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Still Strong Hussein, Still Suffering People

Posted May. 23, 2001 09:45,   


The US and the United Kingdom presented the so-called `Smart sanction` to the UN Security Council yesterday.

Russia independently presented a bill to extend the period of the current `oil-for-food` program for six months.

The United Kingdom under the auspice of the US prepared a new bill, which loosens the export of such essential goods of life as food and medical supplies to Iraq, at the same time strengthening the restrictions of the import of military supplies including high-tech computers and communication equipment to Iraq.

The new plan aims to maximize the restrictions to incapacitate the Iraq military power and to minimize the sufferings of Iraq people brought on by the economic sanctions.

The new sanction bill allows that airplanes to land in Iraq and also for Iraq to utilize its export money to pay the debt for UN institutions.

The economic sanction was implemented originally to remove Iraqi President Hussein from his thrown by inducing civil revolts in Iraq. However, the 11 year-long economic sanction was proven failure and is blamed for increasing the suffering of Iraqi people.

Hussein has maintained the powerful ruling system in Iraq and the military has remained strong. Despite the economic sanction, Iraq has exported oil to its neighbors and received aids related to military technology from China which has rejected the economic sanction.

As international oil price hikes up, criticisms on the economic sanction that blocks the Iraq oil industries have increased. Consequently, the UN has relaxed the sanction and allowed for selling oils to buy food since 1996.

Since Russian oil tanker that had secretly exported oil from Iraq was detained by the US Navy in April of last year, Russia, who would like to restrain the US influence in the Middle East, has tried to incapacitate the economic sanction.

When airplanes of Russia, France, Spain, and Egypt entered into the Iraq territory last year, the sanction was virtually annulled.

Since Russia and China, permanent members of the UN Security Council, hold reserved stance, it is uncertain whether the new plan will be approved by the Security Council.

Iraq also strongly rejected the new bill by the US and the UK and had requested overall dissolution.

President Hussein asserted at an interview of a state-run TV, ``The new plan can be considered as a declaration that highlights the failure of the economic sanction.``

He also threatened the blockage of oil exports to its neighboring Jordan, Syria, and Turkey if they would cooperate with the US and the UK.

Responding to Hussein`s remark, the US promised a financial support to the neighboring nations that will cease the military transactions with Iraq.

Hong Seong-Chul sungchul@donga.com