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Re: The Independent: Article on depleted uranium in Basra

It is, of course, great that Kershaw is writing about these things (which
certainly *should* be front page news) but I'm curious as to where he got
his information regarding the Sanctions Committee. For example, he claims to
have 'obtained a copy of recent 661 rulings', but then goes on to reproduce
the old 'pencils are banned under sanctions' cannard. Certainly, I'd have
thought that the doctor at the Basra teaching hospital would be amongst the
last people to know what's going on in the Sanctions Committee.

It also needs to be stressed that, despite their well-documented negative
impact on the implementation of 'oil for food', 'holds' (and the Sanctions
Committee) *aren't* at the root of the current humanitarian crisis. This is
important, not least because the British Government's "smart" sanctions PR
offensive relies heavily upon this misconception.

Best wishes,

voices uk

-----Original Message-----
From: paul beck <>
To: farbuthnot <>; <>
Date: 01 December 2001 19:17
Subject: The Independent: Article on depleted uranium in Basra

>Dear All,
>Today in The Independent Sat. 1 December, Andy Kershaw writes from Basra,
>Iraq. He gives an account of his visit to the Basra maternity and
>hospital and is totally shocked by what he sees. Reports of high levels of
>childhood leukamia in Basra and a an almost twentyfold increase in
>congenital abnormalities. He also comments on the disgrace of UN committee
>661 that routinely blocks the sale to Iraq of essential medicines and
>medical equipment.  It is good that The Independent is reporting this, but
>it should be front page news rather than on page 19.
>Paul Beck
>----- Original Message -----
>From: farbuthnot <>
>To: <>
>Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2001 1:20 PM
>Subject: FW: US Wins???
>Published on Friday, November 30, 2001 by Reuters
>Going Backwards
>US Wins Defeat of Depleted Uranium Study
>by Irwin Arieff
> UNITED NATIONS - After lobbying by Washington, the General Assembly
>rejected yesterday an Iraqi proposal that the UN study the effects of
>the depleted-uranium shells used by US-led forces in the Gulf War.
>Baghdad has insisted for years that there is a link between the depleted
>uranium used in armor-piercing weapons during the 1991 war and an
>increase in the number of Iraqis with leukemia and other kinds of
>Iraq's Health Ministry has said that cancer cases rose to 10,931 in 1997
>from 6,555 in 1989, especially in areas bombed during the war, in which
>a US-led coalition drove Iraq out of Kuwait after it invaded its
>oil-rich neighbor.
>The 189-nation General Assembly voted down the Iraqi plan 45-54, with 45
>abstentions. The assembly's committee on disarmament and international
>security had approved the plan earlier this month, 49-45.
>Diplomats credited a lobbying campaign by Washington for the turnaround.
>Acting at Baghdad's request, the World Health Organization began an
>in-depth study this year of the health impact of depleted-uranium
>munitions used in Iraq. Baghdad has cited studies saying that coalition
>forces used 944,000 depleted-uranium shells against Iraq during the Gulf
>A resolution drafted by Iraq said the shells had spread radioactive
>particles and chemical dust over large areas and contaminated ''animal
>and plant life and the soil.''
>It asked UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to survey UN member nations and
>relevant outside groups ''on all aspects of the effects of the use of
>depleted-uranimum armaments'' and submit a report on his findings to the
>assembly next year.
>The use of ammunition containing depleted uranium sparked a furor across
>Europe earlier this year, after some allied peacekeepers in Bosnia and
>Kosovo said they had developed leukemia because of exposure to the
>NATO and many health officials have denied that the munitions cause
>Copyright  2001 Reuters Limited
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