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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Tracking Number:  161754

Title:  "Editorial: Needless Sacrifice in Iraq." Tragedy in the Persian Gulf can be averted if Iraq complies with international law and withdraws unconditionally from Kuwait. Otherwise, Iraqis could face a worse fate than that which they experienced in the war with Iran. (901114)

Translated Title:  "Irak: un Sacrifice Inutile." (901114)
Date:  19901114



(Following is an editorial, broadcast by the Voice of America November 14, reflecting the views of the U.S. government.)

Along the Shatt al Arab waterway in Basra are more than 50 statues of high-ranking Iraqi military officers who were killed in the Iraq-Iran war. They symbolize the losses of the Iraqi people in a war that lasted eight years -- longer than either World War I or World War II. In the war with Iran, several hundred thousand Iraqis were killed and tens of thousands were taken prisoner. Scarcely an Iraqi family was left untouched by the conflict.

When Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Iran in 1980, he said he was doing so to reclaim an area he called "Arabistan." This area includes the Shatt al Arab waterway, which empties into the Persian Gulf. When the Iran-Iraq war ended in 1988, Iraq controlled the waterway. That was its prize for eight years of warfare, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the expenditure of untold thousands of millions of dollars -- much of it given to Iraq by Arab neighbors like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Three months ago, Saddam Hussein gave the Shatt al Arab waterway back to Iran. Saddam Hussein made this surprising concession in response to the world's overwhelming condemnation of his unprovoked aggression against Kuwait. In order to concentrate Iraq's forces in Kuwait, Saddam Hussein made a bargain aimed at relieving possible pressure on the border with Iran. In the bargain, the Iraqi dictator rendered meaningless the loss of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives in a war lasting eight years.

Today, many of the same Iraqi soldiers who survived the terrible conflict with Iran have been sent to Kuwait. They have been ordered to carry out a barbarous occupation of an Arab neighbor with whom the Iraqi people have no quarrel. These young Iraqi men -- and their mothers and wives back home -- must wonder if they will soon be engaged in a war that could be more devastating than the one they were forced to fight against Iran. And they must wonder if the Iraqi people once again will have to suffer and die for nothing.

"Now, once again," said President George Bush, "Iraq finds itself on the brink of war. Once again, the same Iraqi

GE 2 TXT301 leadership has miscalculated. Once again, the Iraqi people face tragedy." But war is not inevitable. Tragedy can be averted if Iraq complies with international law and withdraws unconditionally from Kuwait. As President Bush said, "Iraq must get out of Kuwait for the sake of principle, for the sake of peace and for the sake of the Iraqi people." NNNN

File Identification:  11/14/90, TX-301; 11/14/90, AE-309; 11/14/90, AF-307; 11/14/90, AR-314; 11/14/90, PX-304; 11/14/90, EX-302; 11/14/90, NE-305; 11/14/90, AS-315; 11/15/90, NA-410
Product Name:  Wireless File; VOA Editorials
Product Code:  WF; VO
Languages:  Spanish; French; Arabic
Document Type:  EDI
Thematic Codes:  1NE
Target Areas:  AF; AR; EA; EU; NE
PDQ Text Link:  161754; 161867; 161760

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