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Dear all, The following is to appear in tomorrow's Independent (Wed 9 Aug) as a Right to Reply. It is not a full response - because there is a limit of 300 words. Hope this is useful. Cheers Mil Response to Peter Hain's sanctions article by Milan Rai, Voices in the Wilderness UK I've been to children's hospitals in Iraq on sanctions-breaking delegations, and I've seen the effects economic sanctions have had on ordinary families in Iraq: I've seen wards full of young children dying quietly of disease and malnutrition. So I feel enormous anger when I read Peter Hain's lies and evasions. ('It is as important as ever to keep Saddam Hussein in his cage', 7 August) Typical of his pathetic manoeuvres is his use of the fact that half of the anti-cancer drugs delivered to Iraq remain undelivered. Mr Hain blames this on 'Saddam's policy'. But he knows that the World Health Organisation blames the low distribution rate on 'the recent arrival of a large volume of supplies and the long periods required for quality testing (21.2 per cent were undergoing quality testing)' on 1 June 2000. Mr Hain also blames the Iraqi government for the fact that in the autonomous northern areas, where the UN administers oil-for-food, child death rates have been better than in government-controlled Iraq. But he knows that UNICEF, which established these facts, says that the difference in mortality rates 'cannot be attributed to the differing ways the Oil for Food Program is implemented in the two parts of Iraq.' Mr Hain says that there is no other way to stop Iraq building up 'the weapons of mass murder'. But as the _Economist_ said in April, 'If year in, year out, the UN were systematically killing Iraqi children by air strikes, western governments would declare it intolerable, no matter how noble the intention. They should find their existing policy just as unacceptable.' Resigning from his post as UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Denis Halliday said, 'We are in the process of destroying an entire society. It is as simple and terrifying as that. It is illegal and immoral.' Milan Rai, co-coordinator of Voices in the Wilderness UK, firstname.lastname@example.org Voices in the Wilderness UK breaks the economic sanctions on Iraq by hand-delivering medical supplies to Iraq without an export licence. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi