Global Policy Forum

Criticism of the Sanctions - Archived Articles


2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996



A Hard Look at Iraq Sanctions (December 3, 2001)

The Nation critically analyzes the sanctions against Iraq and urges an urgent change in policy. Shortcomings of the "smart sanctions" plan should be highlighted and steps to ease civilian sanctions should be taken.

The Hostage Nation (November 29, 2001)

Two former UN coordinators for Iraq ask how democratically elected governments can get away with justifying economic sanctions that have punished the Iraqi people for 11 years. The US and UK dismiss such criticism, insisting that the Iraqi people are being punished by Baghdad. If this is true, why do we punish them further? (Guardian)

Iraq Calls on UN Members to Reject Security Council Authority (November 15, 2001)

Iraq calls on states to challenge the authority of the Security Council to impose sanctions on Iraq. Until the Council becomes more inclusive, members states should "reconsider their authorisation to the council to act in their behalf." (Agence France Presse)

The Secret Behind the Sanctions: How the US Intentionally Destroyed Iraq's Water Supply (September 2001)

Recently unclassified documents from the Defense Intelligence Agency describe how the US government used sanctions against Saddam Hussein to prevent Iraqi citizens from accessing clean water. (Progressive)

Iraq's Neighbors Feel Pain of Sanctions (July 1, 2001)

The sanctions against Iraq are taking their toll on Jordan and Turkey, whose economies are dependent on trade with Iraq. The US/UK proposal will only exacerbate the current plight of these countries, as Iraq has threatened to cut off all oil exports if the UN implements "smarter sanctions." (Washington Post)

Time for Realism On Handling Iraq (June 20, 2001)

Washington should stop trying to convince the world that its "smart sanctions" will work, and instead reconsider its policy against Iraq. Although Saddam Hussein is a threat to US interests, his specter in Washington is much larger than the threat itself. (Washington Post)

Ex-UN Officials Attack US-UK Plan on Iraq (June 18, 2001)

Two former heads of the oil-for-food program say that the new US-UK proposal to revitalize sanctions against Iraq will be just as harsh on civilians as the previous embargo. They argue that Washington and London are trying to mislead public opinion. (Reuters)

Iraq Says Sanctions Kill Nearly 9,000 in April (June 13, 2001)

As the Security Council debates the new "smarter" sanctions against Iraq, the existing sanctions regime continues to claim the lives of Iraq's children. (Reuters)

Southern Iraqis Likely to Lose Out (June 12, 2001)

Although Baghdad's elite have grown richer during the 11-year-old sanctions regime, the embargo has forced the people of southern Iraq into abject poverty. (Toronto Star)

Turkey and Iraq (June 11, 2001)

The Turkish Daily News acknowledges that the US is an important ally, but that sanctions against Iraq have tremendous economic costs for Turkey.

High Life in Baghdad's Embargo-Free Street (June 9, 2001)

While Iraq's middle class and poor struggle against starvation and disease, those close to Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath regime have grown richer under a decade of sanctions. (Agence France Presse)

Only Total End of Sanctions Can Help Iraq Recover (June 1, 2001)

This editorial calls for the unconditional end of all sanctions against Iraq, insisting that the US-proposed "smart sanctions" are merely a ploy for Washington to continue its blockade against the decimated Arab nation. (Middle East Times)

US Plan For Smart Sanctions Must be "Nipped in the Bud" (May 14, 2001)

According to Powell, "America's ideas" for smart sanctions "will have taken root" by early June. Not so, cries Iraq, lobbying other Council members to reject any US sanction proposals prolonging the embargo. (Agence France Presse)

Iraq Criticizes USA, UK at Baghdad Conference Against UN Embargo (May 10, 2001)

An Iraqi news website reports from the conference, where Iraqi leaders accused the US and UK of misinforming the public about the sanctions. The conference, which claims to include 'figures' from France and Russia, will discuss the link between the embargo and the aggression against Iraq. (BBC/INA Iraq)

Kuwait Seeks 'Milosevic Model' to Confront Saddam (April 11, 2001)

Sanctions based on the "Serb model" should be applied to Iraq, a model sparing the population while targeting the regime. (Reuters)

Arab Leaders End Meeting in Disarray Over Iraq (March 29, 2001)

The Arab summit failed to find an agreement on the lifting of the UN sanctions against Iraq. Kuwait, while agreeing that sanctions should end, refused to accept any Arab League resolution without an explicit Iraqi insurance not to threaten Kuwait again. (New York Times)

Kuwaiti Paper: Lift Sanctions on Iraqi People (January 21, 2001)

"Lift the siege on the Iraqi people, and target sanctions directly at the ruling elite," called a Kuwaiti newspaper, worried that the Baghdad government has only been strengthened by ten years of sanctions. (Agence France Presse)

We're Punishing Children, Not Saddam (January 17, 2001)

In an open letter, prominent Australians urge their Prime Minister, John Howard, to review Australian policy towards Iraq. They say that the devastating sanctions should be lifted and replaced by strict military sanctions. (The Australian)



Iraq Under Siege: Ten Years On (December 2000)

Anthony Arnove of Monthly Review examines the background to UN sanctions on Iraq, and documents their effect, ten years after their imposition.

