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(Fwd) RE: World: Middle East: Oil-for-food deal working 'effic

I'd be grateful if any of you can suggest issues for me to follow up 
when I respond to this reply. Feel free to email me directly if you 
don't want to bother this list. Have a look at the original BBC News 

------- Forwarded message follows -------
From:                   NewsOnline <>
To:                     "'Mark Parkinson'" <>
Subject:                RE: World: Middle East: Oil-for-food deal working 'efficiently'
Date sent:              Thu, 18 Nov 1999 12:23:00 -0000

Dear Mr Parkinson

Thank you very much for your e-mail.

As journalists we report the news - and if the news is somebody's wrong
statement, so be it. Whether it is the Gulf war and its aftermath, the
Kosovo conflict, the Russian intervention in Chechnya - we report what the
conflicting sides say about each other. 

Would we not do that, we would suppress the truth - or at least one side's
version of it.

You may disagree with the statements that we have quoted, but we have a duty
to report them.

As with regards to the overall coverage of the situation in Iraq: I recall
many BBC programmes and news reports out of Iraq showing in detail the
suffering of the Iraqi people.

We are in the business of news journalism, not campaign journalism.

Yours sincerely

Tim Weber
Acting World Editor
BBC News Online -

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mark Parkinson []
> Sent: 17 November 1999 01:28
> To:
> Subject:      World: Middle East: Oil-for-food deal working 'efficiently'
> I must apologise for my tone but I am VERY disappointed. I have 
> indicated text from the article by ***.
> How can the UK governments get away with what can only be 
> called genocide in Iraq (1 million civilian deaths)? Well a major 
> reason is the complicity of the  BBC. Has there been a major BBC 
> documentary about the effects of  sanctions? BBC online has been 
> much more balanced that BBC TV - did you  see Mark Urban's 
> piece on Newsnight in September? Your article today is  very 
> disappointing - is that because the US/UK are under pressure on  
> sanctions?
> *** Iraq has been accused of hoarding medicines that would save 
> children's  lives 
> To repeat this FALSE accusation (as exposed by UN officials 
> including Mr Annan) under this photo twists reality beyond belief. I 
> can imagine UK officials leaping with joy.
> *** Iraq currently sells $5.2m of crude oil every six months. The 
> money is mean to  be spent on alleviating the suffering of Iraqis 
> under UN sanctions.  
> It should read 'meant'. I think that you should add at the end: '... after
> one third has been deducted for reparations and expenses'.
> *** Iraq was accused of blocking the distribution of medical 
> supplies, and even of diverting them for sale abroad.
> Again irresponsible repeating of FALSE accusations.
> *** The United States and Britain squarely blamed Iraq for the child 
> death rate.  They accused Baghdad of hoarding medicines that 
> would save the lives of  Iraqi children.
> Again the FALSE accusation.
> *** US officials pointed out that the child mortality rate in the  
> Kurdish-run areas of Iraq was falling even though both Iraqi and 
> Kurdish areas  were subject to the same UN sanctions and both 
> were covered by the oil-for- food deal. 
> This aspect was comprehensively dealt with by UNICEF in their 
> report and press releases. It is in my view poor journalism to repeat 
> this deliberately distorting statement without refutation.
> It's a shame that you did not do this story:
> ml
> Mark Parkinson
------- End of forwarded message -------
Mark Parkinson

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