from a Seattle Post-Intelligencer special report,
Life and Death in Iraq,
May 11 1999:


Gerri Haynes, who organized the Washington Physicians for Social
Responsibility trip to Iraq, is confronted by Um-Hafiz Saleemah at the
Dijlah School, an all-girls school. Saleemah wanted to know how
Americans could sit comfortably in their homes and allow the bombing
of Iraq to continue.

-Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 11, 1999

* The six-week Persian Gulf War in 1991 resulted in the large-scale destruction of military and civilian infrastructures.

* The sanctions imposed on Iraq - to force Saddam Hussein to allow the United Nations to dismantle or destroy Iraq’s long-range missiles and chemical, nuclear and biological weapons - and related circumstances have prevented the country from repairing all its damaged or destroyed infrastructure, and whenever attempts have been made, those have been incomplete. That applies to electricity-generating and water-purification plants, sewage-treatment facilities and communication and transportation networks. That has affected the quality of life of countless Iraqis, especially those belonging to the middle and lower economic levels who do not have alternatives or options to overcome the effects of the war and the sanctions.

* Iraq is an oil-rich country, which before the 1991 war was almost totally dependent on the import of food and medicine. Financial constraints as a result of the sanctions have prevented the necessary import of food and medicine.

* The vast majority of Iraq’s people has been on a semi-starvation diet for years.

* The reduction in the import of medicines, owing to a lack of financial resources, as well as a lack of minimum health care facilities, insecticides, pharmaceutical and other related equipment have crippled the health care services, which in prewar years were of a high quality.

* The effect of this situation on Iraq’s infant and child population is especially severe. From 1991 to 1998, children under 5 died from malnutrition-related diseases in numbers ranging from a conservative 2,690 a month to a more realistic 5,357 per monhth.

-Information taken from U.N. reports and interviews with U.N. officials.

VOICES ASKS, ALONG WITH SALEEMAH: How can we sit comfortably in our homes and allow this to continue?