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Perhaps Mr Sternberg might proffer his cv as he clearly has expertise in this area - and might inform when he was last in Iraq with an academic delegation. I await with interest. kindest, felcity arbuthnot. ---------- >From: Milan Rai <email@example.com> >To: CASI list <firstname.lastname@example.org> >Subject: Re: Lifting Sanctions on Iraq - dissident view PART TWO >Date: Sat, Aug 25, 2001, 8:50 pm > > A RESPONSE TO ALEXANDER STERNBERG > Lifting Sanctions on Iraq - a mainstream view > > Summary > Sternberg attempts to argue > (a) that the humanitarian crisis could be overcome even under > sanctions, and > (b) that the unconditional lifting of economic sanctions > necessarily poses a threat to the security of the Kurds of Iraq. > Neither argument stands up. Only the first issue is dealt with in this > post. The second issue is dealt with in Part Three. I regret to say > there is also a Part Four. > > Milan Rai > Voices in the Wilderness UK > >>INTRO >>EVEN UNDER OIL-FOR-FOOD > Sternberg argues, contrary to the expert consensus, that the > humanitarian crisis could be resolved even under Oil for Food. >>DEFINING THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS > This is not just about reducing child mortality. >>OVERCOMING THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS > The need to reconstruct the public health infrastructure, > restore family purchasing power, and revitalise the oil industry. >>INFRASTRUCTURE > Particular reference to the electricity sector. >>PURCHASING POWER > Details from the 1999 Special Topics survey. >>SMART SANCTIONS > The failure of smart sanctions to address these needs. >>CHILDREN AND OTHER VICTIMS > Summing up what Sternberg has to do. >>QUESTIONS > Questions Sternberg has to answer. >>NEED, NOT PERCENTAGES > The correct measure is income/expenditure against need, not against > past spending. >>UNICEF 1999 > How UNICEF defended the integrity of their figures (long quote). >>CONCLUSION > Sternberg's is a mainstream view, both in substance and in form. > > ************************* > INTRO > 1. Just over three weeks ago, Alexander Sternberg, apparently a non- > Kurdish employee of the Kurdish Regional Government in Erbil, > posted an essay to the CASI list. He protested against the ‘mono- > dimensional' nature of CASI's (excellent) website, and expressed his > wish to ‘contribute to a lively debate that overcomes the cemented > fronts visible' at the site. He has been responded to courteously by > several contributors, but has not reappeared to ‘contribute to the > lively debate' on the list. > > 2. Peter Brooke wrote recently, ‘So far, then, Mr Sternberg has done > little to justify his case that Iraqi citizens (outside the areas of > Kurdistan that interest him) are better off under Oil for Food than > they would be if sanctions were lifted.' > > 3. To be fair to Mr Sternberg, this is not the argument that I detect in > his posting. His principal argument seems to be that all the citizens of > Iraq, both inside and outside Kurdistan, could be enjoying a decent > standard of living even under the current economic sanctions regime, > through the oil-for-food programme. > > EVEN UNDER OIL-FOR-FOOD > 4. In a separate posting, I have protested against Sternberg's > denigration of Hans von Sponeck and Denis Halliday. The core of his > criticism of the two former UN Humanitarian Coordinators appears > to be that they should have focused their energies entirely on > pressuring the Government of Iraq (GOI) to change its policies: ‘As > international civil servants and diplomats, the situation called for their > unrelenting leadership in negotiating and persuading the GOI to act in > a manner that better served ALL the people of Iraq.' (para 17) > > 5. The underlying assumption is that if the GOI had acted differently, > the humanitarian crisis in Iraq could have been overcome, even under > sanctions, using the resources of the oil-for-food programme. If this > assumption does not hold, then it would not matter whether GOI > performance improved radically. If it is impossible to overcome the > humanitarian crisis under economic sanctions, if oil-for-food is > inherently incapable of delivering social recovery in Iraq, then Halliday > and von Sponeck were right to focus their attention on these larger > conditions. > > 6. Sternberg offers assertions, but precious little argument, on this > vital matter: > > ‘If these same governments and NGOs dedicated as much time and > effort to trying to move the GOI to do for its people what any > responsible and responsive government should or would do, ordinary > Iraqis would be living much different - unarguably better - lives today. > Far fewer children would have starved and