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Congresswoman McKinney decries war against Iraqi people

August 14, 2001

Washington, DC - Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Ranking Member of the International Operations and Human Rights Subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee, expressed her strong opposition to the massive airstrike launched by US and British forces early in the morning on Friday, August 10th.

The Pentagon, on the morning of the bombing, said that about fifty US and British aircraft had hit three targets in southern Iraq with precision-guided weapons aimed at Baghdad's antiaircraft network.

Iraq said that this attack by American and British aircraft earlier in the day had killed one Iraqi and injured eleven.

"It's obvious that US policy toward Iraq is in shreds; bombing hasn't improved the lives of the Iraqi people, it hasn't strengthened the opposition to Saddam Hussein, and it hasn't enhanced our image in the region," stated McKinney.

"In addition," she continued, "targeting civilians is against the laws of civilized nations. All the US has done with success is to increase the misery of the Iraqi people and obviously violate a few international laws and conventions in the process," she concluded.

Recently released declassified documents point to US war crimes in Iraq.

Writing in the September 2001 issue of The Progressive, Thomas Nagy,Professor of Expert Systems at George Washington University with a doctoral fellowship in public health cites recently declassified documents that show the United States was aware of the civilian health consequences of destroying Iraq's drinking water and sanitation systems in the Gulf War, and knew that sanctions would prevent the Iraqi government from repairing the degraded facilities.

These civilian health consequences, according to Article 54 of the Geneva Convention, are prohibited by international law.

Article 54 states that "It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking installations and supplies and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive".

"Britain seems joined at America's hip in this cruel policy that has contributed to the deaths of half a million Iraqi children. That's both a shame and a crime," McKinney concluded.

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