Oil for Food: The True Story (October 2000)

A quarter of Iraqi oil and petroleum revenue goes not to food or medicine, but to compensation payments that Iraq will be making for decades to come. Alain Gresh of Le Monde Diplomatique writes of the most severe war reparations since World War I, and the US-dominated UN agency that administers the summary justice.

Human Rights Watch Criticizes SC on Sanctions (September 21, 2000)

Human Rights Watch strongly criticized the government of Iraq for refusing to cooperate with United Nations efforts to assess the country's humanitarian situation. HRW wrote to President Saddam Hussein calling for Iraq to reconsider its stance of non-cooperation, and to the Security Council, criticizing the negative humanitarian impact of sanctions. (HRW Press Release)

Egypt Urges Efforts to End UN Sanctions on Iraq (September 15, 2000)

Egypt reflects the growing discontent among some Arab states in criticism of the sanctions against Iraq. Foreign Minister Amr Moussa, calls for modifying the sanctions regime and discussion on how to suspend the sanctions against Iraq. (Reuters)

Has Iraq Not Suffered Enough? (September 27, 2000)

The US is finding itself alienated over the use of sanctions against Iraq, as the international defiance of sanctions increases.(New Straits Times Press)

UN Report: Sanctions Ineffective (August 15, 2000)

A UN report slams the Iraq sanctions upheld by the influence of the US and the UK as ineffective and off-target. The sanctions policy, says the report's author Marc Bossuyt, has led to a "humanitarian disaster". (Associated Press)

Iraq: A Decade of Sanctions (August 7, 2000)

With American activists on hunger strike in Baghdad to protest against decade -old crippling sanctions against Iraq, Egypt's leading official daily al-Ahram Monday calls on Arab states to break the air ban on Iraq, as France and Russia intend to do "in defiance" of the United States. (Mideast Mirror)

US Anti-Sanctions Activists Protest at UN Offices in Baghdad (August 6, 2000)

Activists from the Voices in the Wilderness argue that the US and the UK refuse to lift Iraq sanctions because they "want to dominate an oil-rich area of the world." (Agence France Presse)

Britain and US Isolated Over Tottering Trade Embargo on Iraq (August 2, 2000)

France, China, and Russia are for lifting Iraq sanctions. The UK and the US are adamant about imposing sanctions until the elimination of weapons of mass destruction is confirmed. However it seems that the UK is now starting to question this stance. (Daily Telegraph - London)

France Calls for Lifting of Sanctions Against Iraq (August 1, 2000)

The US-UK bombing is "useless and not understandable" and sanctions against Iraq are "cruel, inefficient and dangerous," says the French Foreign Minister. (Xinhua News Agency)

Putin to Meet Iraq's Aziz, Discuss End of UN Sanctions (July 26, 2000)

The meeting between the Russian President and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister will be cozy as Russia heavily presses the UN Security Council to lift the Iraqi sanctions. (Agence France Presse)

Death for Oil (July 19, 2000)

An interview with Dennis Halliday, former head of the humanitarian mission in Iraq. One of the harshest critics against the Iraqi sanctions, he argues that it is a "genocide" against the country, and the oil-for-food program is barely keeping the people alive. (Al-Ahram Weekly / )

Ten Years of Sanctions Against Iraq have "Completely Failed": von Sponeck (July 18, 2000)

"We have to sit with the Iraqis at the same table" and find a new approach other than sanctions, says Hans von Sponeck, the former UN humanitarian aid coordinator in Iraq. (Agence France Presse )

Iraq Sees Crumbling of Decade-Old UN Sanctions (July 15, 2000)

With growing ties with other countries, the UN Security Council or the "war council['s]" sanctions against Iraq is losing the battle, says the Iraqi Vice President. (Agence France Presse )

Gunman Says he Killed UN Staffers in Baghdad Because of Genocide in Iraq (June 28, 2000)

The desperate plea by the gunman is a wake-up call to the UN Security Council that the decade-long sanction is pushing citizens off the edge. (Agence France Presse )

Security Council Extends Iraq ‘Oil-for-Food' Programme For Further 180 Days (June 8, 2000)

