The immediacy of the unfolding tragedy in Iraq at times makes one forget that prior to the war, the nation had already endured twelve years of devastation sanctions, where the highest price was paid by the children of Iraq. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, 567,000 children had died already by the end of 1995 from the effects of the sanctions. Two courageous officials — Dennis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck — resigned their posts at the UN because they were unwilling to carry out a genocide masquerading as foreign policy.
To the American secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, this price was “worth it”. Here is, “Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq”, John Pilger’s moving portrait of the devastation wrought on the Iraqi society by the UN on behalf of US and UK.
Lancing the Spin
The best available scientific estimate of deaths due to the invasion and occupation of Iraq is 655,000, as of July 2006. Richard Horton, editor of the Lancet, wrote in Comment is Free earlier this week about the misuse of scientific advice by the government, and its attempts to discredit the research published in his journal.
A report on the BBC FOIA request, that revealed the government machinations in detail, can be read here.