads: "The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited”, applies to the right to impose sanctions.