Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sanctions kill poor people

Last night my mom told me about her relatives who died in 1991. I have written about my mother's aunt (we called her 3amma), who suffered from asthma in her later years. After sanctions were imposed on Iraq in August, 1990, asthma inhalers were nowhere to be found in Baghdad, and soon after she ran out of her medicine, during the intense bombing in January, 1991, she died. My cousin told me how difficult it was during the bombing to transport her body from Baghdad to Najaf for burial.

My mom also told me about my cousin's wife's mother, who had adult-onset diabetes. She developed a kidney infection during the summer of 1991. With no antibiotics in any Iraqi pharmacy, she died. Countless Iraqis died as a result of sanctions. Rich Iraqis were not affected by sanctions. Sanctions only made Saddam stronger, which is perhaps why Saddam said no in 2001 to a British proposal to ease sanctions.

So maybe it's not quite true to claim that none of my relatives have been killed by the US.

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