by David Model
The Genocide Convention defines two basic levels of guilt: the direct
commission of genocide and complicity to commit genocide.
Complicity in genocide must embody:
1. Intentional participation;
One example of direct American genocide, Iraq, has suffered massive
destruction to its infrastructure, the economy and human life, particularly
since the imposition of American sanctions in 1990 and the bombing in 1991.
UN Resolution 661 mandated sanctions against Iraq originally to force Iraq
to withdraw from Kuwait. The resolution was worded in such a way as to
grant the United States a veto over which products could be traded with
Iraq. The American government exploited that veto to severely punish the
people of Iraq in the hope that they would overthrow Saddam Hussein
2. Knowledge of the genocidal intent of the perpetrators;
3. Organizing, planning, supplying arms, training intelligence, or direct military support.
According to a 1993 UNICEF study, "What has become increasingly clear is
that no significant movement toward food security can be achieved so long as
the embargo remains in place."
Declassified documents divulge the fact that the Americans were aware of and
responsible for a humanitarian crisis caused by the sanctions. A Defense
Intelligence Agency report on January 18, 1991 concludes that:
Failing to secure supplies [for Iraq] will result in a shortage of pure
drinking water for much of the population. This could lead to increased
incidences; if not epidemics of disease…Current public health problems
are attributable to the reduction of normal preventative medicine, waste
disposal, water purification and distribution electricity, and the
decreased ability to control disease outbreaks.
On January 15, 1991, B-52s were flying towards their targets in Iraq and
cruise missiles were fired from ships in the Indian Ocean. Iraqi defences
were incapable of offering any resistance.
Restricting the bombing to only military targets was not part of the U.S.
war plan whereas targets included hospitals, electric utilities, schools,
factories, water treatment plants, irrigation systems, food storage
facilities and community health centres. Over 200,000 people died, the
majority of whom were civilians.
In 2003, George Bush Junior inflicted further atrocities on the devastated
people of Iraq and on a country virtually bombed back into pre-industrial
times by another so-called war. As of today, Iraq has suffered a further
one million casualties and four million refugees.
Whether or not the administrations of Bush Senior, Clinton, and Bush Junior
intended to commit genocide in Iraq is irrelevant because the consequences
of the bombings and sanctions could have been predicted by any reasonable
person. The actions of these administrations clearly resulted in mass
killing, serious bodily and mental harm, and the infliction of conditions
calculated to bring about Iraq's physical destruction in whole or in part.
Iraq is a clear-cut case of genocide.
The carnage resulting from this genocide clearly exposes the disparity
between the professed principles of American foreign policy and its manifest
practice. This hypocrisy betrays the indifference of American leaders to
basic democratic principles and to respect for both domestic and
David Model is a Professor of Political Science at Seneca College. He is the
author of State
of Darkness: US Complicity in Genocides Since 1945.
Enver Masud, "Iraq War: 'Supreme
International Crime'," The Wisdom Fund, June 29, 2005
Enver Masud, "Iraq: Divide and Rule,
'Ethnic Cleansing Works'," The Wisdom Fund, October 10, 2006
[Life in Baghdad certainly is better than it was 18 months ago, when some 60
to 100 bodies were being found beside the roads every morning, the victims
of Sunni-Shia sectarian slaughter. The main reason this ended was that the
battle for Baghdad in 2006-07 was won by the Shia, who now control
three-quarters of the capital. These demographic changes appear permanent;
Sunni who try to get their houses back face assassination.--Patrick
Cockburn, "Iraq: Violence
is down - but not because of America's 'surge'," Independent,
September 14, 2008]
[The report, published in the Environment and Planning A journal, uses
satellite data to show the enormous number of minority Sunnis cleansed from
neighborhoods by Shi'ite militias. By the time the surge began, according to
study leader Dr. John Agnew of UCLA, "many of the targets of the conflict
had either been killed or fled the country".--"Satellite Photos Show Sectarian
Cleansing, Not Surge, Led to Drop in Iraq Violence," antiwar.com,
September 19, 2006]
"One Day After 2007 Attack,
Witnesses Describe US Killings of Iraqi Civilians,"
democracynow.org, April 8, 2010