Iraq Genocide Memorial Day - 2015

May 12, 2015



March 24 is the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire of Turkey. While the U.S. government won't describe it as "genocide" there certainly is discussion of the Turkish denial of the mass murder in the corporate media. However, the more recent genocide in Iraq committed by U.S. presidents, Congress and high officials via the sanctions 1990-2003 is never mentioned in the corporate media. We call for May 12 to be remembered as Iraq Genocide Memorial Day. May 12, 1996 was the day U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Madeleine Albright admitted on "60 Minutes" that the sanctions had up to that point killed over 500,000 children.

A general article about the genocide by MECC Executive Director Stanley Heller (from 2013)

Heller op-ed in the New Haven Register mentions the genocide

On April 19, 2015 Heller wrote to "60 Minutes" at CBS:

I read Scott Pelly's statement explaining why he will be showing "disturbing video" of the sarin gas attack in Syria tonight. He said, "That's not the kind of thing you want to report on for acouple of days and then walk away and never remember against. You want to never forget that that kind of thing happened - and that where 60 Minutes comes in."

I agree. We should never forget this atrocity by the Assad regime.

However, I want to ask why 60 Minutes has forgotten an atrocity that in once reported on and then never mentioned again. On May 12, 1996 Leslie Stahl had an extraordinary piece on the effects of the sanctions against Iraq, showing Iraqi hospitals without basic supplies, how the sanctions had killed up to that time over 500,000 children. She interviewed then U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Albright. The ambassador made no dispute of the half million dead figure, but justified the deaths as as "worth it". She said the deaths were "worth it" so that the U.S. would not have to fight Iraq again in another Gulf War. She essentially admitted to crimes against humanity.

Yet, to my knowledge 60 Minutes has never brought up the subject again. The sanctions continued more or less for another seven years. High U.N. officers quit their posts in protest, but 60 Minutes did not go back to the subject. Denis Halliday, who had been U.N. Assistant Secretary-General, who was one of those who resigned his U.N. post estimated the sanctions killed one million Iraqis.

I urge you on the 19th anniversary of your excellent report to look at sanctions again. Talk about the effects of the sanctions, the people who ordered them and their subsequent careers. No one was fired, jailed or even demoted for ordering the sanctions.

Along that line I would also ask that you look at the case of New York cancer doctor, Dr. Rafil Dhafir. He is in jail with a 22 year sentence for breaking the sanctions and sending money and goods to Iraq. He arrested in 2003 with the media saying a "terrorist" had been apprehended. However, the major "crime" for which he was convicted was money laundering. He was sending money to Iraq to help those affected by the sanctions. Surely his breaking of U.S. regulations was a less severe offense than the killing one million people in peace time. His case would make an interesting story.

Iraq Genocide Memorial 2014

Iraq Genocide Memorial 2013

Iraq Genocide Memorial 2012

Iraq Genocide Memorial 2011