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Hathal's latest newsclippings had the answer to my question as to whether the Commission actually said this. The answer is no. It was a US statement to the Commission. > Again, however, the UN human rights report provides perspective. "The cause of suffering is the reprehensible behaviour of the Iraqi regime, which systematically denies badly needed food and medical supplies to its people," its says. "Instead, Saddam Hussein spends wealth on palaces and military hardware." Herewith a copy of my letter to the editor - I got a bit carried away with the last paragraph! Dear Sir I was very impressed indeed by New Zealand's brave and principled decision to speak out strongly against the genocidal sanctions imposed on Iraq (and being maintained in the UNSC courtesy of the US & UK's vetoes). This was spendidly reported on by your own newspaper. I am concerned by your editorial on the same subject. Firstly there is a very significant error: the figure should be 5000 (or more) not 500. Secondly you write: "the UN human rights report provides perspective." and then quote the US statement (which is desperate propaganda) as if it were the Commission's! Worse still, you then do a "consequently" to blame Saddam Hussein for the failure of 'oil for food'. Three senior UN officials have resigned over the deadly inadequacy of this programme. A sobering thought for you: before the invasion of Kuwait, Iraq was a prosperous country whose population had access to excellent free education and health care amongst other benefits. It was also a dictatorship with severe repression. After the war and all these years of sanctions, somewhere between 5 and 10% of the population have perished, electricity, clean water and sewage treatment have still not been fully restored (by our design) and the survivors lead a wretched existence. Yet your editorial propagates the myth that if sanctions were lifted Saddam Hussein would not seek to bring his people back to the standard of living they had before under HIS presidency.! Mark Parkinson Bodmin Cornwall -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi