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Iraq - which friends are we talking about?
7 April 2003
Dear Editor, Some people in New Zealand are of the opinion that we should be helping our friends the United States in their actions against Iraq. But hold on a minute. Which US friends are we talking about? The Bush Administration, or those who, like Ramsey Clark, past Attorney General of the US and past UN Assistant Secretary General, and others, are at present building support to impeach Mr. Bush and "other named members of the administration" for war crimes?
The Allies have launched 725 Tomahawk cruise missiles, flown 18,000 sorties, dropped 50 cluster bombs and discharged 12,000 precision-guided munitions. There have been an estimated 1,252 Iraqi civilian deaths, 57 Kurdish deaths and 5,103 civilian injuries. I don't know the figures for Iraqi military casualties, but 600 oil wells and refineries are now under British and American control. We hear from the International Committee of the Red Cross that the number of casualties in Baghdad is so high that hospitals have stopped counting the number of people treated. These are the bald figures. The personal details of the torn bodies and grieving relatives tell another story.
The US Center for Constitutional Rights, along with hundreds of concerned organisations and international lawyers, have placed President Bush and Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld on public notice that they will "ensure the accountability of those persons that may be found responsible for the commission of crimes against humanity and war crimes". All power to their elbows say I.
Who would want NZ to help such a US administration not only to take control of Iraq's oil, but to do it with such breathtaking arrogance?
Sincerely, Tony Maturin, Wellington 6002.