Genocidal Sanctions The Destruction of Iraq

Yasir Qadhi


Channel: Yasir Qadhi

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And what really is painful to note, and everybody here who has studied Middle Eastern history, or is an Arab can tell you this firsthand. And you can find lots of videos online about this as well. Iraq, this country was one of the shining pinnacles of modern Arab lands in the 60s and 70s. Up until the 80s. Iraq was one of the most in fact, some would even say, the most developed and advanced country in the Middle East, it had amongst the highest literacy rates, even amongst females in the 70s, the female literacy rate reached in the high 80%. That is phenomenal for the Middle East, in in the 80s, and 90s, the University of not the 90, excuse me, not the 90s. In the 70s and

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80s, the University of Boca dad, which is one of the largest universities in the Arab world, was considered to be the most prestigious university in the entire Middle East, the number of students, the graduates, the the the quality of education was easily comparable to any Western institution, its health care as well was the product of much envy and other Arab countries. And frankly, the Iraq of today can barely be recognized as having anything to do with the Iraq of yester years. So what has happened from the 70s to 2015? Well, no doubt, the first sign of decline began with the almost decade long war between Iraq and Iran. And for those of you that are above the age of 35, you all

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remember this, the 80s were always dominated by Iraq and Iran war. And this war, of course, was the beginning, really, it decimated. So much of the economy, millions of people died. And of course, back then, of course, Saddam has been in power since the 70s. Back then, Saddam Hussein was our close ally. And we sold him plenty of weapons, and for at the time, were completely ignored. Mass human rights violations. We couldn't care less that he was gassing his own people. He was using chemical weapons against his own people, the Kurdish population had their grievances, and they wanted to revolt and bring attention to their plight, and he gassed 1000s of them, and we ourselves

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sold plenty of weapons to Iraq, of course, turns out later with the Iran Contra scandal, but we're also selling weapons to Iran. But then that's just a footnote that's going to be relegated in the larger scale of things. Iraq, eventually invaded Kuwait in 1990. All of you remember this, and we led an international coalition that freed the small and oil rich Gulf state, and in 1990 91, was one we launched Gulf War One, and we invaded Iraq. But it wasn't a full fledged invasion. We didn't really send ground troops to be stationed in Iraq. Nonetheless, Gulf War one clearly did decimate the power plants, the electricity plants of the region, and it is estimated more than 100,000 Iraqis

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lost their lives as a retaliation for Saddam's invasion. We then subjugated Iraq to a almost total financial trade embargo for the next 13 years, beginning in 1990. And lasting in effect until Gulf War Two, which is 2003 13 years, we basically blanketed we basically cut off the entire population of Iraq from any type of economic trade. And there are so many statistics that can be said. But again, time is limited. The average per capita income of an Iraqi in 1989, the year before our invasion was $3,510, which is a good amount for 1989 for a Middle Eastern country. $3,510. Fast forward five years, and that income becomes $450.

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Imagine if your income were cut not in half, not in 1/3 1/10. Instead of getting 70 80,000 You were getting $7,000 A year worse by limiting the importation of common vaccines of drugs, even of water purification resources. The United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, itself estimated that at least half a million children under the age of five died as a result of this embargo. And so much can be said, I just want to point out one undeniable fact, not one, not two, three top level United Nations diplomats resigned in protest, one after the other because of what was happening in Iraq at

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to time, beginning with Denis Halliday, an Irishman with over 34 years as a career diplomat in the United Nations, he was placed in charge of the humanitarian coordination of Iraq in the embargo. And within a year he tried to protest he tried to change within a year, he resigned from the UN after 35 years. And he wrote in a widely publicized op ed, you can find all of this online, that he was driven to resignation, and I quote, because I refuse to continue to take Security Council orders, the same council that it imposed and sustained genocidal sanctions against the innocence of Iraq. I did not want to be complicit my conscious would not allow this end quote. Okay. So Dennis Holliday

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said, in effect, we are provoking or causing a genocide. Those were the terms he's using, and a person who has nothing to do with the Islamic faith. He is not an Arab. He is a un career diplomat. he resigns, okay, we put in charge another un career diplomat, this is a German by the name of Hans von Swannack. Within a year and a half Vaughn spanic, another 30 plus year of the 30. Plus work at tenure at the UN also resigns, claiming that these policies, quote unquote, violate the Geneva Convention, which is how you treat human beings decently and dignity, that these policies are violating the Geneva Conventions, and we're causing the deaths of 10s of 1000s of Iraqis. Shortly

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after that, a third diplomat who was in charge of the World Health Organization stationed in Iraq also resigned, citing her protests as a result of these policies. We don't know how many other resignations might have followed, had not another tragedy envelope does. And that is the tragedy of September 11. This tragedy, of course, was a turning point in many of our our own policies or understandings. Again, much can be said, but for the purposes of this lecture, let's concentrate on what happened in Iraq. Obviously, we all know after 911, the tragedy of 911 was intentionally misused to make a completely false and counterfeit claim somehow linking Iraq with September 11 and

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al Qaeda, the evidence at the time was completely specious. And frankly, even now, we're just beginning to realize how intentionally misleading certain members of our own government we're a congressional hearing that took place in 2004 documents, this is all online. This is our own Congress. This is not another entity, our own congressional hearing that attempted to figure out what's going on documented over 275 instances of what they called blatant misinformation, which is a nice word for basically lying and misleading people. The former US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, himself, apologized publicly, as we're all aware, and he said that these claims that he made in

