Monday, May 31, 2004

You wrote, "You scream about Halliburton and Bechtel but bury stories about the UN oil-for-food scandal. I read stories complaining about the fact that 500,000 children had died due to poor malnutrition and lack of medicine as a result of sanctions, and now we find out that the "braintrust" of the United Nations was on the take and Saddam was pocketing the kickbacks. So...WHOSE fault is it that a half a million children lost their lives due to malnutrition and lack of medicine? "

You may think you are making some great point but you are not, you are ignorant of the facts. The 500,000 children died BEFORE the oil for food program was even instituted.

The stringent economic sanctions were imposed on Iraq in August 1990. In August 1995 the UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) reported that there had been a fivefold increase in child mortality in Iraq since the imposition of sanctions. It is a 1995 UN report that is the source of the info about the 500,000 children dead.

On the show 60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl asked Madeleine Albright about it:

Lesley Stahl: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it.

--60 Minutes (5/12/96)

The first Iraqi oil under the Oil-for-Food Programme was exported in December

1996 and the first shipments of food arrived in March 1997

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