Today the United Nations Department of Public Information held its second annual observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust followed by a ceremony at the UN Headquarters.
The programme included special messages from the U.N Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, the presence of : Sheikha Haya Rashed al Khalifa from Dubai,the Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman,Madame Simone Weil, a Holocaust survivor,Thomas Shindlemayr of the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs, a college student Marie Noel who shared her experience visiting former concentration camps in Poland and many more guests...
A special musical concert was given by HaZamir with jewish students from the Zamir choral foundation and another special cantor flown in specially from the New York Synagogue to recite the Kaddish.
This special ceremony for a special rememberance of a special people will be followed by no less than three special visual exhibitions of art work and pictures.
A book signing will also be taking place by Daniel Mendeahlon who will discuss and sign copies of his latest book: "The search of the six from the six millions".
And last but definitely not least, a series of special films will be screened :" Volevo solo vivere /I only wanted to live", a film about 6 Italian survivors of Aushwitz and another film by some eastern European called "Spell your name"followed by a professor from Yale University specialized in Genocide Studies who will also be giving a conference on the same theme.
A very special day for a very special people...
Ironically though,the theme this year is "Rememberance and Beyond". The focus will be on the importance of infusing people with the lessons of the holocaust so that future generations will prevent hatred, bigotry, racism and prejudice with a special emphasis on youth. All of the above following the UN General Assembly resolution 60/7.
A resolution echoing the first collective shout by the "civilized" nations following World War II, the shout " Never Again !"
It,in fact took millions of victims of different nationalities, different religious and ethnic backgrounds to fuel that first shout "Never again."
The United Nations itself, the International Court of Justice and the Geneva Conventions were created following that primal shout "Never again".
Never again,mass genocide and collective punishment. Never again, concentration camps. Never again collective rape. Never again Ghettos. Never again asphyxiation and experiments on humans. Never again collective torture. Never again deliberate starvation. Never again forced labor. Never again discrimination by name tags ... Never again.... Never again...Let us sing it together now out loud , Never again!
Meanwhile.... and in parallel...
1948 - The Establishment of Israel by the International Community, that same international community. And since that year, a silent mass genocide takes place in Palestine, silent to the deaf ears of the world.
Millions of refugees, hundreds of detention prisons, burns by cluster bombs and other "friendly" weapons, mass starvation, mass destruction,mass graves, collective torture, concentration camps and ghettos . Ramallah, Jenin, Tul Karem, Nablus, Gaza .... name tags and discrimination, a collective rape of a people, its identity, its memory by none other than "survivors" and it goes on till this very day....Never again ?
Nearly 10 years ago, the guns were silenced in Bosnia Herzegovina.
Again, over 5 years of massacres, collective rape, concentration camps, collective torture,(where a father was forced to have sex with his own daughter in front of the serbian soldiers and that is just one example) collective destruction right in front of the nose of the International Community and the UN.
It took 200'000 Bosnians in mass graves and over 30'000 Bosnian women raped and tortured for the respectable International Community to interfere and the UN to move.
And even after that, Bosnian women reported rapes by UN soldiers supposed to maintain peace and safety.
On a side note , when Causescu fell in Romania, there were operations named "Romanian villages" all over the" civilized West" to save abandoned romanians babies... just in case you have forgotten.
1990 - Present : Comes the big chunk Iraq.
Never in contemporary history has the International Community and the United Nations been a direct culprit in mass genocide like it has done in Iraq.
In 1990, the most cruel embargo and set of sanctions were imposed on the Iraqi people with the blessings and the complicity of the United Nations. That same United Nations that was born out of the birth pangs of "Never Again."
After the "liberation of Kuwait", the sanctions were maintained with vehemence and an iron fist.
Some of you may know but it is good to remind you , that over 1.5 million people died as a result of a decision taken by the Security Council in 1990 and maintained even though it had no more reason to continue maintaining it since the small oil banana republic Kuwait was finally liberated.
13 years of mass genocide and of mass murdering by the UN and the Security Council.
Not less than 1.5 million men and women dead, out of which not less than 500'000 children under the age of 5. And you know the famous phrase by Madeleine Albright the American :"The Price was well worth it."
The going rate of infant death from 1990 until the "liberation" of Irak and its invasion , ie. 2003 was 5'000 per month. 5'000 children per month... Never again ?
The total number during those 13 years of sanctions were a double Hiroshima and Nagasaki put together.
