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In one of my computer illiterate stages - as always - perhaps someome smarter could post the site for the UN's' State of the World's Children' and it could be checked year by year.best, felicity a. ---------- >From: andrew mandell <firstname.lastname@example.org> >To: "Voices uk" <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org> >Subject: Re: can we trust Iraqi sources? >Date: Mon, Dec 17, 2001, 7:53 pm > > Hi. > i had a question regarding the figures that may have been already answered > but if so i missed it. How accurate would the pre 1991 mortality rates be > that I suppose are the basis for sanction related death estimates. It seems > coming out of the Iran Iraq war it would have been in the governments > interest to see those figures deflated to add to the sense of the "victory > that wasn't" if those rates were deflated obviously that would make things > even more messy. > Andrew > > At 07:38 PM 12/17/01 -0000, Voices uk wrote: >>I've not much to add to Per's e-mail, except perhaps to stress that these >>remarks extend beyond the child mortality figures (which seem to be the >>focus of Per's e-mail). It's a matter of historical record that the Iraqi >>Government has often put out figures - and made statements - that are either >>misleading, false or inconsistent with earlier figures / statements of their >>own (and, as Per says, they are also clearly *not* a disinterested party). >> >>Dirk actually sent me a classic example last week - an AFP report (December >>5th) in which the Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammad Mehdi Saleh 'accused the UN >>sanctions committee ... of blocking six billion worth of contracts concluded >>within the framework of the "oil-for-food" program.' According to this >>report Saleh claimed that 'six billion dollars worth of contracts were >>*still* blocked by the UN sanctions committee' (emphasis added, unlike the >>report Glenn mentions there doesn't seem to be any ambiguity here). Of >>course, the reporter had no problem finding out - and reporting - that there >>were actually $4.37 billion worth of goods on hold. >> >>Finally, Dirk wrote that 'There have been so many "independent reports", >>with "independent figures".' However if we're talking about child mortality >>figures this isn't actually true. Indeed, in his March '99 'Morbidity and >>Mortality' paper Richard Garfield noted that, whilst there was good data >>available on child nutrition, water quality and a number of other social and >>health indicators which influence child mortality, data was 'not available >>from any reliable studies on mortality since 1991' (the oft-cited 1995 FAO >>mission study 'suffered from serious flaws in methods and interpretation' >>and its results were subsequently withdrawn by its authors). This remained >>the case until the August '99 UNICEFsurvey. >> >>If it weren't for the UNICEF report the pro-sanctions lobby would find it >>much easier to claim that the humanitarian crisis was a propaganda >>fabrication, or deny its scale (for a good - if extreme - example of this >>see eg. Anthony Cordemann's book 'Iraq and the War of Sanctions'). I think >>it's also fair to say that the UNICEF report played an important role in >>shifting public opinion over here in the UK. >> >>Best wishes, >> >>Gabriel >> >> >>-----Original Message----- >>From: Dirk Adriaensens <email@example.com> >>To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>; Per >>Klevnäs <firstname.lastname@example.org> >>Date: 16 December 2001 18:02 >>Subject: Re: can we trust Iraqi sources? >> >> >>Dear Per and others, >> >>Prof.Waterlow, the "pope" of the nutritionists, wrote a letter in november >>1991 to the Lancet, appealing at the UN to monitor child mortality and the >>food situation on a monthly basis (J.C. Waterlow, "Malnutrition in Iraq" in >>The Lancet, 338,ii,23/11/1991). The answer in the Lancet of 21-28/12/1991: " >>there is compelling evidence that economic sanctions against Iraq have led >>to dangerous shortage of essential commodities, including food and medicine. >>Immediate action, rather than statistical analyses, is what's needed to >>avert a public health disaster in that country". A report of the WHO ("The >>effect of Embargo on Iraqi Children health status") in 1993 says: " it is >>not necessary to do another study to demonstrate that the embargo has a >>negative impact on the health status of the Iraqi children. What will the >>political decision be if there is an increase of mortality with 200 or 400%. >>Does it really depend on the amount of the increase? Is there a figure past >>which the embargo is no longer tolerated on humanitarian grounds?" >>There have been so many "independent reports", with "independent figures". >>The Harvard Study Team, "The effect of the Gulf Crisis on the Children of >>Iraq, published in the New England Journal Of Medicine, 1991. There was the >>International Study Team, "Infant and Child Mortality and Nutritional Status >>of Iraqi children after the Gulf Conflict", Cambridge, april 1992. There was >>the FAO report in 1993 "Nutritional Status Assessment Report" And so on, and >>so on. Report after "independent" report has been written. What has been >>done with the information in all these reports? Not much really. We are >>almost 2002 now, and still the child mortality is increasing, and in 6 >>months time Iraq might be looking at the worst of things: the "smart >>sanctions" or even a new war. Of course it is important to have the correct >>facts & figures, but that is only one side of the medal. The other side is >>the analysis on why these sanctions are held in place. And there the answer >>is: oil, natural resources and the Iraqi will to reign over their own >>resources, independently from Western multinationals and their New World >>Order. There you have the reason for the creation of this humanitarian >>disaster. I think that the focus should be on both sides of the medal. We >>have to express our solidarity