As of last July, the United States, backed by the Blair government, was wilfully blocking humanitarian supplies worth $5.4bn, everything from vaccines and plasma bags to simple painkillers, all of which Iraq had paid for and the Security Council had approved.
Last month’s attack by the two greatest military powers on a demoralized, sick and largely defenseless population was the logical extension of this barbarism. This is now called a “victory”, and the flags are coming out. Last week, the submarine HMS Turbulent returned to Plymouth, flying the Jolly Roger, the pirates’ emblem. How appropriate. This nuclear-powered machine fired some 30 American Tomahawk cruise missiles at Iraq. Each missile cost £700,000: a total of £21m. That alone would provide desperate Basra with food, water and medicines.
Imagine: what did Commander Andrew McKendrick’s 30 missiles hit? How many people did they kill or maim in a population nearly half of which are children? Maybe, Commander, you targeted a palace with gold taps in the bathroom, or a “command and control facility”, as the Americans and Geoffrey Hoon like to lie. Or perhaps each of your missiles had a sensory device that could distinguish George Bush’s “evil-doers” from toddlers. What is certain is that your targets did not include the Ministry of Oil….