died and the child > mortality figures would rival those of the West.' (para 14) There > would be no humanitarian crisis if anti-sanctions activists had instead > concentrated their efforts on pressurising the Iraqi government to > improve its services to the Iraqi people. > > ‘Need Iraqis in any part of the country suffer? Absolutely, of course, > not.' (para 3) > ‘Are sanctions the real cause of the suffering of the Iraqi people? Of > course not.' (para 6) > > ‘The GOI knows very well and has in its tool box the means and > methods to drastically bring down child mortality figures in an > appropriate and effective manner to levels that would rival those in > the West. The capabilities to do this readily exist in Iraq, and they are > proven. The high child mortality figures are not a function of resource > availability; the resources needed have always been available... The > higher child mortality figures are not a result of inadequate resource > availability. The figures are a function of political will, leadership, and > management.' (para 13) > > This exhausts Sternberg's argument on this score. > > 7. According to Sternberg, the ‘resources' required to overcome the > humanitarian crisis are now, and always have been, available - even > under sanctions, so long as the Government of Iraq was willing and > able to operate the oil-for-food programme effectively. > > DEFINING THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS > 8. Before proceeding, we should distinguish between two issues > which have been conflated. The humanitarian crisis in Iraq has many > aspects and dimensions. Child malnutrition and child mortality are > two important aspects of that crisis, but they are not the only aspects. > High rates of hunger and death among children under five are > especially painful, but they are not the only forms of avoidable mass > suffering caused by the sanctions in Iraq. > > 9. In March 1999, UN agencies operating in Iraq produced a > document entitled ‘Special Topics on Social Conditions in Iraq: An > Overview Submitted by the UN system to the Security Council Panel > on Humanitarian Issues'. This document referred to psycho-social > effects of the sanctions, and the effects of sanctions on women, the > disabled, the elderly, refugees and the internally displaced. Emphasis > was placed on the impact of growing poverty and destitution on the > general population. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) also > drew attention to the unprecedented effects on education: ‘The > adults' literacy rate, 89% in 1985, dropped to 59% in 1995 (Source: > Human Development Report, 1998).' > > 10. It might be, therefore, that the Government of Iraq could > markedly improve the situation of children under five, within the > constraints of the sanctions and oil-for-food, without being able > necessarily to overcome the effects of mass poverty on the rest of > Iraqi society. The humanitarian crisis might still continue, despite the > protection of children from the worst effects. > > 11. To make his case that no Iraqis in any part of the country need > suffer (para 3), Sternberg must establish both that child malnutrition > and mortality could ‘rival those of the West,' (para 14) and that the > rest of the population could be protected from the effects of > sanctions by the policies of the Government of Iraq. > > 12. No evidence is offered for either proposition in his posting. > > OVERCOMING THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS > 13. There is an emerging consensus that overcoming the humanitarian > crisis in Iraq will require three elements: > > a) the reconstruction of essential civilian infrastructure, including the > electricity, sewage, sanitation, water purification, and national health > sectors; > b) the restoration of real family incomes through increased > employment and the appreciation of the Iraqi Dinar; > c) massive investment in the Iraqi oil industry to ensure a steady and > reliable source of foreign exchange to pay for reconstruction and to > underpin the rest of the economy. > > For example, a Foreign Office representative confirmed publicly at > the CASI Conference in November 1999 that these were three key > issues in resolving the humanitarian crisis. > > 14. There is also a general understanding that the oil-for-food > programme is incapable of providing the resources or dynamism > required to reconstruct the public health infrastructure, to restore > family purchasing power, or to re-establish the Iraqi oil industry. The > Security Council's own Panel on Humanitarian Issues pointed out in > March 1999 that Oil-for-Food was inherently incapable of solving the > humanitarian crisis: > > ‘Regardless of the improvements that might be brought about in the > implementation of the current humanitarian programme - in terms of > approval procedures, better performance by the Iraqi Government, > or funding levels - the magnitude of the humanitarian needs is such > that they cannot be met within the context of the parameters set > forth in resolution 986 (1995) [Oil-for-Food] and succeeding > resolutions, in particular resolution 1153 (1998) [which expanded > Oil-for-Food]. Nor was the programme intended to meet all the > needs of the Iraqi people.' (S/1999/356, 30 March 1999) > > However well oil-for-food operated, and however much the > performance of the GOI might be improved - a crucial point for > Sternberg's argument - the programme could not meet the > extraordinary ‘magnitude of the humanitarian needs' in Iraq. > > INFRASTRUCTURE > 15. On the infrastructure issue, the respected Economist Intelligence > Unit (a separate body from the Economist magazine) estimated on 8 > March 2000 that ‘Once sanctions are lifted, Iraq will have to > undertake a reconstruction effort conservatively estimated at $50bn - > 100bn just for essential infrastructural utilities, from a GDP base > which, even including the grey and black economies, is less than > $13bn in nominal terms.' <http://www.eiu.com/latest/311792.asp> > > Iraq's earnings from UN-monitored oil exports in the year 2000 were > $13.9bn. (See <http://www.un.org/Depts/oip> for Basic Figures.) > Under current procedures, 79 per cent of these revenues are made > available for humanitarian purchases (the bulk of the rest goes on > compensation for 1991 war damage claims, and a few per cent meet > UN and bank expenses). That means roughly $11bn a year for > humanitarian supplies. > > Roughly $2.62bn a year goes on food, food handling and health > nutrition. $600m a year goes on medicines and medical equipment for > the health sector, $200m on rehabilitation in the health sector. > (Figures based on the Distribution Plan agreed between the UN and > the GOI for Phase IX, the latter half of 2000.) > > Roughly $500m goes on supporting agricultural production in Iraq > including poultry production, to try to improve nutrition. Roughly > $500m a year goes on education. Another $700m or so goes on > housing. Iraq allocates $800m a year to telecommunications, which it > argues are essential to coordinating and implementing the > humanitarian programme. The UN and Iraq have agreed to make > $1.2bn every year available to the oil industry for spare parts, > rehabilitation and equipment. (Figures based on the Distribution Plan > agreed between the UN and the GOI for Phase IX, the latter half of > 2000.) > > After immediate needs for food and health, then, there is less than > $8bn a year available for other humanitarian purposes. Some of this > must go on recurrent expenditure - on supplies for critical services > such as water purification, power generation, education, and so on, > which get used up and have to be replaced regularly. What is left is > then available for capital investment in reconstruction. > > Compare this figure of significantly less than $8bn a year with the > figure of $50bn - $100bn needed ‘just for essential infrastructural > utilities.' There is clearly a massive gap between what oil-for-food can > provide and what is needed in Iraq just for reconstruction. > > 16. Deterioration continues in the vital electricity sector despite the > priority the GOI has placed on this sector in successive Distribution > Plans. In May 2001, the UN Secretary-General reported that despite > the fact that rehabilitation and new generation projects had added > 296 megawatts of power to the system, ‘this was offset by units > removed from service for routine maintenance as well as the > decreasing capacities of other operating units due to deterioration.' > ‘As estimated by United Nations observers, the generation deficit at > peak demand during the summer months in 2001 could be as high as > 3,294 megawatts (MW), a substantial increase from the estimated > 1,800 MW reported unofficially for the same period in 2000.' > > 17. In February 1998, the Secretary-General wrote, ‘Under present > conditions, the rate of deterioration will continue to increase and, > with it, the threat of a complete breakdown of the network. The > humanitarian consequences of such a development could potentially > dwarf all other difficulties endured by the Iraqi people.' > > 18. In September 2000, the Secretary-General wrote, ‘Electricity > supply throughout the network remains at risk through > unforeseeable incidents. In August 2000, for example, the > malfunctioning as a result of fire in the transmission lines at Mussaiyab > Power Station resulted in the loss of 600 MW, which in turn > increased power outages to 8 hours per day for consumers in > Baghdad and up to 20 hours in other affected governorates. The > entire electricity grid is in a precarious state and is in imminent danger > of collapsing altogether should another incident of this type occur. As > at 31 July 2000, 25 per cent of the electricity sector contracts > submitted to the Security Council Committee were on hold. These > holds represent the most critical components and spare parts, making > much of the equipment already delivered under the programme > inoperable.' > > 19. Last summer, the national grid was in danger of total collapse. This > summer, the deficit in power generation has been even greater than > last summer. Total collapse of the power generation system ‘could > potentially dwarf all other difficulties endured by the Iraqi people.' > > The failure to allow foreign investment and foreign loans, the failure > to allow Iraq free use of its foreign exchange earnings for non-military > goods, and the holds imposed by the US and UK, have all placed the > people of Iraq in a very dangerous situation. > > PURCHASING POWER > 20. In 1995, the Food and Agricultural Organisation concluded, ‘The > solution [to the nutritional crisis] lies in adequate food supplies in the > country, restoring the viability of the ID [Iraqi Dinar], and creating > conditions for the people to acquire adequate purchasing power. But, > these conditions can be fulfilled only if the economy can be put back > in proper shape enabling it to draw on its own resources, and that > clearly cannot occur as long as the embargo remains in force.' (UN > Food and Agriculture Organisation, ‘Evaluation of Food and Nutrition > Situation in Iraq', 1995) > > 21. Family purchasing power depends on the real income > commanded by family members. It depends on having a job, and being > paid a reasonable wage in money that means something. > > Unemployment and underemployment in Iraq is estimated to be high. > The UN agencies' report to the Humanitarian Panel in March 1999 > had this to say on the subject: ‘Some non-official estimates refer to a > rate of 20%, but this may be on the low side as there is an enormous > hidden unemployment. According to estimates received from bilateral > sources, the rate is probably about 50%, excluding black market > workers.' > > UNDP continued on the subject of wages: ‘According to situation > analyses made by UNICEF in 1998, the average public sector wage > declined to the equivalent of $3-$5 per month. The minimum income > required for a family of 5 is $100.' > > This decline in the real wage is in part due to the depreciation of the > Iraqi Dinar, which is now worth less than 0.05 pence (0.07 cents). > Before 1990, the ID was worth 2.00 pounds sterling ($3.00). > > 22. All these factors, employment, wages, and the value of the Iraqi > Dinar, depend on the health of the economy as a whole. Which is > why the Security Council's Humanitarian Panel concluded in March > 1999, ‘[T]he humanitarian situation in Iraq will continue to be a dire > one in the absence of a sustained revival of the Iraqi economy'. > > SMART SANCTIONS > 23. Under the so-called "smart sanctions" proposals Britain has put > forward, Iraq would be permitted to import most civilian goods > freely, presumably improving the efficiency of oil-for-food funded > reconstruction (though the proposals do not address the issue of > funding inadequacy, and do not permit foreign investment or loans). > > 24. However, while the draft resolution improves the situation in > relation to infrastructure reconstruction, it does nothing for the issue > of family purchasing power: ‘[T]he US plan will not revive Iraq's > devastated economy while control over Iraq's oil revenues remains in > the hands of the UN, and foreign investment and credits are still > prohibited.' (Financial Times, 28 May 2001) > > 25. ‘[A]lthough the country would be able to import more, it would > still be denied the free movement of labour and capital that it > desperately needs if it is at last to start picking itself up... Iraq needs > massive investment to rebuild its industry, its power grids and its > schools, and needs cash in hand to pay its engineers, doctors and > teachers. None of this looks likely to happen under smart sanctions.' > (Economist, 26 May 2001) > > 26. "‘It won't improve life for the ordinary Iraqi. It will be a dole, a > handout to Iraq as a whole,' said an officer with a high-profile aid > agency, who requested anonymity. ‘It will do nothing to tackle the real > issue - how to stimulate the internal economy and allow civil society to > come back.'" (Financial Times, 1 June 2001) > > CHILDREN AND OTHER VICTIMS > 27. Returning to Sternberg's assertions, we should distinguish > between his claims that child mortality rates could rival those