News

 


DATE=        MARCH 3, 1998
TYPE=        EDITORIAL
NUMBER=      0-07674
TITLE=       EDITORIAL:  RICHARDSON ON FEEDING IRAQI PEOPLE

CONTENT=THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST 
MARCH 3, 1998.

ANNCR:
THE VOICE OF AMERICA PRESENTS DIFFERING POINTS OF VIEW ON A WIDE 
VARIETY OF ISSUES.  NEXT, AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF
THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

VOICE:

    THE UNITED STATES RECENTLY JOINED WITH OTHER MEMBERS OF THE 
UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL TO AUTHORIZE A MAJOR EXPANSION OF
THE OIL-FOR-FOOD PROGRAM FOR IRAQ.  THIS WILL MAKE IT POSSIBLE 
FOR THE IRAQI PEOPLE TO HAVE ACCESS TO ADDITIONAL SUPPLIES OF 
FOOD, MEDICINE AND OTHER NECESSITIES OF LIFE.

    THE SUFFERING OF THE IRAQI PEOPLE GOES BACK TO 1990, WHEN 
DICTATOR SADDAM HUSSEIN WAGED AN AGGRESSIVE WAR AGAINST KUWAIT.  
INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS ON IRAQ STEM FROM THAT AGGRESSION.  BUT 
AS BILL RICHARDSON, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U-N, POINTED OUT, THE 
SANCTIONS "CLEARLY EXEMPTED FOOD AND MEDICINE, WHICH IRAQ REMAINS
FREE TO PURCHASE ON THE OPEN MARKET.  THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
HAS NEVER SOUGHT TO PUNISH THE IRAQI PEOPLE FOR THE SINS OF THEIR
LEADERS."

    UNFORTUNATELY, SADDAM HUSSEIN'S PRIORITIES LIE ELSEWHERE.  AT
THE SAME TIME THAT IRAQIS ARE SUFFERING FROM FOOD SHORTAGES AND A
LACK OF CIVILIAN HOUSING, SADDAM HAS SPENT AS MUCH AS TWO BILLION
DOLLARS ON LAVISH PALACES FOR HIMSELF AND HIS RULING CLIQUE.  
MOREOVER, THE BAGHDAD REGIME CONTINUES TO HOARD AND STOCKPILE 
FOOD AND MEDICINE FOR USE BY THE MILITARY, WHILE DRASTICALLY 
REDUCING ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS FOR CIVILIANS.  THE RESULT IS THAT 
TODAY THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ RELY ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY ON THE UNITED 
NATIONS FOR THEIR FOOD AND MEDICINE.

    AS U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U-N RICHARDSON SAID, "UNLIKE SADDAM
HUSSEIN, WE WILL NOT HOLD THE IRAQI PEOPLE HOSTAGE.  IN THE END, 
HOWEVER, RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PLIGHT OF IRAQ'S PEOPLE LIES. . 
.IN BAGHDAD.  IF THE IRAQI REGIME TRULY CARES ABOUT [THE IRAQI] 
PEOPLE," SAID AMBASSADOR RICHARDSON, "ITS COURSE OF ACTION IS 
CLEAR:  COMPLY WITH U-N RESOLUTIONS, SPEND MONEY ON FOOD, NOT 
WEAPONS AND PALACES, AND MAKE A SERIOUS EFFORT TO ALLEVIATE THE 
NATION'S SUFFERING.  ONLY THEN WILL THE TRAGIC BURDEN ON THE 
IRAQI PEOPLE BE LIFTED."

ANNCR:

    THAT WAS AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED 
STATES GOVERNMENT.  IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE HEARD ON THIS ISSUE, 
PLEASE WRITE TO EDITORIALS, VOICE OF AMERICA, WASHINGTON, D-C, 
20547, U-S-A.  YOU MAY ALSO SEND YOUR COMMENTS THROUGH OUR 
INTERNET SITE AT WWW-DOT-VOA-DOT-GOV-SLASH-EDITORIALS, OR SEND US
A FAX AT (202) 619-1043.  YOUR COMMENTS MAY BE USED ON THE AIR.

02-Mar-98 3:15 PM EST (2015 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.