For 13 long years, Iraqi civilians were not allowed the following :
*medication and medical supplies and equipments:
- advanced cancer patients in agonizing pain were given aspirin , one box to be shared by a whole ward. Morphin and other anti cancer drugs were forbidden. Children with leukemia were left to die in death wards under the helpless eyes of doctors and the heart torn mothers.
- vaccines for children against yellow fever, hepatitis, chicken pox, polio and other preventable diseases were forbidden.
- cardiac, diabetic patients were left to die too- again forbidden drugs. Ditto for hypertension and other chronic illnesses . Give them aspirin said the United Nations...
- Depleted Uranium generously sprayed during "Desert Storm" gave rise to the most grotesque infant deformities that make Frankenstein look like a beauty pageant, rare forms of cancer with zero hope, cancer that attacks the soft tissues in the most vulnerable, children and women. Thromboblastic tumors in chidlren galore, uterine and breast cancer galore, prostate and kidney cancer galore, lung cancer galore... and no drugs . Again, give them aspirin said the United Nations . But then even Aspirin was like gold , a rare commodity. Never again ?
- anesthesia for surgery was banned. Patients undergoing surgery fully awake under the cold surgeon's knife with their mouths stuffed with paper so they would grin and bear it. No paper tissues , forbidden. We used newspapers instead . Never again ?
- X ray machines, X ray films, electrocardiograms, any medical supply and equipment- forbidden.
My own uncle died because the hospital had no films for a chest X ray or ink for an electrocardiogram. He died following complications of a chest infections coupled with congestive heart failure aged 55. He had 7 kids to look after. Never again ?
- No surgical gloves, no surgery thread, no disposable needles. Forbidden.
A surgeon friend of mine swears that he made operations and sewn the patient with a tailor's needle. I believe him becauseI have seen worse. Result? Mass Genocide.
The little medication we received was expired and some of the hospital sheets given generously by our international community dated from world war II - am not kidding you. Never again ?
* Spare parts and Food.
- Desert storm destroyed most electrical and power plants. Which meant no electricity and no clean water. Chlorine to purify water ? Forbidden. Result, dirty water drank by the majority. Result . Hepatitis, Typhoid, cholera, dysentery,TB... Result ?Mass genocide.
- No electricity. Spare parts forbidden . Result? power cuts , rotting food in refrigerators, patients under surgery woken up because the surgery could not be continued, sick patients, children and families dehydrating collectively. Sleepless nights sitting by candlelight, no tv and even no radio, batteries were forbidden.
- whatever Iraqi industry we had was halted, destroyed by smart bombs.
This means a halt to any local production. No powdered milk, no food fresh or canned , no milk, no butter, no cheese, not even tomato paste. Families lived on bread alone and the more wealthy ones on aubergines because we could grow them in our backyards We became natural vegetarians...
Even the bread which was rationed by the government was inedible. We would find little stones in it. Endless queues for anything that could be edible. Result? Mass malnutrition , mass starvation.
- computers and the rest - forget it . These are for the civilized world like yourselves.
* Education and miscellaneous.
- Ironically, a street named after one of the most famous poets in the History of Arab literature, Al Mutannabi.
The Al- Mutannabi street was filled to the brim with all kinds of second hand books. From Anatomy to Linguistics ... in Arabic, French and English. School books, drawing books, history books, psychology books, religious books.....etc...
People started selling their books. What you love to call in your politically correct jargon, their intellectual property.
- Pens and pencil were forbidden. Giving someone a pencil was giving him/her the elixir of life.
The reason for this prohibition. Pencils might be used in the fabrication of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
- Schools had no benches nor tables. Pupils would sit on pieces of brick and give up school when the sewage flooded their classrooms. University students had no access to the latest developments and discoveries in sciences and other subjects....it was forbidden. The United Nations decreed so.
I personally met with a 75 years plus old Hajji. A venerable title for an older man (that has nothing to do with your dirty slang) sitting on a dusty dirty pavement holding a transparent plastic bag in his hands filled with dead flies.
I said to him " Hajji what are your exactly selling ?". He replied : " What is the matter Bintee(my daughter) can't you see ? I am selling dead flies, freshly captured. Do you rear birds. Take a fly for your bird."
In another side street the more desperate ones were selling their furniture and paraffin heaters, their prams, their beds, their wardrobes, their everything....keeping the bare necessities.
