Global Research Editor’s Note
This incisive and carefully documented article by Prof. Thomas Nagy was first published by Global Research in September 2001.
It confirms the criminal nature of US intervention.
A similar and comparable operation in Syria has now been launched by using US supported Al Qaeda “opposition rebels”, with the help of the White Helmets to undermine and destroy the system of water supply in Damascus; this issue has been casually ignored by the Western media and the self proclaimed “international community”.
While, the modus operandi in the case of Syria differs from that described by Prof. Nagy, it nonetheless confirms a pattern. In Syria, this diabolical operation carried out by US backed terrorists, constitutes the ultimate crime against humanity.
In regards to Iraq, Professor Thomas Nagy of George Washington University, D.C., revealed the existence of Defense Intelligence Agency documents “proving beyond a doubt that, contrary to the Geneva Convention, the U.S. government intentionally used sanctions against Iraq to degrade the country’s water supply after the Gulf War.
“The United States knew the cost that civilian Iraqis, mostly children, would pay, and it went ahead anyway.” On May 12, 1996 some of the horrible consequences of this policy were revealed when the CBS news program 60 Minutes reported that roughly half million Iraqi children had died as a consequence of U.S. imposed sanctions.
This led to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s infamous answer to the question, “is the price worth it?” Her reply was yes “we think the price is worth it.” Albright later apologized, not for the murderous policy for which she was partially responsible, but rather for the fact that her answer to the above question had “aggravated our public relations problems” in the Middle East.
As to domestic reaction, her comment “went unremarked in the U.S.” Subsequently, in 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq using the strategy of “rapid dominance” (more popularly known as “shock and awe”). The object of this strategy was to “paralyze” the enemy’s “will to carry on” through the disruption of “means of communication, transportation, food production, water supply, and other aspects of infrastructure.” One of the targets of the bombing campaign that led off the invasion was Iraq’s electrical grid. That directly impacted the country’s ability to process clean water.”
See also Lawrence Davidson, Loopholes in International Law
This important study by Professor Nagy was among the first articles published by Global Research. It was part of the launch of the site on September 9, 2001. The article was dated August, 29 2001.
The original URL of this article is: http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/NAG108A.html
Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research Editor, January 3, 2017
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Confirmed by documents of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), “the U.S. government intentionally used sanctions against Iraq to degrade the country’s water supply after the Gulf War. The United States knew the cost that civilian Iraqis, mostly children, would pay, and it went ahead anyway.”
Over the last two years, I’ve discovered documents of the Defense Intelligence Agency proving beyond a doubt that, contrary to the Geneva Convention, the U.S. government intentionally used sanctions against Iraq to degrade the country’s water supply after the Gulf War. The United States knew the cost that civilian Iraqis, mostly children, would pay, and it went ahead anyway.
The primary document, “Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities,” is dated January 22, 1991. It spells out how sanctions will prevent Iraq from supplying clean water to its citizens.
Iraq depends on importing specialized equipment and some chemicals to purify its water supply, most of which is heavily mineralized and frequently brackish to saline,” the document states. “With no domestic sources of both water treatment replacement parts and some essential chemicals, Iraq will continue attempts to circumvent United Nations Sanctions to import these vital commodities. Failing to secure supplies will result in a shortage of pure drinking water for much of the population. This could lead to increased incidences, if not epidemics, of disease.
The document goes into great technical detail about the sources and quality of Iraq’s water supply. The quality of untreated water “generally is poor,” and drinking such water “could result in diarrhea,” the document says. It notes that Iraq’s rivers “contain biological materials, pollutants, and are laden with bacteria. Unless the water is purified with chlorine, epidemics of such diseases as cholera, hepatitis, and typhoid could occur.”
The document notes that the importation of chlorine “has been embargoed” by sanctions. “Recent reports indicate the chlorine supply is critically low.”
Food and medicine will also be affected, the document states. “Food processing, electronic, and, particularly, pharmaceutical plants require extremely pure water that is free from biological contaminants,” it says.
The document addresses possible Iraqi countermeasures to obtain drinkable water despite sanctions.
Iraq conceivably could truck water from the mountain reservoirs to urban areas. But the capability to gain significant quantities is extremely limited,” the document states. “The amount of pipe on hand and the lack of pumping stations would limit laying pipelines to these reservoirs. Moreover, without chlorine purification, the water still would contain biological pollutants. Some affluent Iraqis could obtain their own minimally adequate supply of good quality water from Northern Iraqi sources. If boiled, the water could be safely consumed. Poorer Iraqis and industries requiring large quantities of pure water would not be able to meet their needs.