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Re: figures, pencils and child mortality

Hello, all. The figures Dirk posts, unfortunately, do not address the 
question. There's no reason to think that 1999 figures would have improved 
substantially. What's needed are 2000 and 2001 figures. Even there, 
malnutrition figures are not sufficient -- everyone reports increased 
availability of medicine and access to medical treatment. If this doesn't 
reduce mortality, that would be stunning -- no matter the condition of the 

I read Dale's article. It makes points very similar to those I make when I 
write about smart sanctions.

The question is not whether or not sanctions should be lifted. The question 
is whether the situation is quite as bad as it was. I believe most people 
who have been to Iraq frequently thought things were better in 1998 than 
they were in 1995. I would be surprised if they haven't further improved.

I believe the point is not that progressive melioration of the sanctions 
regime won't lead to progressive easing of the crisis. It is rather that 
the sanctions, by virtue of involving external control of Iraq's principal 
revenue source, build in a fundamental constraint so that the degree to 
which the situation can improve is sharply limited.

The passing of 1284 and subsequent developments removed the cap on oil 
revenue and streamlined export of many goods so that, for example, there 
are no holds on food. The institution of a smart sanctions regime of the 
kind Bush wants would involve some improvements -- contracts not being held 
up - and some negatives, like the reduction of cash flow due to cracking 
down on smuggling and increased militarization of the region due to U.S. 
participation in monitoring of Iraq's land borders. If smart sanctions 
involved only melioration and no negatives, I would say, when I speak in 
public, that it's a band-aid and insufficient, but I wouldn't oppose it. 
People get very confused when you oppose improvements on the grounds that 
they're not sufficient. It's because of the negatives of smart sanctions 
that I oppose them.

The mention of hoarding was obviously an ironic reference to U.S. 
government propaganda.

I don't think Dirk helps the anti-sanctions movement either by illogical 
attacks on them (see Gabriel's post) or by being condescending to people 
who might disagree with him.

In solidarity,

Rahul Mahajan
>Hello all,
>In order to have a positive contribution to the discussions about figures, 
>I copied the latest statistics about malnutrition. Looking at these 
>figures, one can see that there is no major improvement, on the contrary. 
>Don't you think that there is a relation between the situation of 
>malnutrition and child mortality? I think there is.
>This clearly points out that the situation under the Memory of 
>Understanding has not improved the overall situation of the Iraqi people. 
>This situation has nothing to do with imported goods being "hoarded". I 
>mentioned "lack of clear water" as being one of the reasons for the futher 
>increase of child-mortality. The impossibility for the Iraqi's to rebuild 
>their economy is another one
>The figures also prove that the situation will not improve substantially, 
>unless economic sanctions are lifted altogether. I suggest to Rahul to 
>read the brilliant article of Dale Hildebrand about "smart" sanctions. 
>This article can be found at 
>Type of malnutrition<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = 
>"urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
>1997 april
>1997 oct
>1998 march
>1998 oct
>1999 april
>1999 nov
>General (underweight)
>Chronic (stunting)
>Acute (wasting)
>these figures are copied from: 
>I also copied here some facts that Felicity wrote in her mail of 
>16/1/2001, where she forwarded the INOC report.
>+   Diarrheal water-borne disease are the "prime killer of children" in 
>Iraq. Congressman Tony Hall visited Iraq in 2000 and wrote: "I share 
>UNICEF's concerns about the profound effects of increasing deterioration 
>of Iraq's water supply and sanitation systems on its children's 
>health.  The prime killer of children under five years of age - diarrheal 
>diseases - has reached epidemic proportions and they now strike four times 
>more often than they did in 1990."
>+   The water is unsafe because of our 1991 bombing of civilian 
>infrastructure and ten years of sanctions.  "The destruction of the 
>country's power plants had brought [Iraq's] entire system of water 
>purification and distribution to a halt, leading to epidemics of cholera, 
>typhoid fever, and gastroenteritis, particularly among children. ... [T]he 
>destruction of the infrastructure resulted in devastating long-term 
>effects on health." (New England Journal of Medicine, editorial, 
>4/24/97).  Congressman Tony Hall noted: "Holds on contracts [under the 
>UN's Oil-for-Food program] for water and sanitation sector are a prime 
>reason for the increases in sickness and death. ... Of the 18 contracts, 
>all but one hold was placed by the U.S.
>Government." (
>+   The Oil-for-Food program provided Iraq with 33 cents per person per 
>day [in the year 2000] of their own money for all of their 
>needs.  "$119.70 is the entire amount that Iraqi civilians got as benefits 
>under the Oil-for-Food program per person per year. ... This is for food, 
>for medicines, for water, for sanitation, for agriculture, for electricity 
>and for education.  That is nothing.  That is really nothing.  So ... each 
>time I say what I say to you now, I get really upset -- on the 5th of 
>December [2000] ... the US
>Ambassador to the Security Council [went] before the Council and says the 
>US government is satisfied that the oil for food program meets the needs 
>of the Iraqi people. ... I can't comprehend it? (Seattle speech by 
>resigned-in-protest Iraq Humanitarian Aid Coordinator, Hans von Sponeck, 
>Dirk Adriaensens.

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