Moderator: JOHN THURSTON
The presence of WMD in Iraq was not the “sizzle in the steak,” it was our stated reason for going to war. It was how the war was sold to the U.N., Congress, and the U.S. public. Other rationalizations came later, such as taking the war against terror overseas; stabilizing the region; correcting human rights violations, etc. But please don’t forget, WMD is how the administration sold the war.
POWELL: Resolution 1441 was not dealing with an innocent party, but a regime this council has repeatedly convicted over the years. Resolution 1441 gave Iraq one last chance, one last chance to come into compliance or to face serious consequences. No council member present in voting on that day had any allusions about the nature and intent of the resolution or what serious consequences meant if Iraq did not comply.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441 is a resolution by the UN Security Council, passed unanimously on November 8, 2002, offering Iraq "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations" that had been set out in several previous resolutions (Resolution 660, Resolution 661, Resolution 678, Resolution 686, Resolution 687, Resolution 688, Resolution 707, Resolution 715, Resolution 986, and Resolution 1284).
Resolution 1441 specifically stated:
1) That Iraq was in material breach of the ceasefire terms presented under the terms of Resolution 687. Iraq's breaches related not only to WMDs, but also the known construction of prohibited types of missiles, the purchase and import of prohibited armaments, and the continuing refusal of Iraq to compensate Kuwait for the widespread looting conducted by its troops in 1991.
2) That 1441, and its deadline, represented Iraq's final opportunity to comply with disarmament requirements. In accordance with the previous Resolutions, this meant Iraq not only had to verify the existence or destruction of its remaining unaccounted-for WMD stockpiles, but also had to ensure that all equipment, plans, and materials useful for the resumption of WMD programs was likewise turned over or verified as destroyed.
3) That "...false statements or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq pursuant to this resolution and failure by Iraq at any time to comply with, and cooperate fully in the implementation of, this resolution shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq’s obligations"
IRAQ'S DESTRUCTION AND PLUNDER OF KUWAIT'S OIL INDUS-
TRY HAS DEVASTATED KUWAIT'S ECONOMY AND CREATED A
MAJOR REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER. KUWAIT'S OIL
OUTPUT HAS BEEN COMPLETELY HALTED BY THE DESTRUCTION
OF HUNDREDS OF OIL WELLS AND DAMAGE TO KEY SURFACE
FACILITIES, AND HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS' WORTH OF
OILFIELD AND REFINING EQUIPMENT AND STOCKS HAVE BEEN
STOLEN. THE WELL FIRES-WHICH BURN UP 4-6 MILLION B/D
OF CRUDE OIL-HAVE CREATED A MASSIVE SMOKE PLUME
THAT IS SEVERELY DEGRADING THE AIR QUALITY OVER LARGE
AREAS OF THE PERSIAN GULF REGION.1 TO HALT THE POLLUTION
AND RESTORE OIL EXPORTS, THE KUWAITIS MUST UNDERTAKE A
REBUILDING PROGRAM THAT WILL TAKE SEVERAL YEARS AND
COST BILLIONS OF DOLLARS.
IRAQ WENT TO GREAT LENGTHS
TO ENSURE THAT THE SABOTAGE WAS SUCCESSFUL. ACCORDING
TO BAGHDAD ISSUED DE-
TAILED INSTRUCTIONS TO OILFIELD ENGINEERS DISPATCHED TO
KUWAIT DURING THE OCCUPATION ON HOW TO PLACE EXPLO-
SIVES ON THE WELLHEAD AND HOW TO HOOK UP THE
DETONATION CORD SO THAT A GROUP OF WELLS WOULD
SIMULTANEOUSLY EXPLODE. THE INDICATE THAT
THE IRAQIS EXPERIMENTED MONTHS BEFOREHAND BY BLOW-
ING UP OIL WELL MOCKUPS IN IRAQ. THE OCCUPATION TROOPS
WERE INSTRUCTED TO MONITOR THE STATUS OF THE WELLHEAD
EXPLOSIVES AND THE DETONATION CORD TO ENSURE THAT THE
SABOTAGE WOULD BE SUCCESSFUL.
THE SABOTAGE RESULTED IN FIRES, BLOWOUTS, WELLHEAD
DAMAGE, AND POSSIBLE PERMANENT LOSS OF RESERVOIR
PRODUCTIVITY. APPROXIMATELY 500 WELLS ARE STILL ON
FIRE-SOME 200 OF THE WELL FIRES HAVE SMALL FLAMES AND
SOME ON THE EDGES OF THE MAIN FIELDS ARE BEGINNING TO
EMIT WHITE SMOKE
Harvard Scientists Report Public Health Impact of 1990 Iraq Invasion of Kuwait: Higher Rates of Mortality Evident Among Kuwaiti Civilians Who Remained in Kuwait During Occupation
Research Supports Kuwait's Health Claim to UN Compensation Commission
For immediate release: Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Boston, MA-- Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) made public today the findings of Phase I of their investigation of the public health impacts on Kuwaiti Nationals of Iraq's 1990 invasion and seven-month occupation of Kuwait.
