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]

[casi] re Washington Post article

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

Dear Colin,

Some questions that occurred to me as I read the article that "rang true" to you.

were penniless and the government strictly rationed milk and sugar to ensure
that the
country's embargoed food supplies covered necessities.
But those days are past."

How about some evidence? Is not the government still rationing food? Has the nutritional status of 
Iraqi children improved?  Colin, you say the ration is "adequate".Why then are such a high number 
of children chronically malnourished, if not because sanctions, in one form or another continue to 
starve and kill. What's an "adequate"  level of death from sanctions?

"Step by step, economic and social life is rebounding
and the country is breaking out of limits imposed on it by the United States and
Western powers after the Persian Gulf War a decade ago."

The fact that Iraq embargoed oil for a month is offered as evidence that Iraq is "flush". Needless 
to say this evidence proves no such thing - it is only evidence of Iraq's support for the 
Palestinian whereas the UK and US are basically happy to leave the Palestinians in the lurch, as 
they have for at least 35 years. This is true despite the fact that the Baath regime is a vicious 
dictatorship that tortures and murders it's own citizens.

"the country's resurgence". If this rings true to you then please explain to me what it means. In 
the context of what sanctions have done to the country this phrase seems to me an obscenity.

"the growing prosperity". If this is correct - if there IS growing prosperity - is it for the 
majority or the minority? This is not a trivial question.

The reporter claims that the Oil Minister says Iraq has been reconstructed, but, as part of the 
regime the Minister would say that wouldn't he? One would have to be fairly naive to believe this.

The reporter claims that oil is driving the "rebound". But numerous sources, as previously reported 
on this list suggest that the oil industry cannot sustain recovery without outside investment. Has 
something changed here? Or has the reporter simply denied facts he knows to be true, in order to 
create a false impression, so that sanctions can be kept in place? .

Per capita income is now $2500. Big deal. I certainly could not live on that. But then, I have to 
apply differnt standards to Iraqis than to myself, don't I? The reporter implies that Iraqis should 
be grateful for this pathetic level of income.

One engineering student is quoted as saying that "you can now find everything". Anecdotal evidence 
from one person. The reporter really worked hard at his research didn't he?

Colin, you say
 "The article notes in passing that this economic recovery has not reached

> Even such areas as an impoverished corner of Saddam City south of
> Baghdad are feeling gains. There, vegetable seller Rabbia Jassim at first
> pointed to his 6-year-old son's dilapidated sneakers and said that for the
> poorest in Iraq, many basics remain out of reach. But later he conceded
> there was some improvement: His family can now afford an occasional
chicken "

But this paragraph notes nothing of the sort. What it actually says is that things are improving, 
even for the poorest, based on anecdotal evidence, again from one person. Big claim, little 

The point about sanctions is not how much or little Iraq is improving under them, but how much they 
have harmed and continue to harm the country. The reporter is trying to turn a negative balance 
into a positive one, in order to imply that we may maintain sanctions without harming the Iraqi 
population. He has not convinced me. And what awful "journalism"!

Best wishes,   Tim


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]