The unanimously adopted UN Security Council resolution called for an appointment of an experts panel to investigate the humanitarian situation in Iraq. The resolution also allows Iraq to sell US$600 million of oil, and to buy spare parts and sanitation equipment without the UN sanction committee's approval. (UN Press Release SC/6872 )

Chorus of Critics of Iraq Sanctions Grows (June 5, 2000)

Former weapons inspection chief, Richard Butler, believes that sanctions are counter-productive to the purpose of disarming Iraq of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missiles. (Reuters)

British MP Says Tide Turning against Iraq Sanctions (April 2, 2000)

Labour MP George Galloway expresses the shift in public opinion and how failure to acknowledge it might ruin the government. (Agence France Press)

Oil Prices in the Sanctions Balance (March 9, 2000)

A critical article from New World Communications stating that if Iraq sanctions come to an end it will be due to Western concern over oil prices, and not over the plight of Iraqi people.

Squeezed to Death (March 4, 2000)

John Pilger investigates Iraq with former co-ordinator of humanitarian relief to Iraq, Denis Halliday, to see firsthand the human side of the disaster that has been caused by the US/UK promoted sanctions. (Guardian)

World Food Programme Official in Baghdad Quits (February 15, 2000)

Agence France-Presse reports a second major official, the representative of the World Food Programme in Iraq, has quit in protest against the crippling effect of sanctions on ordinary Iraqis. This comes on the heels of the resignation of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, Hans von Sponeck and feeds widespread doubts about the sanctions.

UN Humanitarian Chief for Iraq Quits in Frustration (February 14, 2000)

With so many groups opposing the current sanctions and Hans von Sponeck quitting in protest, massive demonstrations have occured in which there have been no less than 86 arrests. (CNN Interactive)

New York Police Arrests Dozens Protesting Iraq Sanctions (February 14, 2000)

After the demonstrators moved in, so did the police, arresting several who sympathize with the plight of the civilian population of Iraq. (Associated Press)

A Gathering to End the Economic Santions Against Iraq (February 12-14, 2000)

Voices in the Wilderness is holding a series of events to take action against the sanctions on Iraq.

Iraq and the Corruption of Human Rights Discourse (February 11, 2000)

Article from the Middle East International arguing that "the sanctions policy against Iraq has proven to be the single largest violation of the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights."

Iraq: Unintended Consequences

Link to a page by CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) about the consequences of UN sanctions against Iraq.

The "Lift the Sanctions" Resolution that Doesn't (January 11, 2000)

Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies offers an in depth analysis of the December 17th Security Council Resolution on Iraq.

Chronology of US Policy Towards Iraq 2000

Posted by the United States Information Service (USIS), this chronology includes many references to sanctions. But with a marked US government perspective.


Protests Across Iraq Against New UN Resolution (December 20, 1999)

Agence France-Presse reports that protests, originally organized to mark the first anniversary of Operation Desert Fox, shifted to protests against the new Security Council Resolution.

The United States is Settling Scores (December 14, 1999)

Mohammed Sid Ahmed, an Egyptian columnist, discusses Arab's views of the Iraqi crisis.

Congressional Letter Calls for Lifting Sanctions on Iraq (November 30, 1999)

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee action alert concerning letter to President Clinton, calling for the lifting of economic sanctions against the Iraqi people.

Activists Launch Campaign Against Embargo on Iraq (October 31, 1999)

Political activists launched a campaign against UN sanctions on Iraq, coinciding with the arrival in Jordan of a travelling campaign against the embargo and the return of a five-year-old Iraqi victim of cancer to an Amman hospital.

Briefing by UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq (October 26, 1999)

The US and Britain are trying to oust the Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, Hans von Sponeck, for being too critical towards the Iraqi sanctions implemented by the US. Hans von Sponeck's predecessor, Denis Halliday, was forced out for taking a similar santz on Iraq sanctions.

Democracy Cannot Be Manufactured at Foggy Bottom or the Pentagon (October 21, 1999)

An Interview with Representative Cynthia McKinney concerning the Situation in Iraq.

Religious Leaders Urge End to Sanctions on Iraq (Sept. 27,1999)

In this letter addressed to President Clinton, a group of religious leaders urged the lifting of economic sanctions to improve the "morally intolerable" humanitarian situation in Iraq. they argued that political sanctions and an arms embargo would have greater effectiveness in punishing the Iraqi government. (Children of Iraq).

UNICEF Establishes Blame in Iraq (September 21, 1999)

MERIP article by Sarah Graham-Brown that discusses how the Iraqi government takes advantage of the sanctions regime. Includes excerpt from Graham-Brown's newly released book, "Sanctioning Saddam".

