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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
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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
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"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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