News



DATE=        MAY 7, 1998
TYPE=        EDITORIAL
NUMBER=      0-07775
TITLE=       EDITORIAL:  IRAQ'S CHEMICAL WEAPONS DECEPTION

CONTENT=THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST 
MAY 7, 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:

    IRAQ CONTINUES TO VIOLATE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL 
RESOLUTIONS.  THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE IN REGARD TO THE 
REQUIREMENT THAT IRAQ ELIMINATE ITS WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. 
AS A RESULT, THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL IS CONTINUING THE SANCTIONS
ON IRAQ.

    THE LATEST COUNCIL DECISION CAME AFTER A REPORT BY U-N 
INSPECTORS SHOWED THAT IRAQ IS CONCEALING PROHIBITED WEAPONS.  IN
MARCH, EXPERTS DISCOVERED MUSTARD GAS AGENT IN ARTILLERY SHELLS 
FROM AN IRAQI MUNITIONS DEPOT.  HUNDREDS OF SIMILAR SHELLS ARE 
UNACCOUNTED FOR.  IRAQI OFFICIALS HAVE REPEATEDLY CLAIMED THAT 
THEY DESTROYED ALL SUCH WEAPONS IN 1991.  THE MOST RECENT CLAIM 
WAS MADE LAST WEEK AT THE U-N -- ON THE VERY DAY THAT U-N CHIEF 
INSPECTOR RICHARD BUTLER ANNOUNCED THAT THE IRAQI MUSTARD GAS 
AGENT HAD BEEN FOUND.

    MUSTARD GAS IS ONE OF THE GHASTLIEST WEAPONS KNOWN.  THERE IS
NO ANTIDOTE.  IT PRODUCES BLISTERS AND DAMAGES THE SKIN, EYES AND
RESPIRATORY AND GASTROINTESTINAL TRACTS.  LARGE DOSES CAN BE 
LIFE-THREATENING.  SMALLER DOSES CAN HAVE LONG-TERM EFFECTS, 
INCLUDING AN INCREASED RISK OF CANCER.

    THE EFFECTS OF MUSTARD GAS AND NERVE GAS CAN BE SEEN IN THE 
KURDISH CITY OF HALABJA.  THERE, IN MARCH 1988, IRAQI FORCES 
CARRIED OUT A SUSTAINED CHEMICAL WEAPONS ATTACK.  ABOUT 
FIVE-THOUSAND PEOPLE WERE KILLED AND TEN-THOUSAND WOUNDED.  LARGE
NUMBERS OF SURVIVORS HAVE LOST THEIR EYESIGHT OR SUFFERED OTHER 
SERIOUS DISORDERS, INCLUDING CANCER.  HALABJA HOSPITALS REPORT AN
ABNORMALLY HIGH NUMBER OF PREGNANCIES RESULTING IN MISCARRIAGES 
OR CHILDREN WITH BIRTH DEFECTS.

    THIS IS WHAT IRAQI CHEMICAL WEAPONS BROUGHT TO HALABJA.  THIS
IS WHAT THE REGIME OF SADDAM HUSSEIN COULD BRING TO PEOPLE 
ELSEWHERE IF IRAQ IS ALLOWED TO MAINTAIN AN ARSENAL OF CHEMICAL 
WEAPONS.  IRAQ MUST COMPLY WITH ITS U-N OBLIGATIONS.  IT MUST 
ELIMINATE ALL ITS WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.  UNTIL THAT 
HAPPENS, IRAQ WILL REMAIN SUBJECT TO INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS.

ANNCR:

    THAT WAS AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE U.S. 
GOVERNMENT.  IF YOU HAVE A COMMENT, PLEASE WRITE TO EDITORIALS, 
V-O-A, WASHINGTON, D-C, 20547, U-S-A.  YOU MAY ALSO COMMENT AT 
WWW-DOT-VOA-DOT-GOV-SLASH-EDITORIALS, OR  FAX US AT (202) 
619-1043.

06-May-98 3:28 PM EDT (1928 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.