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[casi] Re: Newsnight 20/03/03

Helen Liddell (a Government Minister) was allowed to rattle off the
following list as helping to justify a war against Iraq:

they want to help the Iraqi people
4 million Iraqi's in exile
60% of Iraqi's rely on food aid
infant mortality is worse than the Congo

The presenter Kirsty Wark let this barefaced cheek pass without

I cannot believe that Helen would have dared to be so dishonest
unless she knew that she wouldn't be challenged on this.

I have a full time job which has nothing to do with current affairs.
I find it hard to believe that your journalists are not adequately
informed on such major issues. It seems like the BBC suffers from
institutional blindness on Iraq especially with respect to sanctions.

OUR government (and the US) has been the cause of the above suffering
through the deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure in the
Gulf War and the genocidal sanctions.

There is almost nothing by the BBC of course so you could try
watching the John Pilger Channel 4 documentary on sanctions,
interviewing Denis Halliday and Hans Von Sponeck who resigned
(unreported by the BBC of course) in protest at our sanctions policy
because of the effects on the Iraqi people, the UNICEF report on the
sanctions etc.

Another approach would be to compare the living standards of Iraqis
before we attacked them and now.

Incidentally later in the same programme a guest on the show
effectively confirmed what I've said by saying that this time the
US/UK would be careful about the infrastructure because of the pain
and suffering to the Iraqi people.

Mark Parkinson

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