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]
Hi Fay, Yes, the document referred to there can be found on http://www.cam.ac.uk/societies/casi/info/gov.html; search for "water treatment" on that page. There are also some links associated with it, pointing to discussion about it. There's been some debate about whether the document should be read as describing or prescribing sanctions' harm to Iraq's water treatment capability. My own reading of it is the former: this warned policy makers of what might happen. Note that it does not discuss targetting Iraq's water treatment facilities; it merely outlines Iraq's capabilities, and what can be expected to happen to those capabilities under sanctions. The book that I found most useful in providing me with insight into the war planners' thinking is Gordon and Trainor's The Generals' War (if you buy it from http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0316321001/qid%3D1005007695/026-228 5003-6841258 I think that CASI receives a very small sum of money). They explain that the "strategic doctrine" followed was to attempt to hit directly at the centres of legitimacy of the Iraqi government, rather than "merely" blowing up tanks in the desert. The planners surmised that part of the Iraqi government's legitimacy in the eyes of its population derived from its ability to provide basic services for them. Therefore, destroying that capability would erode the government's legitimacy in the eyes of its population, encouraging them to directly challenge the government. The main UN sources on Iraq's infrastructure in the immediate post-war period are the Ahtisaari report (available at http://www.un.org/Depts/oip/reports/S22366.html) and the Sadruddin Aga Khan report (available at http://www.casi.org.uk/overflow/undocs/sadruddin1.pdf and http://www.casi.org.uk/overflow/undocs/sadruddin2.pdf). Links to both of these are in the UN Secretary-General section of CASI's website, at http://www.casi.org.uk/info/un.html. Since 1991, it has been clear that contaminated water is one of the major contributors to child malnutrition, and therefore excess death rates. Furthermore, it is recognised that restoring clean water involves more than simply rehabilitating water treatment plants. The electrical system needs to be restored, to ensure proper operation of the plants (and prevent vacuums, which may suck contaminated water back through the pipes). Cracked pipes must be repaired. Finally, the labour to do all of this must be mobilised. There has been some debate about why the Iraqi government has not encouraged boiling of drinking water. I do not know the answer to this. Other key reports on the damage done to Iraq during the Gulf War were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1991 and 1992. The first of these is, "Special Report: the effect of the Gulf crisis on the children of Iraq", and can be found in NEJM vol. 325(13), pp. 977 - 980 (Sept. 26, 1991). The second of these is, "Special Report: effect of the Gulf war on infant and child mortality in Iraq", NEJM vol. 327(13), pp. 931 - 936 (Sept. 24, 1992). Unfortunately, the NEJM's website (www.nejm.org) does not carry full articles back to 1993. Good courage with the article. Yes, it is upsetting to watch as some of the events repeat themselves, and this time in a country without oil wealth to fight through with. Best wishes, and thank you, Colin Rowat work | Room 406, Department of Economics | The University of Birmingham | Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK | 0121 414 3754 | 0121 414 7377 (fax) |email@example.com personal | 07768 056 984 (mobile) | (707) 221 3672 (US fax) | firstname.lastname@example.org _________________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.