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Re: The Independent: Article on depleted uranium in Basra

Dear Gabriel,

I was in Iraq during the month of july 2001, leading a solidarity
delegation. We also met with Dr Amer of the Basra teaching hospital. I was
wery impressed by the things he said. I don't think he mentioned the "banned
pencils" though. To my knowledge there have been no more total block on
importing pencils since the "memorandum of understanding". There are still
problems with imports of desks and other school necessaries like paper,
pencils and so on.  We had a meeting with the head of a school in Basra,
also responsable for the distribution of school necessaries obtained by the
"oil-for-food" programme. In the room were also three members of a
control-commission who were asking questions about what happened with the
schooldesks that were delivered (the wood might be used to build wooden
sheds for the army??!!). We heard the discussions, and my God, I seldom have
seen such arrogance. You cannot have a normal economic activity when you
don't receive what you ask, and being controlled like that all the time.
So it is highly probable, that if schools have problems to obtain the normal
necessaries, hospitals have the same problems with paper or pencils. Did you
know that the total cost of materials that reached Iraq between 26/12/1996
and 02/05/2001 for the sector of education was 46,70 million $, while 609,65
million $ was the allocated amount? Same situation for the high education:
cost of materials that reached Iraq was 48,60 million $ while the allocated
amount was 462,20 million $. Isn't it normal that there still are serious
shortages... also in pencils? So Andy Kershaw may be right !!

And of course you are right that smart sanctions won't solve the problem.
Only a total lifting of the blockade can solve the problem. I don't have to
explain why, because you know.

I had the impression that this Dr Amer was fully aware of what was going on
in the sanctions Committee, because he saw the consequences in the health
sector: Allocated amount: 2.861,90 million $, cost of materials that reached
 Iraq: 991,20 million $ (between 26/12/96 and 2/5/2001), that is 34,6%. All
the rest in "on hold" by the sanctions committee.

I found the article of Andy Kershaw extremely good, because it came from the
Dirk Adriaensens.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Voices uk" <>
To: "paul beck" <>;
Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2001 10:02 PM
Subject: 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
> have 'obtained a copy of recent 661 rulings', but then goes on to
> the old 'pencils are banned under sanctions' cannard. Certainly, I'd have
> thought that the doctor at the Basra teaching hospital would be amongst
> 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
> important, not least because the British Government's "smart" sanctions PR
> offensive relies heavily upon this misconception.
> Best wishes,
> Gabriel
> 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
> children's
> >hospital and is totally shocked by what he sees. Reports of high levels
> >childhood leukamia in Basra and a an almost twentyfold increase in
> >congenital abnormalities. He also comments on the disgrace of UN
> >661 that routinely blocks the sale to Iraq of essential medicines and
> >medical equipment.  It is good that The Independent is reporting this,
> >it should be front page news rather than on page 19.
> >Sincerely,
> >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
> >cancer.
> >
> >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
> >War.
> >
> >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
> >material.
> >
> >NATO and many health officials have denied that the munitions cause
> >cancer.
> >
> >Copyright  2001 Reuters Limited
> >
> >###
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