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(Fwd) Re: [casi-analysis] Hilary Benn's line on reconstructing

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The BBC never did seriously cover the effects of sanctions in Iraq.
This seemed to be policy as did their resolute avoidance of any
positive progess by Iraqis and the Government during SH's time. As a
result, the sanctions (or indeed the war damage) never entered the
minds of most of the UK population. It is therefore no surprise that
individual broadcasters are generally ignorant.

Well spotted Cathy - this 30 year 'line'. I haven't heard it before
myself but somebody has clearly come up with it for Hilary Benn to
use in interviews and on the website. This definitely needs
challenging on 2 counts:

1)      the misinformation about Iraq

2)      the deliberate attempt to deceive

The Liberals may be one avenue to complain to.

> The Government spin line regarding the reconstruction of Iraq
> appears to be 'rebuilding Iraq after 30 years'.  I just listened to
> Hilary Benn being interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme:  he
> refered to '30 years' around 5-6 times: - '30 years of hardship' -
> '30 years of under-investment under Saddam Hussein' - 30 years ago
> Iraq had an economy equivalent to South Korea etc
> This line went largely unchallenged by presenter James Naughtie.
> Discussing the sufferings of the Iraqi people, he did cut in at one
> point to say:  'and under sanctions' To which Benn replied:  '.. all
> of those things ...' But he didn't challenge the 30 years line at
> all.
> Even as a non-specialist, I was shouting at my radio for Naughtie to
> challenge Benn, at least by pointing out that: - in his early years
> of power, Saddam brought in many of the reforms which helped bring
> about Iraq's prosperity in the late 1970s
> - if 30 years is the starting point for the 'bad' period, then
> surely representatives of Governments like Britain should be
> acknowledging the British role in supporting Saddam in the 1980s
> while he bled his country's wealth during the Iran-Iraq war
> Questions to the specialists on this list:
> - have I also got it wrong?  and if not, how can this Government
> line be corrected without being dismissed as 'looking backwards
> instead of "moving on"'? - and what time line or peg would you
> suggest instead of 30 years?
> (Also, if the effect of sanctions can be acknowledged and dismissed
> so lightly by ministers, then CASI's work against sanctions is still
> needed - this time ironically to stop those sanctions being
> airbrushed out of history.)
> Regards
> Cathy Aitchison
> PS: 30 years is also mentioned by Benn on the Labour Party's
> website:

Mark Parkinson

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