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Re: Pro-Sanctions Editorial in the News Zealand Herald

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

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