Monday, May 16, 2005

Did You Know

. . . that children in Iraq are worse off today than they were under Saddam Hussein? That's the conclusion of a UN agency report issued at the end of March. You can read the AP story about it here, or look at the official UN report here. The AP story opens this way:

The war in Iraq and its aftermath have almost doubled malnutrition rates among Iraqi children, a UN specialist on hunger has told the world's major human rights body.

Acute malnutrition rates among Iraqi children under five rose late last year to 7.7 per cent from four per cent after the ouster of President Saddam Hussein in April 2003, said Jean Ziegler, the UN Human Rights Commission's special expert on the right to food.

We know that the humanitarian justification for the war was a fig leaf devised after the fact to distract Americans from Bush's lies about weapons of mass destruction and Saddam's "ties to al-Qaeda." But it would be nice to believe that the US was doing some good for the people in Iraq, even if it were an accidental by-product of the administration's imperial revenge fantasies. Now it appears we can't even believe that.

Incidentally, my online search of the New York Times archive turned up no reference to this report. On what possible basis can this news be deemed "unfit to print"?
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