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A shortened version of this rant appears in today's Daily Expres(18th June)
under heading:
"UN is stressed? Try living in Iraq', best felicity a.

The Editor,
The Express.

Dear Sir,

So the UN fiddles whilst Iraq burns ('British diplomats face the music at UN
talks', 14th June.) To relieve stress and Œbring harmony¹ prior to
discussing sanctions against Iraq, British diplomat Carne Ross suggested
songs from delegates country¹s to Œlighten the atmosphere¹ prior to
meetings. British antics re Iraq and a morally bancrupt U.N. have truly
reached an all time low.

As one who has been involved in two documentaries on the embargo and who has
written hundreds of articles on the effects, I am in a position to tell Mr
Ross a little about stress. Stress is being one of the estimated average of
six thousand Iraqi parents a month who stand helplessly by the bedside of a
sick child and watch him or her die, for want of often the simplest
medication due to the direct impact of the embargo.

Stress is the toweringly dedicated and professional paediatrician, who
greeted me at the entrance to her formerly flagship hospital in November Œ99
and said with tears in her eyes: ŒYou remember those children you wrote
about in June? Well I am sorry, all of them have died.¹ They included
seventeen babies in the premature baby unit without even oxygen.

Stress is the midwife who delivers a baby with no eyes, or no head, no arms,
no legs - no brain - an ongoing occurance linked to the depleted uranium
weapons used in the Gulf war by the US and UK. Stress is telling the mother.

Stress is being operated on without anaesthetic because the UN Sanctions
Committee (in the guise of the UK or US) has blocked its delivery having
decided it is not purely medicinal, but Œdual use¹: ie might be used for
another purpose.

Stress is taking your children to the orphanage because you can no longer
afford to feed them - and your pets to the zoo for the same reason and
swearing to collect them Œwhen the embargo is over.¹

Prior to the embargo Iraq¹s population had access to 93% high quality health
care, the same to clean water and an exemplory educational system (UN
figures.) The state of Iraq¹s child population now rates lower than Eritrea.

Former Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday, who resigned in disgust
as UN Co-ordinator in Iraq is correct when he says: ŒHistory will slaughter
those responsible.¹ That includes the appalling Mr Ross. The sooner he is
consigned to diplomatic oblivion the better - he could use his new found
spare time in going to Iraq and experiencing real stress first hand.

Yours faithfully,
Felicity Arbuthnot (Ms.)
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