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front of you and will, and I quote, forever be a blot on my record, he felt bad, he felt guilty, he basically apologized. Well, apologies are nice, even if they're just from one person in that administration. But it doesn't change the fact that after 13 years of sanction, after millions of deaths, we then decided to invade Iraq yet again. But this invasion was different. This invasion wasn't just a nice clean throwing bombs, as we had done in the first Gulf War. It wasn't just putting sanctions, it was also sending in our troops and the effects of this gulf war to on the economy of Iraq, on our own troops on our own economy, including, by the way, the troops by the way,

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the PTSD as well than all of the issues, you know, the post traumatic stress that that is undergoing the the effects of this invasion on our image and our prestige in the Middle East. All of these are for other topics. I don't have time for all of this in one lecture. Let me just caught you one statistic that came out last week. And this statistic involves how many innocent Iraqi lives were lost as a result of our own invasion, the most thorough study ever done of the casualties of Gulf War Two were just released last week, a non government affiliated nonpartisan NGO called Physicians for Social Responsibility. And again, these are all American institutions. They teamed up with a

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Nobel Prize winning international physicians for the prevention of nuclear war, the IPP and W are very famous Nobel Prize winning institution. And they examined in detail the toll that the war on terror has had for on the Iraqi people. The investigators concluded after a number of years on on the ground research, that the total number of casualties that can directly be attributed to our wars, over the last 12 years is around 1.3 million people. 1.3 million people and then they add and I quote directly, I read the report

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Are portions of it today. And this is only a conservative estimate. And that in all likelihood is probably around and closer to 2 million. Now, I've quite literally just quoted you three or four statistics and a handful of events that have occurred in Iraq. For the last two and a half decades, much more could be said and should be studied and read on one's own. My point in bringing all of this is very simple. Is it not relevant in understanding the rise of these radical messianic groups to look at what exactly has happened in that region for the last 25 years, might not some of this somehow explain why and how such groups do seem to be gaining some popularity, why the people of

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that region seem to have, frankly, an insane psychotic rage against us might not somehow explain now I want to be as explicit as possible. This is not an attempt to sugarcoat or justify or exonerate terrorism, not at all. However, let me give you an analogous example. And this is a controversial one, but it needs to be set here in America. Here in America. There is of course, we are multi important, there are many cultures here. And there is a dominant culture of one ethnicity and background. Perhaps 60% of America is of one ethnicity, and another ethnicity, another subculture the African Americans around roughly 13 to 15%. Now, while the percentage of African Americans in

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the broader population might be only less than 15, we're all aware that when it comes to prisons, they're not 15% of our prisons, when it comes to the rates of violent crime, when it comes to drug prosecution, when it comes to petty theft, when it comes to gangs,

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then this minority becomes an overwhelming majority. So there are two paradigms to explain this. Sadly, both of them are still around the first paradigm, which was very popular 100 years ago, sadly, it's still popular in some circles today. The first paradigm is to say, oh, that's because they are like this. That's because their culture. That's because their values. That's because well, even rap songs have been blamed as well, right? They listen to rap, so they're going to become violent people. And it's so easy to fall into this, us versus them. We're so holy, they're so barbaric, that it's because of who they are, their upbringing, their family. Now, that was very

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popular 100 years ago. But over the last 100 years, most of us sadly, some haven't got the memo. But most of us are educated enough to realize that the color of your skin will not dictate your propensity to commit in crimes. Most of us have realized that all human beings, literally are created equal, but then circumstances beyond the color of their skin. circumstances like education, like poverty, like socio economic status, like lack of jobs, like racism, affect certain communities more than others. Circumstances, like one's own history, and where you're coming from, what has happened to you and your culture and civilization for the last two 300 years might possibly explain

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beyond just the color of your skin. And of course, this is now the predominant thank God understanding and interpretation. That's the fact of the matter is that there's nothing in your melatonin that will dictate whether you're going to go into violent crime or not, however, poverty, lack of education, having schools that are so desperate, and again, let me be frank, here, we are in one of the cities that this is most clearly demonstrably visible, certain neighborhoods and their schools and their lack of education and a lack of resources versus neighborhoods across the street. So this doesn't justify the drug dealers, the violent crimes, ZZ whatever, it doesn't justify the

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people who are involved in drugs, they're still going to go to jail. This is not sympathizing. This is contextualized thing. This is making one understand. And it's very awkward, because when we do this, we realize Hold on a sec, maybe us as a dominant culture have done something to kind of sort of ameliorate or, or make it easier for another culture, to find avenues in ways that our own children are not going to find those avenues may be our own history of slavery, of Jim Crow laws of segregation, of depriving people of the rights that we had, maybe that somewhat maybe somewhat explains what's going on. So what I'm asking you to do is to take that narrative, and then also

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apply it to Islamic radical movements. And that's where it really requires courage, because you need to look at the mirror and ask yourself

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because it's so easy to criticize others and there's legitimacy, as I said, nobody's exonerating a drug dealer or a jihadist. In the end of the day, the guy who pulls the trigger, whether he's a drug dealer with these agendas, that's the one who's guilty. But as a society, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves what has caused this young man to be so frustrated that he doesn't find any other avenue other than violent crime or other than thinking that jihad is going to bring about some type of solution? And that is where we really do need to take a step back and understand what have we done in that region for the last 35 years to take Iraq from such a beautiful, magnificent grand

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country, the jewel of the Arab world and now it is on the brink of civil war? No, it isn't Civil War right on the brink it is in civil war. It is one of the most and hospitable places that one of us would want to go how has this happened when we look at that the fact of the matter not all but a lot of the responsibility falls on our shoulders and that's why it is awkward and difficult.

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be Ms. De Heaton doll Seanie when she

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told me what to feed

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the world what

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to me, Jenny dasa, down to

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me down in

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