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]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [iac-disc.] Encouragingarticle about Iraq Sanctions

My understanding is that the UN figures are referring to deaths due to the
sanctions. The latest figure I know of is that 1.2 million people have
died from the sanctions. This was reported by the UN FAO in 1996, I
believe. This figure used to be on the homepage, I think,
but it is not there now. The person who knows about these facts is Peter
Pellet, who has led several of these U.N. teams to Iraq to evaluate the
health situation. 
        Concerning "smart sanctions", I think the question is: "What is
U.S. policy?" Regardless of what kind of arrangement the U.N. pursues the
U.S. will try to manipulate it to serve its policy agenda. I think so far
the policy has been to damage Iraq and to pursue "regime change". I am not
convinced that the U.S. or U.K. want conditions to improve in Iraq.
Assuming this then the recent discussion by the U.S. and U.K. governments
about lifting some sanctions is damage control. They recognize their
authority to prevent other countries from trading with Iraq is crumbling.
I think the U.S. could propose some "smart sanctions" which they hope
will leave the blockade mostly in effect and maintain the cooperation of
other countries, at least for a while. This is what happened with the food
for oil program. The U.S. and U.K. introduced it at a time when
countries were criticizing the sanctions. The U.S. and U.K. knew this
"deal" would not end the crisis in Iraq. The U.N. health experts knew it
would not. And exactly as they predicted Iraq's situation has mostly not
improved. Meanwhile, the U.S. and U.K. have done there level best to
hamper the program by blocking contracts in the 661 committee, where
they have a veto. On the other hand, the food for oil "deal" silenced the
calls for lifting the sanctions. Is this what will happen with "smart
sanctions"? So far the track record of the international community on
resisting U.S./U.K. manipulations is not impressive.

Edward Qubain

On Wed, 21 Feb 2001, Milan Rai wrote:

> > This may be more diplomatic flim-flam. The U.S. and U.K. know they are
> > isolated and may be trying to diffuse the international anger by
> > making some token changes which leave the blockade intact
> My suspicion is that a shift towards more 'targeted' sanctions has been
> coming for a long time. Probably delayed a bit by the bombing. I'm writing
> an analysis and hope to circulate it tomorrow or the day after.
> > Also notice the article atributes the 1 million figure to "Saddam"
> > and not the U.N.
> I'm not aware of any UN agency or official having estimated a cumulative
> death toll due to sanctions.
> UNICEF's estimate of 500,000 children under the age of five 1990-1998 was
> clearly and explicitly NOT all attributed to economic sanctions. Sanctions
> were 'a factor' but not the only factor identified.
> The one million figure has been around for a long time, but apart from Iraqi
> government estimates I don't know of any source.
> When we have got a source, we should quote it, and we should treat the
> source fairly (as in the case of UNICEF). Hence the wording of the
> Constituency/National Petition - 'According to UNICEF, economic sanctions
> have contributed to the death of 500,000 children in Iraq since 1990.'
> Cheers
> Mil
> Milan Rai
> Joint Coordinator
> Voices in the Wilderness UK
> National Office
> 16B Cherwell St, Oxford OX4 1BG
> NEW personal contact details
> 29 Gensing Road, St Leonards-on-sea TN38 0HE
> ph 0845 458 9571 (local rate) pager 07623 746 462

This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
For removal from list, email
Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]