Un Sanctions In Iraq Essay Research Paper

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Un Sanctions In Iraq Essay, Research Paper United Nations sanctions against Iraq, which were put in place after the Persian Gulf War, are hurting the people of Iraq rather than Saddam Hussein himself. Hussein is using the money he receives from illegal trade and programs to help the people of Iraq for his own personal use. The sanctions were originally created to force Hussein to stop building weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Hussein, however, still maintains these weapons and uses black-market money to develop them. With lack of a better plan, the sanctions are still in effect. The economic sanctions against Iraq began over ten years ago when the Iraqi army began to occupy Kuwait in 1990 (1). These sanctions were created so that Saddam Hussein would pull his troops out

of Kuwait. But the UN forces, led by the United States, were able to rid Kuwait of the Iraqis prior to the sanctions having been fully enacted. Since Hussein continued to possess weapons of mass destruction, the sanctions were not lifted until he permitted UN inspectors to verify that he had destroyed these weapons. Hussein has yet to let the UN inspectors into Iraq, therefore, the sanctions are still being imposed. The original embargo banned all trade with Iraq and froze all Iraqi assets that existed overseas. Food and medical supplies were exempt from this embargo, but Iraq was unable to afford these products because it did not have any income from exports. The impact of the sanctions was magnified greatly because of the terrible infrastructure in Iraq. The infrastructure was

damaged by war with Iran and the Persian Gulf War (1). The sanctions being imposed on Iraq are hurting the people rather than Saddam Hussein. For example, Basra is Iraq s second largest city and the electric power, when available, flickers on and off. It can take up to ten minutes for a telephone call to be connected. There is a thick layer of smoke covering the city because of jury-rigged generators and vehicles (1). Pools of poisonous muck have penetrated the surface of the town because so many sewers have broken down. As a result, most of the fish in the Shatt al-Arab river have been killed and the rest have become unsafe to eat. In 1991, to assist Iraq with all the trouble that the sanctions have resulted in, the United Nations Security Council approved a plan that allow Iraq

to export a small portion of its available oil. The profit from this oil was to be used to purchase food and medical supplies for the people of Iraq. But Saddam Hussein, who was waiting for the sanctions to be completely lifted, refused to cooperate with the UN for five years. As a result, the oil-for-food operation, as it is better known, did not actually begin until December 1996 (1). In the beginning, the Security Council authorized Iraq to sell $1.32 billion worth of oil every six months. However, this sum provided just more than a dollar a month to cover food and medication for each person in Iraq (1). This money did not even cover the costs that were required to repair the infrastructure of the country. Because of the inefficient bureaucracy of both the Security Council and

Iraqi officials, it took more than three months for the first shipment of food and medical supplies to arrive in Iraq (1). Faced with many problems, in 1998 the Security Council increased the limit on humanitarian purchases to $3.4 billion every six months. However, this only improved the situation slightly. By 1998, the oil pumps and pipelines in Iraq were in such disrepair that the looser sanctions did little. As a result, Iraq could not export enough oil to satisfy its new allowance even though Iraq has the second-largest oil reserves in the world (1). Saddam Hussein is manipulating the oil-for-food program for the benefit of himself and his regime. The UN rarely monitors the profits that the program acquires once it enters Iraq. As a result, Hussein has built many new palaces