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From 2000. Squeezed to Death. Iraq after years of sanctions. John Pilger paints sad image. [View All]

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-17-13 01:21 AM
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From 2000. Squeezed to Death. Iraq after years of sanctions. John Pilger paints sad image.
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I am so thankful that Rachel Maddow is going have the special, Hubris, next week.

Those of us here at DU in 2002 were in shock what our country was doing. I posted this article years ago. I have wondered how in the world they could have been any kind of threat to us after all those years of sanctions and daily bombings.

From the Guardian UK March 2004:

Squeezed to Death

Wherever you go in Iraq's southern city of Basra, there is dust. It gets in your eyes and nose and throat. It swirls in school playgrounds and consumes children kicking a plastic ball. "It carries death," said Dr Jawad Al-Ali, a cancer specialist and member of Britain's Royal College of Physicians. "Our own studies indicate that more than 40 per cent of the population in this area will get cancer: in five years' time to begin with, then long afterwards. Most of my own family now have cancer, and we have no history of the disease. It has spread to the medical staff of this hospital. We don't know the precise source of the contamination, because we are not allowed to get the equipment to conduct a proper scientific survey, or even to test the excess level of radiation in our bodies. We suspect depleted uranium, which was used by the Americans and British in the Gulf War right across the southern battlefields."

Under economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council almost 10 years ago, Iraq is denied equipment and expertise to clean up its contaminated battle-fields, as Kuwait was cleaned up. At the same time, the Sanctions Committee in New York, dominated by the Americans and British, has blocked or delayed a range of vital equipment, chemotherapy drugs and even pain-killers. "For us doctors," said Dr Al-Ali, "it is like torture. We see children die from the kind of cancers from which, given the right treatment, there is a good recovery rate." Three children died while I was there.


A 95% literacy rate before the 1st Gulf war.

"The change in 10 years is unparalleled, in my experience," Anupama Rao Singh, Unicef's senior representative in Iraq, told me. "In 1989, the literacy rate was 95%; and 93% of the population had free access to modern health facilities. Parents were fined for failing to send their children to school. The phenomenon of street children or children begging was unheard of. Iraq had reached a stage where the basic indicators we use to measure the overall well-being of human beings, including children, were some of the best in the world. Now it is among the bottom 20%. In 10 years, child mortality has gone from one of the lowest in the world, to the highest."


More about the care being withheld:

Just before Christmas, the department of trade and industry in London blocked a shipment of vaccines meant to protect Iraqi children against diphtheria and yellow fever. Dr Kim Howells told parliament why. His title of under secretary of state for competition and consumer affairs, eminently suited his Orwellian reply. The children's vaccines were banned, he said, "because they are capable of being used in weapons of mass destruction". That his finger was on the trigger of a proven weapon of mass destruction - sanctions - seemed not to occur to him. A courtly, eloquent Irishman, Denis Halliday resigned as co-ordinator of humanitarian relief to Iraq in 1998, after 34 years with the UN; he was then Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, one of the elite of senior officials. He had made his career in development, "attempting to help people, not harm them". His was the first public expression of an unprecedented rebellion within the UN bureaucracy. "I am resigning," he wrote, "because the policy of economic sanctions is totally bankrupt. We are in the process of destroying an entire society. It is as simple and terrifying as that . . . Five thousand children are dying every month . . . I don't want to administer a programme that results in figures like these."


Just including this as a background on the voices of both parties. In These Times has a paragraph called The B Team.

Strangers to the Truth

The B team

On the other side of the aisle are the shining lights of the Democratic Party, James Carville, Stanley Greenberg and Bob Shrum (the consultant who ran Kerrys campaign and shied away from confronting the Swift Boat Veterans). These three men founded the Democracy Corps, a nonprofit dedicated to making the government of the United States more responsive to the American people. Recall that on Oct. 3, 2002, prior to the Iraq war resolution votes, Democracy Corps advised Capitol Hill Democrats: This decision to support or oppose an Iraq war resolution will take place in a setting where voters, by 10 points, prefer to vote for a member who supports a resolution to authorize force (50 to 40 percent). In other words, Carville and friends advised Democrats to cater to public opinion and let Bush have his war.


This invasion will define us forever. Perhaps Rachel's special Monday will bring it to the forefront again so our younger Americans won't forget.

Crossposted at DU3

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