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Reply to Martin Woollacott on sanctions

Dear friend

Martin Woollacott correctly points out that the economic sanctions on Iraq
would not have had the devastating effect that they would have done if Iraq
had not been such a technologically advanced society, and one therefore
'highly dependent on imported items for its infrastructure'. ('Iraq's
devastation is due to Saddam, not sanctions', 23 February, p. 24)

However, he fails to draw the obvious conclusion that the suffering of
ordinary people cannot be overcome until Iraq is allowed those items
necessary for the restoration of the public health infrastructure - for the
water treatment and delivery systems, for example.

I saw myself last month that the boutiques of Baghdad are well-stocked for
the well-heeled, and that at the same time the hospital wards are full of
children suffering gastrointestinal diseases because the drinking water is

Voices in the Wilderness UK breaks the sanctions on Iraq by carrying medical
supplies to children's hospitals without an export licence because we have
seen for ourselves the impact of sanctions on ordinary people

And because we know, as the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation reported in
1995, that the tragedy of Iraq can only end when ordinary families have
breadwinners in work, and are paid in money that means something.

Without a general economic revival, the rich will continue to feast and the
poor will continue to suffer. Without the lifting of economic sanctions, the
Iraqi economy cannot recover. These are simple truths that elude Mr


Milan Rai
Voices in the Wilderness UK

29 Gensing Road, St Leonards on sea TN38 0HE
ph 0845 458 9572 (local rate) pager 07623 746 462

Martin Woollacott

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