Tell Me a Secret

Thursday, March 18, 2004

hey..please...read this mail..be patient..it worths it..
me*


Dear Khalid,

This is a beautiful text which resumes very well what the Iraqi people had
to endure because of the greed of some of the leaders in the West. It was
written by a man "who has a conscience" and a deep sense of justice.
Regards,
Merry


Objet : To an Unknown Iraqi - Hans von Sponeck. 2003-06-12
(UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq (1998-2000)


To an Unknown Iraqi
There were few flowers, flags or smiling faces. Where were those weapons of
mass destruction we assuredly would find? We suffered no guilt and made no
apologies says Hans von Sponeck.

What we have done to you in the name of freedom and democracy has no
parallel in history. We have trampled the truth concerning your suffering,
we endeavoured to solicit allies through bribery and ruthlessly marginalized
those who objected to our imperial intentions. Brute force became the
substitute for the promise of 1945 “to save future generations from the
scourge of war”. It was you who paid the price.

Will you ever forgive us?

The torture of dictatorship was terrible for you; we added the sword of
sanctions. The curse of double punishment for something you had not done was
the verdict against you. Two million of you died during those years, perhaps
more. The figure does not really matter. None should have died because of
us; everyone had the right to live, as we do, in peace. Let us not forget
the many who are still alive may never live again, maimed and traumatized
forever, reduced to empty human shells. We never really wanted to share with
you the dream of freedom and democracy. All we were willing to pass on to
you was naked hypocrisy.

Will you ever forgive us?

The camera of life takes real pictures. Lest we choose the wrong lenses they
tell us the truth. We cannot pretend that we did not know of your plight. We
can but admit that we have contributed to your suffering with unsurpassed
ferocity. We knew of the malnourishment of your children. We knew of their
deaths in the thousands and felt no guilt. Our vision was properly priced,
we thought. We did not hesitate a moment to block ever increasing amounts of
supplies you needed for survival. They might be used for weapons of mass
destruction we argued. Ultimately we had to admit that the sanctions we
imposed on you were the most effective weapons of mass destruction deployed.

Will you ever forgive us?

For a long time we limited the amount of oil you could sell, and took from
this limitation funds to pay for wealthy governments and firms in
compensation for losses they said they incurred when your government was the
aggressor in Kuwait. We know that many of your children would not have died
had these funds come instead to you. We refused to allow you resources to
maintain your schools, hospitals, roads and bridges, to pay for your civil
servants, doctors and teachers. We did not even shy away from withholding
the meager travel money you wanted to pay your hajjis so that they could
pray in Mecca.

Will you ever forgive us?

It was our mandate to follow the impact of our policies on your lives. We
severely neglected this responsibility. Intimidated by the power of the
moment, we closed our eyes and ears and ignored your pain. We decided that
the oil for food programme, the fig leaf of our conscience, was good enough
to give you what you needed. Your suffering therefore had nothing to do with
us, we pretended. Our former ally, your dictator, was declared the sole
source of your misery. Whoever among us protested on your behalf was
pronounced unpatriotic, declared a social outcast, was belittled, maligned
and even arrested. This was democracy in action.

Will you ever forgive us?

Of course, it did not escape us that the most innocent and most vulnerable
among you, your children, the nation’s leaders of tomorrow, were also the
most severely punished. Your children did not get the education you and we
have had. We purposely blocked the repair of your printing presses and even
introduced postal regulations to prevent sending you learning materials,
including sheets of music. As one of you said, we destroyed your economy and
continued to destroy your minds. Again and again we withheld what you needed
to make your water safe to drink and to keep your rivers clean. Contaminated
water was a major reason why your children died. We did not care, they were
not our children.
Drought, pests and epidemics joined the forces of your dictator and our
sanctions. We could have increased the pittance we gave to combat these
menaces but chose not to do so.

Will you ever forgive us?

There was indeed an axis of evil, an alliance of governments, think-tanks,
media and corporations erecting a massive wall of disinformation. Iraq and
Al Qaeda, weapons of mass destruction and terrorism, we told the world, were
a lethal combination. Hundreds of tons of biological and chemical agents,
missiles, rockets and hordes of terrorists were ready to destroy us. An
imminent threat existed that only a preemptive strike could avert. All those
who pleaded for peace, humanity, reason and law were subjected to and
punished with ‘shock and awe’ tactics before ‘shock and awe’ was rained upon
you. With cynicism we declared that 170 UN bureaucrats and three white
helicopters were not up to the job of disarming Iraq. Falsified documents,
plagiarized reports, invented intelligence helped us to make our case for
war by instilling fear among the innocent and convincing our parliaments to
concur.
We pretended to care for your sovereignty, yet, in direct contradiction we
unlawfully established no-fly-zones in your country and announced that our
pilots were there on dangerous missions, risking their lives on your behalf.
Instead they came to further weaken you and risk your lives, not ours,
before declaring war.

Will you ever forgive us?

For a long time our spin doctors tried to keep us hostage as we watched the
tragedy of war and illegality coming closer to your borders. Deep were the
divisions among us. Many feared for you while others could not wait to begin
a war that had been decided long ago. Our leaders needed to distract us from
urgent and numerous social and economic problems. Our eviction from your
next door neighbour was imminent. Without your oil the strategy for global
domination would not work.

Will you ever forgive us?

We told our young men and women in uniform that they were fighting evil and
defending the good. Years of hard work spent refining the technology of
death and costing millions of dollars gave us the confidence that the losses
would be on your side and not on ours. We ensured that the reports from the
war front would portray us as heroes and you as the villains, extensions of
an evil dictator. As predicted the most uneven war in history did not last
long. Our new weapons were simply too good. While we continued our lives in
the comfort of peace, we watched you suffering the horror of war. Honest
reporting of a war that was killing your sons and daughters and ours as well
could have meant the end of a career for a journalist.

Will you ever forgive us?

There were few flowers, flags or smiling faces. Where were those weapons of
mass destruction we assuredly would find? We suffered no guilt and made no
apologies. Unfortunately for you, no plan was made for starting the healing.
Victors are victors. Chaos suited us well… but we made certain that the oil
administration was safe. Our concerns were not yours, quite to the contrary.
We watched and encouraged your anger and hate. Yes, your dictator deserved
it. However, the greed, yours and ours, raped our common heritage. Your
museums are empty, your libraries burnt, your universities destroyed. Only
your pride is still there…. and our guilt.

Will you ever forgive us?

Geneva, 1 June 2003
* H.C. Graf Sponeck
UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq (1998-2000)







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