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A Different Kind of War
The UN Sanctions Regime in Iraq
H. C. von Sponeck, with a Foreword by Celso N. Amorim, Foreign Minister of Brazil
Translated from German
336 pages, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-84545-222-3 $34.95/£27.95 Hb Published (October 2006)
“In this sober and impressive study, Hans Graf Sponeck reminds us of the provisions of the Hague Convention of 1907 that bar any penalty inflicted on people for actions for which they are not responsible, an elementary moral principle and for the past century, a binding obligation on all states. In his meticulous and carefully reasoned review, he demonstrates with painful care and precision that the UN Security Council, but particularly the US and UK, radically violated these minimal conditions of civilized behavior in their sanctions program directed against the tortured population of Iraq, including the oil for food program that he valiantly tried to direct in a humane manner, struggling against their cruel and unremitting interference. It is necessary reading, with crucial lessons for the immediate future as well. And immensely sad.” • Noam Chomsky
“von Sponeck’s analysis is wide-ranging, taking in not just the minutiae of economic sanctions but also what he sees as the flawed priorities of the UN Compensation Commission, the illegal maintenance of the northern and southern no-fly zones… At a time when Washington finds itself asserting a moral justification for continued intervention in Iraq, A Different Kind of War reminds us…that the moral authority of the United States on the issue is seriously wanting.” • Journal of Genocide Research
“This is one of the most important books I can remember. Hans von Sponeck, one of the UN's most senior and respected officials, who resigned rather than carry out inhuman US Administration-driven policies against the ordinary people of Iraq, has blown the whistle on one of the greatest acts of aggression: the medieval siege of Iraq. Read this superb book and you will understand the danger the world faces from an imperialist power.” • John Pilger
“This book is my personal history. I grew up during the embargo years - no health care, poor education, not enough food. God and my parents helped me to survive.” • Wissam Khalifa (18), Al-Fallujah/Iraq
At a time when the international community is again threatening some countries with sanctions, this book comes as a warning. It should be mandatory reading for all those politicians and their foreign-policy advisors who continue to consider sanctions an effective form of policy. The author not only offers us a critical, lucid, and well-informed survey of political developments in Iraq, but also a heart-rending account of the suffering of the Iraqi people. It was they who bore the brunt of the 13-year's sanctions, while the members of Saddam's regime continued to live in luxury and accumulate huge fortunes.
H.-C. von Sponeck, the former “UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq,” explores the UN's sanction policies against Iraq, their consequences, and the domestic conditions during this period. His extensive research is based on previously unpublished internal UN documents and discussions with UN decision makers (such as General Secretary Kofi Annan), Iraqi officials and politicians (including Saddam Hussein), and ordinary Iraqis. The author’s findings question who really benefited from the program, what role the UN Security Council and its various member states played, and whether there were then and are today alternatives to the UN's Iraq policies.
H. C. von Sponeck worked for the United Nations for more than thirty years and in 1998 was appointed UN Assistant Secretary General. During his service he worked for the UN Development program in Ghana, Turkey, Botswana, Pakistan and India. Since his resignation from the UN he has served as a member of the board of trustees of various non-governmental organizations in Switzerland, Italy and the US, as an adviser for multilateral issues, and as a consultant for personnel development in international organizations.
Ten Key Points of A Different Kind of War
Interview with the Brussels Tribune