Letter: Saddam's lie
Monday 25 January 1999
Sir: I am astonished that you can publish such a letter as the one purporting to come from the Department of Journalism, University of Texas, when the contents appear to be straight out of Saddam Hussein's propaganda machine. Yet again we see the lie repeated, namely that it is the Western trade embargo creating the shortage of medicines etc in Iraq whereas anybody with half a brain, or rather without a tonne of anti-American prejudice, knows full well that the only obstacle to a free flow of medical supplies is Saddam Hussein who prefers to let his people die in order to put pressure on the world for the embargo to be lifted. You can be sure that none of Saddam Hussein's coterie suffers from lack of medical supplies or indeed from any other luxury they want, paid for from the illicit funds that Iraq still earns and mainly uses for the armed forces.
I would join in applauding those voluntary groups supplying medicines and toys to "dying children" in Iraq, though presumably they are in breach of US law and are bound to face action and would have known that before embarking on their mission. What is unforgivable is the way that the signatories to this letter are perversely using this situation to call for an end to sanctions.
Iraq can end sanctions tomorrow by simply honouring its agreements signed at the end of the Gulf War. It is as simple as that.
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