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]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [casi] where did the baby-parades story originate?

Dear Nicholas,

When posting the story on this list I gave as source:

" ...

Doctors tell how children's deaths became propaganda
By Matthew McAllester in Baghdad
May 24 2003 ..."

Another 'sighting' similiar in content was made in the Toronto Star.
See article below.




May. 24, 2003. 01:00 AM

MDs now blame Saddam, not sanctions, in babies' deaths
Doctors forced to refrigerate the dead

Tiny corpses saved for propaganda


BAGHDAD—Throughout the 13 years of U.N. sanctions on Iraq that were ended
Thursday, Iraqi doctors told the world that the sanctions were the sole
cause for the rocketing mortality rate among Iraqi children.

"It is one of the results of the embargo," Dr. Ghassam Rashid Al-Baya told
Newsday on May 9, 2001, at Baghdad's Ibn Al-Baladi hospital, just after a
dehydrated baby named Ali Hussein died on his treatment table. "This is a
crime on Iraq."

It was a scene repeated in hundreds of newspaper articles by reporters who
were required to be escorted by minders from Saddam Hussein's information

Now free to speak, the doctors at two Baghdad hospitals, including Ibn
Al-Baladi, tell a very different story. Along with parents of dead children,
they said in interviews this week that Saddam turned the children's deaths
into propaganda, notably by forcing hospitals to save babies' corpses to
have them publicly paraded.

All the evidence shows the spike in children's deaths was tragically real —
roughly, a doubling of the mortality rate during the '90s, humanitarian
organizations say. But the reason has been fiercely argued, and the new
accounts by Iraqi doctors and parents alter the debate.

Under the sanctions regime, "We had the ability to get all the drugs we
needed," said Ibn Al-Baladi's chief resident, Dr. Hussein Shihab. "Instead
of that, Saddam Hussein spent all the money on his military force and put
all the fault on the U.S.A. Yes, of course the sanctions hurt — but not too
much, because we are a rich country and we have the ability to get
everything we can by money. But instead, he spent it on his palaces."

The U.S. government and others long have blamed Saddam's spending habits for
the poor health of Iraqis and their children. For years, the Iraqi
government, some Western officials and a vocal anti-sanctions movement said
U.N. restrictions on Iraqi imports and exports were at fault.

"Saddam Hussein, he's the murderer, not the U.N.," said Dr. Azhar Abdul
Khadem, a resident at the Al-Alwiya maternity hospital in Baghdad.

Doctors said they were forced to refrigerate dead babies in hospital morgues
until the authorities were ready to gather the little corpses for monthly
parades in small coffins on the roofs of taxis for the benefit of Iraqi TV
and visiting reporters.

The parents were ordered to wail with grief — no matter how many weeks had
passed since their babies had died — and to shout to the cameras that the
sanctions had killed their children, the doctors said. Afterward, the
parents would be rewarded with food or money.

The propaganda campaign was organized by the ministries of health and
information and by the Iraqi intelligence service, the Mukhabarat, said the
doctors and a former agent in another of Iraq's security agencies, the
General Security Service.

"The Mukhabarat would go all over Iraq gathering the dead bodies, put them
in coffins, make a whole line, put them on top of taxis and make big
propaganda out of it," said the former agent, who asked that only his first
name, Walid, be published.


----- Original Message -----
From: "N. Martin" <>
To: "CASI Discuss" <>
Sent: Montag, 26. Mai 2003 20:37
Subject: [casi] where did the baby-parades story originate?

Dear Discuss List,

does anyone know where the
Baby-Parade-A-Farce/Sanction-Suffering-was-Saddam's-Fault story originated
and where it has appeared? it has been around for a good half week or week
now, long before the telegraph "revealed" anything. CASI is preparing a
press release on the matter, and this information could be useful.



Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]