UNICEF vs. the US State Department on Iraqi Children (September 1999)

Bert Sacks of the Seattle Community Network examines how the US government has sought to undercut a UNICEF report on the effect of sanctions on Iraqi child mortality rates.

Suspend Sanctions Against Iraq (August 27, 1999)

"For the West and the Security Council not to end them now appears increasingly punitive and discriminatory. But there is much at stake for the United Nations and its members beyond repairing this humanitarian disaster." (Los Angeles Times)

Do More to Aid Nourishment of Very Young, UN Tells Iraq (August 24, 1999)

"Secretary General told the Iraqi government that it could be doing more to help mothers and children under the program that allows Iraq to export oil to raise money for food, medicine and other essential goods." (New York Times)

Iraq Surveys Show 'Humanitarian Emergency' (August 12, 1999)

UNICEF Newsline article about a recent survey on child and maternal mortality in Iraq that reveals that children under age 5 are dying at twice the rate they were 10 years ago. UNICEF calls for reconsideration of sanctions against Iraq.

Put Clinton on Trail for War Crimes, Too, US-Palestinian Writer Urges (June 17, 1999)

Well-known US-Palestinian intellectual and Columbia University Professor Edward Said called President Clinton a war criminal for his administration's involvement in Kosovo and for "genocidal" sanctions against Iraq. (Agence France Press/Jordan Times)

U.S. Groups Defy Sanctions on Iraq (April 5, 1999)

Article notes the work of Voices in the Wilderness and Physicians for Social Responsibility, two groups which have openly violated the U.S./U.N. sanctions on Iraq by bringing food and medecine to the people.

Sanctions Kill More Children, Elderly in Iraq (March 17, 1999)

Posting from IGC member conference.

Healing the Wounds (March/April 1999)

This short article looks into the economic aspects of the Iraq crisis, displaying quite graphically just how little of a threat Iraq poses.

The Standoff Continues (February 16, 1999)

Margaret Warner interviews Edmund Ghareeb and Denis Halliday on the latest attack on Iraq and the question of sanctions.


Call for Action Against Sanction on Iraq (December 25, 1998)

A piece in New York Times, signed by organizations and individuals.

What Now? Doubts About US and UN Policy on Iraq Increase (December 21, 1998)

Gap between the policy goals and policy tools have created a dilemma for policy towards Iraq. (New York Times)

Bombardments Américains Sur Bagdad (December 18, 1998)

Le Monde Diplomatique discusses the world's reactions to the US/British bombings of Iraq and questions UNSCOM's loyalties.

Nearly One Million Children Malnourished in Iraq, Says UNICEF (November 26,1998)

UNICEF surveys reveal deepening crisis.

Washington and Baghdad Agree on One Point: Sanctions Hurt (November 22, 1998)

An article from New York Times by Philip Shenon giving a brief history of Iraq sanctions and the position of the United States.

UN Official Resigns over Iraqi Sanctions (November 15, 1998)

Article from In These Times by Craig Aaron on the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq resigning to protest the continuation of economic sanctions against Iraq.

The Voices in the Wilderness: Call for Action Against the Pre-Penalty Notice from the Department of the Treasury (October 13, 1998)

A letter from an NGO protesting against the sanctions on Iraq and calling for support to stop the humanitarian disaster in Iraq.

UN Official Blasts Sanctions: Women and Children are the Real Victims (September 30, 1998)

BBC report on Denis Halliday's resignation. Many of the dominant complaints on the current policy of sanctions are voiced in this article.

American Inspector on Iraq Quits, Accusing UN and US of Cave-In (August 27, 1998)

Judith Miller of the New York Times on the resignation of William S. Ritter Jr. and his reasons for resigning.

Legalism and Realism in the Gulf (Spring 1998)

Article by Sheila Carapico discussing the situation in Iraq. (Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP))

The US-Iraq Crisis (Spring 1998)

Article by The Editors of Middle East Report. Posted by the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP).

Letter to Secretary Albright Urges Means Other Than War to Contain Iraq (February 10, 1998)

Article about Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick's letter to Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright regarding the situation in Iraq . Archbishop McCarrick is the chairman of the International Policy Committee, United States Catholic Conference (USCC). Click here for the text of Archbishop McCarrick's Letter to Secretary Albright (February 5, 1998).


Back to Square One: The U.S. Needs a Whole New Strategy for Iraq (December, 1997)

Institute for Policy Studies Scholar Phyllis Bennis critically considers US policy.


Iraqi Sanctions, Human Rights & Humanitarian Law (Summer 1996)

Article by Roger Normand. Posted by the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP).

The Health Conditions of the Population In Iraq Since the Gulf Crisis (March, 1996)

Report published by the World Health Organization.


FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.