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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Dear List Members, A team of experts in child psychology, health, nutrition and emergency preparedness has recently assessed the impact of a new war on the more than 13 million Iraqi children. The Canadian-led team interviewed families in Baghdad, Karbala and Basra from January 20-26, 2003. The report of their findings is entitled "Our Common Responsibility - the Impact of a new war on Iraqi Children". "Iraqs 13 million children are at grave risk of starvation, disease, death and psychological trauma", the experts concluded. Weakened and malnourished by war and 12 years of sanctions, Iraqi children are far more vulnerable now than before the Gulf War. While the number of expected death and injuries is impossible to predict, the team's leader, Dr. Hoskins, said there could be tens of thousands and possibly hundreds of thousands child casualties. (Dr. Hoskins has been to Iraq at least 25 times.) The children live in great fear of a new war. The team's psychologists, Atle Dyregrov and Magne Raundalen, who spoke to Iraqi children in 1991, carried out the "first-ever pre-war assessment of children's mental health." Children are "fearful, anxious and depressed," they found. Even children as young as four and five had clear concepts of the horrors of war. "Many have nightmares. And 40 percent do not think that life is worth living." And these are not children stricken with a disease. These are children who in normal circumstances would be as resilient as children elsewhere usually are. These are children whose sorrows could normally be soothed with a hug and a kiss - and the promise that everything is going to be all right. But parents in Iraq are unable to make such promise. They live in fear themselves - in fear of what the future may bring, what tomorrow may bring. Children sense that fear so they won't talk about their own. For months parents (and other adults) have been taking valium to cope with the fear of the new horror the US means to unleash on Iraq. Children are given valium too. Iraqi doctors feel it would be better if parents could talk to their children about this fear. But what would you tell your child, Mr. Powell, if you lived in Iraq now - had been living there for 12 years? Many Iraqi children can no longer cry; they cannot play. There are teens who still remember the day their parents, friends, neighbours were burned alive when the US dropped two missiles on the Amiryah shelter (February 14, 1991). And 40 percent of the children interviewed think life is not worth living. Meanwhile George W. Bush prays in his Oval Office - every morning. He is a good Christian - a _good_ man. He is the type of good man Bertrand Russell warned about in his essay "Why I am not a Christian". "Our Common Responsibility - the Impact of a new war on Iraqi Children". - The report is available at: http://www.warchild.ca/index.asp http://www.warchild.ca/docs/executive_summary-en.pdf http://www.warchild.ca/docs/R%E9sum%E9_Ex%E9cutif-fr.pdf http://www.warchild.ca/docs/final_report_report_january_29v1.1.pdf Video footage of the International Study Team's assessment in Iraq is available on APTN and Reuters, or through the contact below. Aubrey Charette, Communications Director, War Child Canada 416-971-7474, Cell 416-949-0532, email firstname.lastname@example.org Copies of this report were sent to the U.N. Security Council, the government of Iraq, and the Canadian government. So the members of the Security Council must know what they are about when they are casting their votes. On January 30, the team held a press conference in Ottawa to discuss their findings. So far, the mainstream press (here and elsewhere) has ignored this report. Apparently the Berliner Zeitung ran a story, and www.tagesschau.de may do something. Other than that, silence, it seems. (Too busy reporting on military WMDs - imaginary or real.) The press release noted that the team was backed by Canadian NGOs and charities, but that "they did not receive any help from the Iraqi government". I find this disclaimer ironic, but someone was bound to come up with the rejoinder "it's all Iraqi propaganda". Sad. - What happened to common sense? Bush has children - and Rumsfeld, Powell, Albright (she who felt the price was worth it).... Their counterparts in Europe and elsewhere have children. Still European political leaders have been accessories to this crime for 12 years. What really seems to have upset European polititicans was Rumsfeld's perceived scorn for their cultural heritage. 'Old Europe indeed', they huff, citing with wounded pride Europe's democratic values, her humanistic values... values inspired by the Age of Enlightenment - also called the Age of Reason. Not unreasonably, America lays claim to the same heritage. Now together they are poised to destroy the helpless people of one of the oldest civilizations on earth - a civilization that never sank to the equivalent of the Dark Ages. This civilization has bestowed on the young western upstart, among many other things, knowledge about astronomy and algebra, ideas about free speech... and everything worth knowing about the fickle art of translation. In gratitude the West has now ensured that today 40 percent of children interviewed in Iraq are so traumatized that they think live is not worth living. Is the enlightened solution 'more bombing', Messrs. Bush and Blair? Are you proud of your 'humanistic values', Mr. Chirac, Mr. Schroeder, et al? What if the US destroyed European children? Or do children of les autres not count? -- Elga Sutter _______________________________________________ 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