A recent survey conducted by the Iraqi ministries of planning and health, and supported by the UN World Food Program and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has found that Iraqi children are suffering from chronic malnutrition as a result of three years of war following the US attacks, invasion and occupation of their country.
The report on food security and vulnerability in Iraq said almost one child in every 10 aged between six months and five years, suffered acute malnourishment. It described Iraqi children as major victims of food insecurity. The situation is alarming.
The report continued with the frightening revelation that four million Iraqis, roughly 15 per cent of the population, were in dire need of humanitarian aid including food. This is up from 11 per cent in a 2003 report.
Undoubtedly Saddam Hussein's ruinous adventure against Iran saw its domestic situation affected but that was terribly worsened by the US-led war in 1991 and the Anglo-American crippling economic sanctions in the 1990s.
But the worst arrived in the aftermath of the recent US-led invasion. Compounded by widespread violence, thanks to Donald Rumsfeld pathetic disposition of insufficient troops, the unmitigated killings prevented any hope of a return to normal life for Iraqis. The severe violence hindered humanitarian aid efforts. As the occupier of Iraq, the Americans must be held responsible. "You break it, you buy it".
However, Israel should be pleased with this report: "Decades of conflict and economic sanctions have had serious effects on Iraqis. Their consequences have been rising unemployment, illiteracy and, for some families, the loss of wage earners."
That should prevent any Iraqi adventure against Israel. Until recently, Israel had two principal enemies - Iraq and Iran. Now it has one. Yes, one down with one to go, and Washington has been working very hard to satisfy its master. That has been why Iran is enjoying the dubious attention of the USA despite US Intelligence saying that Iran is some 10 years away from developing any nuclear bombs.
But I am sure in the meantime US Intelligence satellites would 'happen to chance' upon a trailer or two in an Iranian desert, which would be analysed as bio-chemical labs or mobile nuclear enrichment plants a la pre-war Iraq, which Condoleeza Rice could take to the UNSC, all complete with slide projectors for an American 'show & tell' - or a variation of such fabrications that Colin Powell has still been agonising over.
David Singh, a spokesman for UNICEF's Iraq Support Centre in neighbouring Jordan, said the number of acutely malnourished children had more than doubled, to 9 per cent in 2005 from 4 per cent in 2002, the last year of Saddam's rule. He warned that unless there is a period of relative stability in Iraq, those children are going to continue to face chronic malnutrition.
No wonder Iraqis have been saying - "Has our situation improved since Saddam Hussein was deposed? Bloody No!"
Well, the Iraqis now enjoy the democratic right to starve, thanks to George Bush for his stupidity in being manipulated into a war for another country's interests.
Roger Wright, UNICEF's special representative for Iraq, added: "This can irreversibly hamper the young child's optimal mental/cognitive development, not just their physical development."
Maybe George Bush wants them to deteriorate down to his level, mentally that is.
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