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Re: [casi] re: Yasser's e-mail

Dear Gabriel

There are those who will deny any and every progress made in Iraq since
1968! To them the sun stopped shining on Iraq ever since Saddam or the
Baathist came to power!.
They are robbing ordinary people,  not SH only, who made
such progress possible. It is unfair for the hundreds of thousands of
scientist, engineers, doctors, teachers .. who worked very very hard for
years to make Iraq a better place to live in. Most of them were sent , by
the governments, to study  abroad and could have stayed in the UK. They
elected to go back to make life better. It is disgraceful to deny their

Best Regards
Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar
Baghdad, Iraq
----- Original Message -----
From: "Voices uk" <>
To: "CASI discussion list" <>
Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2002 9:23 PM
Subject: [casi] re: Yasser's e-mail

> Yasser describes Tony Maturin's claim that, prior to August 1990, the
> Government 'had invested heavily in social programmes' as ridiculous. Yet
> even the sternest critics of the Iraqi regime acknowledge something of
> sort.
> Thus, for example, Kanan Makiya writes, in his famous book 'Republic of
> Fear' (first published in 1989) that 'a regime of terror actually presided
> over an across-the-board increase in the standard of living in Iraq, and
> significantly improved the lot of the most destitute layers, furthering
> levelling of income differentials that began after 1958.'
> Makiya continues:
> 'The changes are impressive: the prices of most basic necessities were
> stabilized by state subsidy; the minimum daily wage greatly increased over
> the rate of inflation, which was kept low; new labour laws provided
> job security; the state became an employer of last resort for all
> free education and health care was provided; and per capita national
> increased from 195 ID in 1970 to 7564 in 1979.'
> Makiya goes on to note 'the enormous expansion of medical services, the
> electrification of villages, the vast network of new roads that crisscross
> the country, forward-looking social legislation, the development of
> transport systems, telecommunications, industrialization, and massive
> housing projects.'
> Obviously none of this happened by magic and it's important to acknowledge
> this basic reality.
> Some more information about these matters is reproduced below.
> Best wishes,
> Gabriel
> voices in the wilderness uk
> ************************************************************
> Excerpt from Voices UK's May 2000 briefing 'Spinning the Sanctions'
> Foreign Office Claim: "There is no guarantee that if sanctions were lifted
> the Iraqi regime ... would give any greater priority to the humanitarian
> needs of the Iraqi people than it does now"
> Voices' comment: In a 1997 report three economists from the LSE [London
> School of Economics] noted that outside commentators have tended to
> political absolutism with absolute appropriation of public resources for
> private ends", assuming that "the over-riding and exclusive financial
> priorities of the Iraqi leadership are to amass private wealth and to
> bolster the state's coercive apparatus". In fact, they observed, "[w]hile
> there is no doubt that private appropriation and military expenditure are
> important priorities for the Iraqi leadership, commitment to social
> is also an important government priority in its own right"
> They noted that the Iraqi Government's commitment to social welfare was
> new found" and had to be "viewed in the historical context of welfarist
> interventions by successive governments in Iraq" :
> "These interventions, which include action by the government on a variety
> social and welfare issues, such as education (particularly the education
> girls), public health care, development of infrastructure and indeed
> land reforms, have been consistent and substantial features of public
> at least since the late 1950s."
> According to epidemiologist Richard Garfield there was an "accelerated
> decline" in infant and child mortality rates during the 1980's despite "a
> major diversion of economic resources to war" and
> "access to doctors and hospitals improved, the population continued to
> become more urban, clean water became more accessible, food prices
> stable and immunisation coverage improved"
> "Just a decade ago, Iraq boasted one of the most modern infrastructures
> highest standards of living in the middle east" with a "modern, complex
> health care system" and "sophisticated water-treatment and pumping
> facilities" (Iraq : A Decade of Sanctions, International Committee of the
> Red Cross, December 1999).
> Looking forward, we must realise the importance of Baghdad's longstanding
> commitment to public health and education, the role played by such
> investments in securing the Ba'ath Party's appeal to its supporters, and
> huge pent-up demand for these public services caused by (and blamed on)
> economic sanctions. The Foreign Office deftly avoids some awkward
> when it points out (correctly) that there can be 'no guarantees' of
> increased Iraqi government spending on social welfare programmes after the
> lifting of sanctions. There is only one guarantee: as long as the economic
> sanctions continue, thousands of children will continue to die every
> in large part because of the cruelty and indifference of the British
> Office.
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