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Fair, Accurate, Balanced?
What about the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children?


Facts as reported elsewhere:


How The Seattle Times put it:

February 11, 2002
"The sanctions are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iraqis -- mostly children and the elderly -- each month, according to human rights groups and U.N. aid officials." 1 The Seattle P-I ending its front-page story.



February 11, 2002
"U.N. sanctions, in force since Saddam sent troops into Kuwait in August 1990, have made spare parts hard to get." 5 A front-page story and full-page of related stories contains only this one mention of sanctions.


June 21, 2000
"The sanctions regime against Iraq is unequivocally illegal under existing international humanitarian law and human rights law. Some would go as far as making a charge of genocide." 2 Report of the U.N. Sub-commission on Human Rights.



October 15, 2001
"President Saddam Hussein has blamed the U.S. support of U.N. sanctions imposed after the Gulf War for hardships facing his country, particularly its children." 6 The only mention of the sanctions in a 12-page "Understanding the Conflict: An In-depth Primer".


May 17, 2001
"According to U.N. reports and Seattle Post-Intelligencer interviews in Baghdad, since 1991, between 2,690 and 5,357 children under the age of 5 died each month as a direct result of the sanctions." 3 Front-page, Seattle P-I.



May 17, 2001
"Iraq has long complained that the sanctions have led to hunger and deaths among its people." 7 In a front-page story on 'smart sanctions' this is the only mention of the effect of sanctions in the entire article.


September 24, 1992
"These results provide strong evidence that the Gulf war and trade sanctions caused a threefold increase in mortality among Iraqi children under five years of age. We estimate that an excess of more that 46,900 children died between January and August 1991." 4 The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 327, pp. 931-936. [Over eight months, this equals 5,862 children’s deaths a month.]


February 21, 2000
"Last August, UNICEF estimated that half a million more Iraqi children under 5 have died since the embargo began than expected under a normal infant mortality rate before the 1991 Persian Gulf war." 8 This is the only time that Unicef's reporting of 500,000 Iraqi children's deaths appears in the news section -- half a year after the report -- despite appearing in three editorials.


1 http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/attack/57817_axis11.shtml

2 http://www.unicef.org/newsline/99pr29.htm

3 http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/23418_iraq17.shtml

4 http://www.scn.org/ccpi/infrastructure.html#nejm

5 http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=iraqarmy11&date=20020211

6 http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/news/nation-world/crisis/foreign/

7 http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=iraq17&date=20010517

8 http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=smug&date=20000221&query=Iraq+unicef+million+children


Posted on February 24, 2002.
Updated on April 5, 2002.
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