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Two updates concerning the Washington Post: (1) Susan Blaustein's inept article ('scrap oil-for-food') was rebutted in a letter published Friday. (2) On Sunday, hawkish Post columnist Charles Krauthammer savaged the NYTimes for crusading against war with Iraq. But in a seperate column, Post ombudsman Michael Getler was "disconcerted" about the Post's own lack of anti-war coverage. This journalistic sensitivity, while encouraging, will continue to ring hollow so long as the 500-pound gorilla of American media bias -- lack of sanctions coverage -- remains lurking in the corner. Regards, Drew Hamre Golden Valley, MN USA === Blaustein's article: http://www.casi.org.uk/discuss/2002/msg01130.html Rebuttal follows (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A24459-2002Aug15?language=printer): Iraqi Oil-for-Food Costs Friday, August 16, 2002; Page A24 Susan Blaustein is right that "a clearer picture of Saddam Hussein's funding mechanisms" would help us understand some seemingly odd maneuvers by his government and by the Western governments that deal with him [op-ed, Aug. 4]. But Ms. Blaustein falsely claimed that "the U.N. oil-for-food program costs $6 billion a year." The oil-for-food program costs the United Nations (and the United States) exactly nothing. The money it lays out for merchandise, and the money for the program's own administrative expenses, come entirely from the sale of Iraqi oil. Nor is the oil-for-food program accurately classed as a "humanitarian program" similar to those in Bosnia, Rwanda and Afghanistan. In those programs, wealthy nations donate money to try to stave off humanitarian catastrophe. In the oil-for-food program, no money is donated. The program entails permission for Iraq to exchange its own oil for certain tightly monitored goods. None of this is intended as support for Saddam Hussein, a wretched dictator if ever there was one. But we also must remember the existence of the 20 million other Iraqis, and understand the real facts of their situation. Those facts can be gotten directly from the United Nations at www.un.org/depts/oip/. JOHN BUGBEE Charlottesville === http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A31321-2002Aug17?language=printer Kidnapped by the Times By Charles Krauthammer Sunday, August 18, 2002; Page B07 ... "It is one thing to give your front page to a crusade against war with Iraq. That's partisan journalism, and that's what Raines's Times does for a living." ... === http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A28846-2002Aug16?language=printer Covering the War Before It Starts By Michael Getler Sunday, August 18, 2002; Page B06 ... "Once this war starts, if it starts, a lot of questions are going to be asked. Before then, The Post, undoubtedly, will play its role in getting these questions answered, and not just on the opinion pages. But some missed opportunities lately have been disconcerting." ... _______________________________________________ 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