of the > West even under sanctions, and his claims for the other indicators of > the humanitarian crisis. > > A - Strong Claim: ‘The high child mortality figures are not a function > of resource availability; the resources needed have always been > available.' (para 13) > B - Strongest Possible Claim: ‘Need Iraqis in any part of the country > suffer? Absolutely, of course, not.' (para 3) > > 28. It is possible, though unproven, that better performance by the > Iraqi health services, more targeted health policies, and child-centred > prioritization of available resources, could have brought child > mortality down to pre-1990 levels exploiting the oil-for-food > programme to its utmost. Dr Richard Garfield certainly believes that > the child malnutrition and mortality rates could be significantly lower > than they are at the moment if Iraq had managed to replicate the > performance of Cuba under sanctions. > > 29. Sternberg offers no evidence to support his assertions regarding > child mortality. Even if he were able to mount a credible case on this > issue, however, he would still be a long way short of his Strongest > Possible Claim. On this topic also, he offers no evidence. > > QUESTIONS > 30. If Sternberg wants his argument to be taken seriously, there are > some gaps he needs to fill, and questions he needs to answer. They > follow in the order in which they arise (paragraph numbers included). > > <9. Iraq has incredible capacities, both in the CS and in Kurdistan. > Many foreign relief and development workers who arrived in Iraq in > 1991-92 easily observed this. (Compared to the situation today, back > then the GOI - Government of Iraq - was remarkably open to > visitors.) Many foreign relief and development practitioners with more > than a decade of field experience in Asia and Africa were amazed and > pleased with what they observed.> QUESTIONS: Who were these > practitioners? What was it that amazed and pleased them? > > <9. Though the application of those capacities today is currently > under some constraint, the capacities do exist and they are finding > increasingly more and more expression everyday.> QUESTIONS: > What are these ‘capacities'? What are the ‘constraints'? How are the > capacities being expressed now? > > <13. The GOI knows very well and has in its tool box the means and > methods to drastically bring down child mortality figures in an > appropriate and effective manner to levels that would rival those in > the West. The capabilities to do this readily exist in Iraq, and they are > proven.> QUESTIONS: What are the ‘means and methods' and > ‘capabilities'? When have the capabilities been ‘proven' and by whom? > > <24. Regarding the cash component, this is a highly questionable > factor in explaining the worse situation in the CS compared to > Kurdistan. This suggestion ignores the fact that the CS had resources > unavailable to Kurdistan that it could have applied to support SCR- > 986 implementation.> QUESTIONS: What resources are these? Are > they the ‘capabilities' already alluded to? In para 9, it is said that there > are ‘incredible capacities' in ‘both' the Centre/South and in Kurdistan, > but now it appears that the capabilities in the Centre/South are even > more ‘incredible' than in Iraqi Kurdistan. How can this be? > > <36. ... the CS has many more options than Kurdistan to apply in > solving the problems of ALL the people of Iraq.> QUESTION: What > ‘options' are these? > > 31. Repeating over and over and over again that Baghdad has > ‘incredible capacities' for dealing with its problems does not by itself > establish that the Government of Iraq is capable of reducing child > mortality to Western levels through oil-for-food. Or, to take the > strongest possible claim, that Baghdad could eliminate all suffering in > the territory of the state, even under the sanctions regime. Sternberg > says correctly (para 12) that too much criticism ‘is based on anecdotal > information and on selected facts and statements used out of context.' > His arguments seem to be based on anecdotal information (unnamed > development workers' experiences in 1991, for example) and bald > assertion (‘incredible capacities'). > > NEED, NOT PERCENTAGES > 32. There are hardly any ‘selected facts used out of context' in > Sternberg's argument, but there is one important red herring. > Sternberg says, ‘In the history of Iraq, notably even before sanctions > were imposed, there has never been so much in absolute value, never > such a high percentage of public revenue, dedicated solely to > assuag[ing] the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people.' (para 21) He > points out that at the moment ‘a record-setting 72% of Iraq's primary > source of public wealth, oil, is designated solely