Not in my name
Saturday, Jan 12, 2013 06:00 am
The recent violent incident in Connecticut was deeply affecting for many people because it is human to feel outrage and grief over deliberate killing, especially of children. But we seem to overlook so much of it when it is state-perpetrated. The sanctions against Iraq caused the deaths of an estimated 500,000 children five years and under between 1991 and 1995.
Now we are supporting similar sanctions against Iran that would be considered acts of war if directed against any Western country. The Globe and Mail's (incomplete as to effects) feature article on the sanctions last weekend elicited only one printed response by an ex-pat Iranian who claimed the country's unemployment and other problems were caused by mismanagement and corruption, not sanctions.
Of course, this flies in the face of common sense, because the very function and intent of sanctions is to depress the economy. But it also contradicts stated editorial positions such as those printed in The Washington Post, "the new policies (signed last week by President Obama) are closer to a true trade embargo, designed to systematically attack and undercut Iran's major financial pillars and threaten the country with economic collapse."
The Iranian Hemophilia Society has notified the World Health Organization that sanctions have "seriously endangered the lives of tens of thousands of patients, particularly children, suffering from special diseases". UN chief Ban Ki-moon wrote, "… the sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran have had significant effects on the general population, including an escalation in inflation, a rise in commodities and energy costs, an increase in the rate of unemployment and a shortage of necessary items, including medicine."
Some of us may claim not to have known about the deaths of so many innocent Iraqi children through sanctions alone, even before the war, but there is no excuse whatever now. There is every reason to believe that the pattern adopted towards Iraq, imposition of extreme sanctions, no-fly zones and then all-out war on a much-weakened country will simply be repeated with Iran. I call this evil. If you agree you should contact your MP and as many federal ministers as you can to protest Canada's support for what is nothing short of barbaric.
Doris Wrench Eisler, St. Albert