with the Iraqi people in their struggle >>against this New World Order. Otherwise "we risk to drown an emotional and >>humanly sensitive topic in dry numbers and discussion about statistics", as >>Per puts it. >>Greetings. >>Dirk Adriaensens. >> >>----- Original Message ----- >>From: "Per Klevnäs" <email@example.com> >>To: "Dirk Adriaensens" <firstname.lastname@example.org>; >><email@example.com> >>Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2001 12:30 PM >>Subject: Re: can we trust Iraqi sources? >> >> >>> Dear all, >>> >>> First of all, I would like to note what has previously been said on this >>> discussion list in relation to this topic: we risk to drown an emotional >>and >>> humanly sensitive topic in dry numbers and discussion about statistics. I >>> hope the below discussion can nonetheless be justified. In my view, the >>> most powerful tool we have in engaging with those who disagree with us on >>> this issue is good information, and maintaining a credibility that makes >>it >>> possible for others - especially those who do not agree with out >>initially - >>> to believe the information we present to be correct. >>> >>> The most detailed critique of Government of Iraq figures I have read is in >>> an article by Amatzia Baram in the Middle East >>> Journal(http://www.mideasti.org/articles/baram.html). I disagree with >>> Baram's overall conclusion (that sanctions is the least worst option), but >>> think that many of statements he makes about the figures of the Government >>> of Iraq are plausible: its statistics are often are often internally >>> inconsistent, too precise to be possible, presented without any account of >>> the methodology used to arrive at them, and - crucially - tainted by a >>> clearly identifiable political interest that would serve to inflate them. >>> This is not to say that they are always incorrect: in fact, the 1999 >>Unicef >>> mortality study arrived at a figure which was remarkably similar to that >>of >>> excess under-five deaths which had previously been presented by the Iraqi >>> Ministry of Health. >>> >>> However, it is precisely because it can be corroborated with Unicef's >>figure >>> that we know the Ministry of Health claim to have (at least quantitative) >>> substance. Without impartial verification, we would end up in a situation >>> where argument is from authority only, and the basis for our claims would >>be >>> that for various reasons we trust the Government of Iraq to be right. >>This >>> we might choose to do, but we have no good basis for asking others to do >>so. >>> Instead they might, with the same argument from authority, choose another >>> authority: say, the US State Department or the UK FCO, which claim that >>the >>> Iraqi figures are entirely unreliable and that we do not know that >>sanctions >>> have caused any harm. In my view, this polarisation of the discussion of >>> sanctions is not helpful, as it cannot lead anywhere as long as people >>> choose to rely on different authorities. To us, this is nonsense, but >>there >>> the discussion simply comes to and end. At its worst, such discussion has >>> tended to obscure the desperately important message we have: that our >>policy >>> on Iraq is contributing to a humanitarian disaster. >>> >>> The situation would be different if there was no other information, but as >>> it is not, we do not actually need to rely on Iraqi government claims. >>> There is much other information on which to draw. One of the most telling >>> aspects of Amatzia Baram's (Spring 2000) article was that although it >>> purports to discuss under-five mortality in Iraq, it is entirely silent on >>> Unicef's 1999 survey, which studies precisly this. This is disingenuous: >>> what reason is there to omit from a detailed discussion the only impartial >>> and most comprehensive survey we know of? Information on living standards >>> in Iraq under sanctions is publicly available: from Unicef, from the FAO >>and >>> WFP, from the WHO, and many independent studies, to argue conclusively >>that >>> the decade of economic sanctions has been one of a humanitarian disaster >>in >>> Iraq. >>> >>> I personally think this information is more than enough to argue against >>> sanctions. While including Iraqi government statements in our argument >>> might sharpen the rhetorical edge of our claims somewhat, by slapping >>> (generally) higher and more numerically precise figures on what other, >>> impartial sources have already told us, they do so at the desperately high >>> price of undermining the credibility of what we are saying. It gives >>> precious ammunition for the proponents of continued economic sanctions, >>> adding actual substance to the claim that we are merely dupes of the >>> Saddam's regime. And, crucially, we would not have any way of ridding >>> ourselves of this claim: repeating a claim that is correct (whether in >>> substance or in absolute) does little good if one cannot say why it is >>true. >>> >>> In this situation, relying on Iraqi claims that cannot be independently >>> verified does us little good. More importantly, I personally believe that >>> it does little good for the process of ending sanctions. >>> >>> Yours, >>> >>> Per Klevnäs >> >> >> >>-- >>----------------------------------------------------------------------- >>This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq >>For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org >>CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings. >> >> >>-- >>----------------------------------------------------------------------- >>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. >> > > -- > ----------------------------------------------------------------------- > This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq > For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org > CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings. > -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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.