for humanitarian use.' > (para 3) (We may note in passing that oil revenues are actually > 'income', not 'wealth'.) From this he draws the conclusion, two > sentences later, that no Iraqis ‘in any part of the country' need suffer - > ‘Absolutely, of course, not.' (para 3) > > 33. The logical flaw in this argument can be illustrated in two ways. > First the issue of proportion. Say the Government of Britain were > placed under stringent controls by an outside power, and permitted a > revenue of 10 pounds sterling a year, all of which was to be spent on > the NHS. For the first time in Britain's history, 100% of British > government spending would go on the health services, and nothing > would be diverted to foreign military adventures, the building up of a > nuclear arsenal, Millennium Domes, spin doctors, and so on. ‘Need > Britons in any part of the country suffer? Absolutely, of course, not.' > > 34. Secondly, the absolute level of spending. Let us say that in 1939, > London's budget for housing was 1 million pounds sterling a year, 25 > per cent of the total local government budget. Now what if in 1945 > the budget had been increased to 1.2 million pounds sterling a year, > and now comprised 72 per cent of the budget? ‘Need Londoners in > any part of the city suffer homelessness? Absolutely, of course, not.' > > 35. The correct measure is not the proportion of government > revenues going to humanitarian purposes, or a historical comparison > with past budgets, but a measurement of disposable income against > public need. In a country still reeling from $232 billion worth of > damage to infrastructure and civilian economic assets inflicted in 1991 > (reference at end of paragraph), the damage caused in the civil strife > of 1991, and a decade-long economic shutdown, Iraq obviously needs > greater revenues for humanitarian purposes than it did in 1990. > Hence the Economist Intelligence Unit estimate that ‘Once sanctions > are lifted, Iraq will have to undertake a reconstruction effort > conservatively estimated at $50bn - 100bn just for essential > infrastructural utilities'. <http://www.eiu.com/latest/311792.asp> > [1991 damage estimate from Eric Hoskins, ‘The Humanitarian Impacts > of Economic Sanctions and War in Iraq', in Thomas G Weiss, David > Cortright, George Lopez and Larry Minear, Political Gain and Civilian > Pain: Humanitarian Impacts of Economic Sanctions, Lanham: Rowman > and Littlefield, 1997, p. 106] > > UNICEF 1999 > 36. Sternberg casts doubt on the validity of the UNICEF child > mortality estimates of 1999. He notes that the estimates for children > mortality in the Centre/South rose from 56 deaths per 1000 live > births (over the period 1984-1989) to 131 deaths per live births > (over the period 1994-1999). Sternberg remarks, ‘The figures for the > CS are indeed bad, but could they really be THAT bad?!!' On the > basis of his incredulity, but without any evidence to support his > accusations, Sternberg suggests that the data collection process > (supervised by UNICEF) was ‘tampered with'. > > 37. UNICEF have of course defended their survey. At the time of the > release of the child mortality estimates (which have not been > challenged by London or Washington), UNICEF released a Question > and Answer briefing with the following paragraphs: > > Q>How can UNICEF be sure that the results are accurate/reliable? > A>The large sample sizes - nearly 24,000 households randomly > selected from all > fifteen governorates in the south and center and 16,000 from the > three > autonomous northern governorates - helps to ensure that the margin > of error for > child mortality in both surveys is low. Another important factor was > that in the > south and center of Iraq the survey interviewers were all women and > all were > medical doctors. In the northern governorates 80% of interviewers > were female - > each team had at least one female interviewer - and all interviewers > were > trained health workers. UNICEF was also involved in all aspects of > both surveys > - from survey design through to data analysis. Specifically: > >>>UNICEF had direct input to the design of the surveys - which are > based on internationally respected household survey format - the > DHS (Demographic and Health Survey) format; > >>>UNICEF was involved in the training of all survey supervisors; > >>>UNICEF conducted field visits to every governorate (major > administrative unit in Iraq) while the survey was being conducted; > >>>UNICEF oversaw the process of data entry; > >>>UNICEF had full access to the hard copies of the interview records > and the complete data sets for both surveys at all times. > > Q>What checks have been made on the data? > A>Each questionnaire was first checked at the local level and then at > the > governorate level by staff of the local statistical offices. This check was > primarily to determine whether the randomly sampled households > were correctly > identified, visited and interviewed. Final editing and checking was done > at the > central level for completeness and consistency. A number of internal > checks > normally carried out for Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) > were also > completed for both surveys. The surveys and findings were also > reviewed by a > panel of experts in early July. This panel included senior personnel > from DHS, > Macro International, WHO and senior UNICEF officials from the > Regional Office in > Amman and New York Headquarters. > > Q>Could the Government of Iraq have manipulated the data to give > higher > mortality figures? > A>If the Government had attempted to manipulate the data by > influencing the > survey interviewers to over-record the number of deaths or by > directly > manipulating the survey data on the computer, this would have been > detected by > analyzing the spread of births and deaths. The panel of experts who > reviewed the > survey methodology and results looked for this, but it was not found. > > Q>How can UNICEF be sure that the survey interviewers didn't > manipulate the > results? > A>Internal cross checking of data has not detected any manipulation > of the > results of this survey. UNICEF is satisfied that the interviewers were > properly > trained on how to administer the questionnaire. Answers in the > questionnaires > were entered in ballpoint pen to avoid unwarranted changes in the > answers. Any > alterations made had to be signed by the survey collectors and their > supervisors. Local supervisors and supervisors from Baghdad oversaw > the > fieldwork. > > (This document was released publicly but subsequently withdrawn by > UNICEF. It can be found on the CASI website > <http://www.casi.org.uk>.) > > 38. Sternberg doubts the UNICEF estimates, particularly because he > cannot believe that the 1994-1999 child mortality rates for > Suleimaniyah (59) in significantly lower than that in Duhok (82) and > Erbil (75) (the three governorates named comprising the Kurdish > autonomous zone). (These are of course all death rates for children > under the age of five, per 1000 live births.) > > 39. He also suggests that ‘urban child mortality figures are presumably > lower than rural figures', but in the case of Suleimaniyah the overall > figure is even lower than the regional urban figure. ‘As one would > expect, the regional rural figure is higher (89)' than the regional > urban figure (59). From this he concludes that ‘The study appears to > be a regrettable case of "garbage-in garbage-out"'. > > 40. The rational attitude to these surprising results would be to > investigate the data collection process further, and to try to uncover > possible explanations for the surprisingly low figures for Suleimaniyah, > and rural Suleimaniyah in particular. It is hard to see how one can > dismiss the child mortality estimates for South/Central Iraq on the > basis that the estimates for one governorate in Northern Iraq > (outside the control of the Iraqi Government) appear unlikely to a > seasoned observer. This is another case of argument by assertion. > > CONCLUSION > 41. Alexander Sternberg's commitment to the Kurds of Iraq is not in > question. However, his analysis of the humanitarian situation in Iraq > (and his charges against Denis Halliday and other (unnamed) anti- > sanctions activists) cannot stand up until he replaces assertion with > evidence, and disbelief with argument. He does not establish that the > oil-for-food programme is capable of solving the humanitarian crisis, > or even that the GOI is capable of reducing the level of child mortality > to ‘Western' levels within the present framework. His argument that > all suffering in Iraq is due to the malice and negligence of the > Government of Iraq is not a ‘dissident' view, but thoroughly > conventional both in its conclusions, and its poor standard of > argument. > > Milan Rai > Joint Coordinator, Voices in the Wilderness UK > email@example.com > 29 Gensing Road, St Leonards on Sea East Sussex UK TN38 0HE > Phone/fax 0845 458 9571 local rate within UK > Phone/fax 44 1424 428 792 from outside UK > Pager 07623 746 462 > Voices website http://viwuk.freeserve.co.uk > > > > -- > ----------------------------------------------------------------------- > This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq > For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org > Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: > http://www.casi.org.uk > -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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://www.casi.org.uk