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.
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The Coalition Against Sanctions and War on Iraq.
c/o Bridge 5 Mill, 22a Beswick Street, Ancoats, Manchester, UK.
Tel: 0161 286 7950. E-Mail: MCR_Coalition@yahoo.co.uk
Whilst politicians are talking about defending the "free world" and fighting for "civilisation", whilst waging a war against Afghanistan, I would like to remind people of the suffering that is still taking place inside of Iraq due to the, now, 11 year old sanctions regime.
Since the Gulf War, the Iraqi people have faced nothing more than the brunt of US/UK foreign policy. According to UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy, sanctions have contributed to the deaths of half a million children between 1991 and 1998. This has been followed up by a report by the World Food Programme and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation because in September 2000, they estimated that "..at least 800,000 children under the age of five were "Chronically malnourished" inside of Iraq.
Other information, may actually suggest, that the sanctions may not be preventing President Saddam from building his "weapons of mass destruction" but are infact killing one nations new born for the simple fact of being born Iraqi. In a major survey, in 1999, by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) children under the age of five, in central and southern Iraq were "dying at more than twice the rate they were ten years ago". This sudden growth in child deaths sits in contradiction to the previous decade, where death rates were declining and if child death rates had declined in the 1990's in the way they had in the 1980s, "there would have been half a million fewer deaths of children under-five".
The Sanctions have proven to be "unpopular" even with UN leaders such as Dennis Halliday and Hans Von Sponeck, who resigned in 1998 and 2000 in protest against the sanctions. Other leading figures and organisations have also come out against the sanctions, this includes the Pope, Anglican Bishops aswell as Save the Children, the Fire Brigades Union and others. Even John Simpson of the BBC has said: "if people could hear and see what is being done in their names in Iraq, they would be out raged," so why are sanctions on Iraq continuing?
Since the sanctions have been in place, Iraq has seen the collapse of its health service aswell as its economy and many other vital parts of the countries infrastructure. Sanctions have also left the Iraqi people isolated away from the rest of the world and sanctions offer no real political alternative to the ruling Bathist regime. What we are seeing is one of our worlds "cradles of civilisations" being driven into the dust, in the name of this "free world", through such policies as the sanctions whilst further humanitarian problems are occurring as a result of the consistent "allied" bombing.
These are policies which are remaining unaccounted for and no vote was ever taken by the British people, to see wherever they wanted or ever want such acts, like what is being seen inside of Iraq, being carried out in their names!
Mr. Hussein Al-alak.