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Hi All, In Canberra, we recieved a similar short piece on the White House report in the Canberra Times, the local newspaper. This was my reply, I've kept it under 250 words, if anybody has anything useful to add or correct, or any comments in general, please let me know. Cheers, Diaa. ________________________________________________________ Letter to the Editor, Canberra Times: Sanctions: The Silent Weapon of Mass Destruction The CT (Saturday, September 4) reported the White House's allegations that, "…Iraq has continued developing weapons of mass destruction despite the punitive trade sanctions imposed on it…[and] Iraq might have 'completed' work…on seven long-range ballistic missile systems…". Such information is dubious. First, what 'weapons of mass destruction' does the White House imply? Much of what is considered 'weapons technology' has dual-use functions. Producing fertilisers could be considered a weapon of mass-destruction. US intelligence mistakenly reported a baby-milk powder factory to be producing chemical weapons before the Gulf war. Second, Iraq's infrastructure was almost completely destroyed during the war, and has decayed under sanctions. Iraq cannot import any item, which may have a 'dual-use' function, such as oil-pumping equipment or ambulances. How Iraq could manage to produce such high-tech weapons under these conditions begs clarification. Furthermore, will any allegedly produced Iraqi-weapon of mass destruction create more destruction than the US-led Iraqi sanctions? UNICEF reports these sanctions have directly caused the deaths of 1.5 million people, including 500,000 children. A conservative estimates, according to Professor Richard Garfield, a specialist on the health effects of sanctions. Between 2,690 and 5,357 children die every month. UNESCO states, "inhabitants of a…country do not forfeit their basic economic, social…rights by virtue of any determination that their leaders have violated norms relating to international peace and security." (E/C.12/1997/8). Russia, China and France now oppose these sanctions. Do the US and UK consider the shocking effects of these sanctions to be still 'worth the price'? -- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email firstname.lastname@example.org, NOT the whole list. Please do not sent emails with attached files to the list *** Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html ***