Three years ago HSPH was retained by Kuwait to determine whether there were substantial public health impacts of Iraq's 1990 invasion and occupation of Kuwait and, if so, to -- (i) estimate the magnitude of such impacts, (ii) assess their causes, and (iii) determine whether cost-effective approaches of medical screening could be designed to facilitate early detection and treatment of affected individuals. The entire project is being conducted, funded and monitored under the auspices of the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC), which was set up to resolve claims against Iraq.
Results from the HSPH investigation formed the basis for Kuwait's final public health claims, which are among the first ever to seek compensation for the environmental and public health consequences of conflict between nations. The UNCC evaluated the claims, held hearings last September, and is expected to announce its compensation decision shortly.
HSPH's investigation was led by Dr. John Evans, senior lecturer on environmental science in the Department of Environmental Health, and included three major elements -- a retrospective cohort study of 5,000 Kuwaitis whose health has been followed for 14 years; a probabilistic risk assessment of the likely mortality impacts of exposure to smoke from the oil fires; and a review of trends in morbidity and mortality data from Kuwait's Ministry of Health.
Phase I of the cohort study focused on individuals who were 50 or more years of age at the time of the invasion. Analysis of data for these older adults revealed that, in the 14 years since the liberation of Kuwait, rates of mortality have been appreciably higher among those who stayed in Kuwait during the invasion and occupation than among those who were outside of Kuwait during this same period.
The comprehensive risk assessment suggests an average individual risk on the order of 2/10,000 may be attributable to exposure to smoke from the oil fires -- a level of risk which is roughly equivalent to that produced by smoking 20 packs of cigarettes. Across the entire population, this extra risk would correspond to roughly 100 premature deaths.
But this smoke exposure alone is not sufficient to explain the observed elevation in the mortality rates of those who remained in Kuwait during the occupation. A series of screening risk assessments for other contaminants -- such as volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and metals from the oil lakes and marine oil spills; and depleted uranium -- indicated that population exposures to these compounds were unlikely to lead to appreciable risks to public health.
Research conducted by Professor Jaafar Behbehani (Kuwait University Faculty of Medicine) and his colleagues at Kuwait's Al-Riggae Center demonstrated that, in 1993 and also in 1998, rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were substantially higher among adults who remained in Kuwait during the invasion and occupation than among those who were outside of Kuwait.
Preliminary investigation of the data from HSPH's cohort of older adults supports the hypothesis that exposure to trauma may play a role in explaining the observed elevations in mortality among Kuwaitis who remained in country during the occupation.
The State of Kuwait's initial public health claims had been based largely on a preliminary analysis of trends in mortality and morbidity (as measured by hospital admissions) which suggested that morbidity and mortality rates among Kuwaitis had risen after the invasion and had remained elevated for several years.
Working with Dr. Mostafa El-Desouky of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, the Harvard team critically examined the hospitalization and mortality data for the 1983 to 2002 period and found that these data alone did not provide compelling support for the assertion that the invasion and occupation of Kuwait had resulted in sustained and substantial increases in rates of hospitalization or mortality among Kuwaitis.
On the basis of Harvard's findings, the State of Kuwait revised its public health claims to seek compensation for premature deaths from exposure to the oil fire smoke, medical treatment costs and costs of loss of well being due to PTSD, and medical treatment costs for mine and ordnance victims.
In addition, Kuwait asked the UNCC for funding to support continued epidemiological and medical follow-up of the exposed Kuwaiti national population. Given the magnitude of the effect seen among older adults in HSPH's study and the lack of an entirely satisfactory explanation of the cause of these effects, it would seem essential to continue monitoring the health of this population and to expand the study to include individuals who were children and younger adults at the time of the invasion.
"While some might argue that global public health will not be advanced by a transfer of funds to Kuwait, it is important that international organizations such as the UN establish the precedent that public health impacts are fully compensable," said Evans. "It is well established that individuals may recover compensation for the loss of life, limb, or pain and suffering. But as our research shows, the most substantial public health impacts often result from small increases in individual risks spread across large populations. In these cases, the affected individuals may not be identifiable and, as a result, these impacts may be ignored. In their evaluation of Kuwait's claims, the UNCC has the opportunity to recognize and rectify this oversight -- making clear that public health impacts are fully compensable."
In addition to Dr. Evans, key researchers on the project included Douglas Dockery, professor of environmental epidemiology at HSPH, Jaafar Behbehani, assistant professor at Kuwait University Faculty of Medicine, James Hammitt, professor of economics and decision sciences at HSPH, and Roger Cooke, professor of mathematics at Delft University.
A summary of the report and list of contributing scientists is available at:
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/press/relea ... kuwait.doc
Press release in Arabic available at:
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/press/relea ... lation.pdf
For further information contact:
HSPH Office of Communications
- GWBhe had the capacity to make weapons of mass destruction.
- 2nd part of UN Resolution 1441, passed unanimously on November 8, 2002ensure that all equipment, plans, and materials useful for the resumption of WMD programs was likewise turned over or verified as destroyed.
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