Friday, March 28, 2003

Today - A Day Of Shame - John Pilger

".. Yesterday, Blair said that 400,000 Iraqi children had died in the past five years from malnutrition and related causes. He said "huge stockpiles of humanitarian aid" and clean water awaited them in Kuwait, if only the Iraqi regime would allow safe passage. In fact, voluminous evidence, including that published by the United Nations Children's Fund, makes clear that the main reason these children have died is an enduring siege, a 12-year embargo driven by America and Britain. As of last July, $5.4 billion worth of humanitarian supplies, approved by the UN and paid for by the Iraqi government, were blocked by Washington, with the Blair government's approval. The former assistant secretary general of the UN, Denis Halliday, who was sent to Iraq to set up the "oil for food programme", described the effects of the embargo as "nothing less than genocide". Similar words have been used by his successor, Hans Von Sponeck. Both men resigned in protest, saying the embargo merely reinforced the power of Saddam. Both called Blair a liar."

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