In another side street, the clothes...coats, hats, dresses, trousers, shirts, canes and some even their underwear...
In the dark stench filled alleyways with nauseating sewage smells, others were concluding deals to sell their organs.. A kidney here , a finger there, maybe two or more...
And in the even darker alleys, some were selling themselves..
Even toilet soap was forbidden. Sorry could not make ourselves smell good for your invasion.
A big ghetto of massive proportions. A huge concentration camp. No visas were given, people were stuck in mass genocide.
Those who managed, worked as waiters, garbage collectors , taxi drivers carefully hiding their university diplomas. And the less lucky ones , ended up in brothels in neighboring countries. Some as young as 14 years old, hoping to find refuge in exchange for food and shelter and a bit of pocket money promptly sent home under the benevolent eyes of the brothel's Matron.
This is just a glimpse of what happened during the sanction years under the auspices of the United Nations, the one that was born out of "Never again."
No one budged.
When given the facts and figures, they and their masters, the US and GB debated the "methodology'arguing about it ....
Understandbly so. When you find out that each UN employee specially in the higher echelons gets a tax free salary in the vicinity of 25'000 US dollars per month plus other benefits, you will understand why. The Perez de Cuellar, the Boutros Ghalis and the Kofi Anans of this world...
A bunch of dead corrupt wood with falsified fake diplomas, engaging in constant political ass kissing. Sitting on their big fat behinds , driving their spotless brand new cars and issuing reports that hardly anyone reads and entitling them, "Never again!" Except for the select few of course.
But and thank God for the buts, a few who had not been polluted by the above dirt spoke out during the sanction years , giving you and I, hope that Truth will prevail.
The names are few but they need to be remembered and respected:
They are Dennis Halliday, Ex-SecretaryGeneral heading the Humanitarian oil for food program, Hans Von Sponeck, UN aid coordinator for Iraq and Jutta Burkhardt head of UN World Food Program. the 3 of them had the guts to resign.
They resigned because they knew and as they know now , that the UN sanctions program was a program of mass genocide - Never again ?
( a must see this latest video by both Dennis Halliday and Hans Von Sponeck)
I know,and please bear with me, this is getting to be a long article, and I usually like it "short and sweet". But this is a holocaust, a day to be remembered, I can't simply gloss over it.
I am not the UN and I don't have a symphony orchestra, nor a mausoleum, I just have my words...
Today, the 29th January 2007,Iraqis long for the days of the sanctions.
Iraq has been "liberated", from 2003 till the present.
Today in Iraq, people are collectively raped, murdered, tortured, experimented on with various drugs and drills and american bombs. Lazer bombs, phosphorus, cluster, DU....
Today in Iraq, every city has become a massive ghetto. Baghdad, Falluja, Ramadi, Mosul, Haditha,etc...
Today in Iraq, there are mass concentration, rape and torture camps.
Today in Iraq there are 3.7 million refugees seeking shelter outside.
Today in Iraq, there are 700'000 plus dead since 2003, add to this figure 260'000 children. Today in Iraq, there is no aspirin, no food, no water, no electricity, no nothing....
Today in Iraq people, are persecuted for their name tags.
Today in Iraq, there are no more universities or schools.
Today in Iraq, people have stopped selling their organs and are selling their kids instead.
Today in Iraq there are no hospitals left and cancer patients are considered lucky.
Today in Iraq, the secret letter circulating in the UN prior to the occupation warning that over 1.4 million children will die, has come true.
Today in Iraq there is a holocaust happening before your very eyes.
During World War II , Schindler saved around 1'000 victims from the holocaust.
Since then,how many were you able to save? What is your list ? 1 , 2 , 3, names?
Do I hear anything ? No ? Of course not...
You can go back to sleep now.
Palestine, Bosnia, Iraq have one common denominator...I leave it to your intelligence to guess what it is ....
Never again ? Yes sure thing ...Bring on the UN General Assembly and the lamenting violins for me now ...
I, personally hold the International Community and the United Nations responsible for Crimes against Humanity as they are happening today in Iraq. I hold the United Nations responsible for a holocaust. I hold it and all other silent ones, apathetic, indifferent,complacent ones, responsible for this Holocaust , today, in the day of "Rememberance and Beyond."
Never again ?
P.S: Do forgive me Afghanistan, blame it on proximity but you are not forgotten.
Painting : Iraqi artist, M. Muhrradin.