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]
John Sweeney also did a Correspondent piece on Radio 4 Saturday morning. We made a complaint to the BBC along the lines of below - that it was very biased and dismissive and ignorant of UN and other NGO's work - suggesting they were being duped by GoI etc. BBC phone number of comments: 0870 0100123 producer of R4 Correspondent: firstname.lastname@example.org Producer of TV Correspondent: email@example.com Emma In message <000e01c219ca$c74e97a0$d10a893e@p300-user>, Voices uk <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes >Dear folks, > >Long time pro-sanctions propagandist - and advocate of military action >against Baghdad falling only just short of nuclear attack - John Sweeney >has made a programme about Iraq which will be screened in the BBC2 >Correspondent slot this Sunday evening (probably sometime between 7pm and >8pm - I don't have a TV schedule to hand). > >A taster is provided by the following, an edited version of a 5 minute >broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning. The basic line of >the broadcast was that the only Iraqi children who are 'dying because of >sanctions' are in the northern governorates. At the same time the North / >south disparities were wheeled out to prove that sanctions aren't implicated >in the public health crisis. There was also some veiled innuendo suggesting >that UNICEF's '99 surveys were somehow manipulated by the Iraqi Government. > >Much of the rest of the content of the broadcast - eg. the material about >GoI human rights abuses - clearly had no bearing on the question 'are >economic sanctions a major factor in the humanitarian crisis in south / >central Iraq?' In any event Sweeney prefers not to answer this question, >preferring to focus on the, questions: 'are Iraqi Government claims that >7000 children are dying every month because of sanctions true?' and 'are the >mass child funerals in Iraq faked?', neither of which has any bearing on the >anti-sanctions case. > >There will be a live forum with Mr Sweeney at 1500 BST on Monday 24th June >and you can e-mail your questions using the form at: > >http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/audiovideo/programmes/correspondent/newsid_ >2053000/2053620.stm > >Sweeney writes for the Observer so I would expect a tie-in piece in Sunday's >Observer. > >Best wishes, > >Gabriel >voices uk > >************************************** > >Friday, 21 June, 2002, 18:06 GMT 19:06 UK >The mother of all ironies > >A few weeks after 11 September Osama Bin Laden justified the attack by >saying that western sanctions had killed one million Iraqi children. Saddam >Hussein's regime says 7,000 children are dying every month. Labour MP George >Galloway says that an Iraqi child has died every six minutes for the last 12 >years. John Sweeney has been to the north of Iraq, where he found evidence >that Saddam's sums don't add up. > >Ali, was a thick-set Iraqi who used to work for Saddam's psychopathic son, >Uday. Some time after the bungled assassination of Uday, Ali fell under >suspicion. > >So he fled Baghdad - going north, to the Kurdish safe haven policed by >western fighter planes,. > >I've been to Baghdad. Being in Iraq is like creeping around inside someone >else's migraine. The fear is so omni-present you could almost eat it. No one >talks. > >So listening to Ali speak freely was a revelation. > >He's not, exactly, a contender to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury. He >had the heft of an enforcer. He told me that he had tortured for the regime. >But I don't think he was lying to us. > >Ali talked about the paranoid frenzy that rules Baghdad, the tortures, the >killings, the corruption, the crazy gangster violence of Saddam and his two >sons. > >And the faking of the mass baby funerals. > >You may have seen them on TV. Small white coffins parading through the >streets of Baghdad on the roofs of taxis, an angry crowd of mourners, >condemning western sanctions for killing the children of Iraq. > >Usefully, the ages of the dead babies - "three days old", "four days old" - >are written in English on the coffins. I wonder who did that? > >Ali gave us the inside track on the racket. There aren't enough dead babies >around. So the regime stores them for a mass funeral. > >He said that he was friends with a taxi driver - he gave his name - whose >son had a position in the regime. > >Ali continued: "he told me that he had to go to Najaf" - a town 100 miles >from Baghdad - "in order to bring children's bodies from various freezers >there, and that the smell was unbearable. > >"They used to collect children's bodies and put them in freezers for two, >three or even six or seven months - God knows - till the smell gets so >unbearable. Then, they arrange the mass funerals." > >The logic being, the more dead babies, the better for Saddam. That way, he >can weaken public support in the west for sanctions. That means that parents >who have lost a baby can't bury it until the regime says so. > >So how could it be that people would put up with this sickening exploitation >of grief? > >Uday took out a wooden cosh and beat the tennis player's brains out. > >Ali told another story. > >He'd seen Uday kill with his own eyes. This was some years ago, before the >assassination attempt left Saddam's oldest son half-paralysed and impotent. > >Uday's lust is famous in Baghdad. He wanted a woman who played tennis at >Baghdad's Sports Club, so he and Ali went to the club. > >As Uday was turning into the car park, a tennis ball came over the fence and >bounced against the car of the woman he desired. > >The tennis player came into the car park to retrieve the ball and apologized >to the woman. Maybe there was a bit of flirting - that does happen at tennis >courts, even in England. > >From his car Uday watched the two of them. Enraged, he took out a wooden >cosh and beat the tennis player's brains out. And then - get this - a few >days later, the dead man's relatives apologised to Uday for the distress >their son had caused him. > >Incredible? > >I don't think so. In northern Iraq - the only part of the country where >people can speak freely - we met six other witnesses who had direct >experience of child torture. > >Another of Saddam's enforcers - now in a Kurdish prison - told us that an >interrogator could do anything: "we could make a kebab out of the child if >we wanted to." And then he chuckled. > >In that environment, with that background noise of fear, it is not >impossible to imagine that the Government of Iraq could have conned the >world, inventing numbers of dead babies that the gullible - and that >includes the United Nations - accept as reliable. > >While we were in the north of Iraq, the chairman of the Great Britain Iraq >Society, Labour MP George Galloway, was in Baghdad. He popped up on Iraqi >TV, saying "when I hear the word Iraq I hear someone calling my name". > >I don't agree. > >When I hear the word Iraq, I hear a tortured child, screaming. > >Sunday 23 June 2002 on BBC Two at 1915 BST. > >Producer: Will Daws >Series Producer: Simon Finch >Editor: Karen O'Connor > >Live forum: Monday 24 June 2002 at 1500 BST. E-mail your questions to John >Sweeney and Yvonne Ridley now. > > > > > >_______________________________________________ >Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. >To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss >To contact the list manager, email email@example.com >All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk -- Emma Sangster _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk