End Evil

Child Poverty in Iraq

The UN human rights commission in Geneva has reported that Iraqi children were better off under Saddam Hussein than they are now.

The "War on terror" which allegedly brought Democracy to Iraq has doubled the number of children under five suffering from malnutrition. Before Saddam was removed from power around 4% of children under five suffered from malnutrition. Now the figure is nearer 8%.

At least the effect of Western meddling in Iraq is consistent. The sanctions we imposed in 1990 resulted in a six-fold increase in the number of children under five who died as a result of malnutrition. An estimated half a million Iraqi children had died by 1995, prompting Madeleine Albright's infamous comment "We think the price is worth it."

I suppose we should not be surprised at Albright's comment. The extent of "Collateral damage" (i.e. unnecessary civilian deaths) is a topic about which the US and UK are similarly coy. One unconvincing election supposedly makes up for an estimated 100,000 dead civilians. Admittedly, protecting children from poverty is not our strong point (but then neither is promoting democracy). An estimated 3.6 million British children live below the poverty line, and 12.9 million US children live in poverty.

Nonetheless, our Prime Minister still insists that invading Iraq with little or no evidence while lying to parliament was the right thing to do. Tony and George know that it is not the truth that counts - money talks, and unfortunately starving children are as not as generous in their campaign contributions as war profiteers such as Halliburton. Our moral high ground is illusory. The American dream has become a nightmare for the rest of the world but "Great" Britain is still buying it.

Posted 12th April 2005

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