The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
Hi Drew, Thanks for the posting. While I very much agreed with Mr Siddiqui's editorial perspective I was uncomfortable with his easy use of facts. While I don't know the sources of all of his claims I do think that I know about some of them, including: > A majority of the 20 million still stuck there are malnourished I've only ever seen child malnutrition systematically reported. The latest oil-for-food report by the Secretary-General to the Security Council (S/1999/896, http://www.un.org/Depts/oip/reports/phase6-90day.html) suggests that about 1/5 children in Centre/South Iraq are underweight; a similar fraction are stunted (paragraph 42). In the north 1/7 children are underweight, about 1/5 stunted (paragraph 70). > The number of civilian deaths since 1991 is between 1.5 million and 1.7 > million, including 500,000 children. The death toll of kids under 5 is > about 250 a day. These claims refer, I think, to "excess" deaths, those deaths that would not have occurred in another scenario. The 500,000 figure is that used by Unicef (http://www.unicef.org/newsline/99pr29.htm) as an estimate for the additional number of children who might have died had Iraq's child mortality rate continued its linear downward trend of the 1980s. Not all of the extra deaths can be attributed to sanctions: the Gulf War itself damaged infrastructure, making sanctions more harmful; the 1991 civil uprising in Iraq led to direct deaths in the ensuing repression as well as to further infrastructural damage. The 1.5 - 1.7 million total death toll is similar to the 1.4 million claimed by Iraqi Health Minister Oumid Medhat Mubarak in January (Arabic News Service, 18/1/99). I do not know of any external validification of these figures. They may be accurate, though, as Mr Mubarak's figure of 428,920 children under five is very similar to the more recent Unicef figure (n.b. Mubarak claims that these are deaths attributable to sanctions, though). About oil-for-food, Mr Siddiqui claims that: > Nearly half the revenues are withheld for U.N. expenses OFF revenues are paid into a number of accounts. The ESB (53% of revenues) is responsible for humanitarian supplies to the people of Centre/South Iraq; the ESC (13%) is its equivalent in Iraqi Kurdistan. Therefore no more than 34% of revenues could be "withheld for UN expenses"; the largest of those "expenses" is the Compensation Fund. > Of the half left, Saddam diverts some to his military and ruling elite. This is almost certainly true but I've yet to see a UN report mention it. I do hear more about other charitable aid going astray. > ... no chlorine for desalination plants The 18 May 1999 oil-for-food report (S/1999/573, http://www.un.org/Depts/oip/reports/s573.html) describes the import of chlorine into Iraq. By 31 March 6,303 tons of chlorine had arrived in Centre/South Iraq, 75% of the ordered quantity (paragraph 40). In the North, 328 tons have been distributed, described as "ample" (paragraph 76). The chlorine isn't for _desalination_, though, but water treatment. The August report, cited above, report the Centre/South receiving some 7,300 tons of chlorine (paragraph 48). In Iraqi Kurdistan, 380 tons were used, 252 tons kept as stocks (paragraph 75). > or no pencils (because the lead may be used as a radar-deflecting > coat on planes). I am told by people working with the Sanctions Committee that there is no "list" of forbidden items. Contracts are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. As the Committee is not required to make its decisions public it is never clear why a particular contract has been rejected. > the cruelties being inflicted on Iraqi civilians contravene the Geneva > Convention against genocide The Geneva Convention, as I understand it, applies under conditions of war. While the US and the UK are certainly bombing Iraq it is not technically clear that this constitutes a state of war. I do apologise for the above points. I agree entirely with Mr Siddiqui's position but do think that the case could be more strongly put. In any case, the prominence given to these articles is good news. Colin Rowat Coordinator, Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/casi (or) welcome.to/casi *********************************************** * Support the: * * NATIONAL PETITION AGAINST SANCTIONS ON IRAQ * * http://go.to/iraqpetition * * or: 12 Trinity Road, London N2 8JJ * * or: firstname.lastname@example.org * *********************************************** King's College Cambridge CB2 1ST tel: +44 (0)468 056 984 England fax: +44 (0)1223 335 219 -- ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email email@example.com, 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 ***