Too much suffering

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, April 11, 2005

An article in the March 30, 2005, Toronto Globe and Mail, "The End of Hussein didn't mean freedom from hunger in Iraq," brings into question what good has come from our invasion of Iraq. According to Mr. Jean Ziegler, the U.N. Human Rights Commissioner's special expert on the right to food, almost twice as many Iraqi children are suffering from malnutrition since the U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein. Four per cent of Iraqis under age 5 went hungry in the months after Mr. Hussein's ouster in April 2003, but the rate nearly doubled to 7.7 percent last year. Mr. Ziegler added that "More than a quarter of Iraqi children do not get enough to eat."

Mr. Ziegler said that the situation is "a result of the war led by coalition forces."

Our United Nations delegation did not respond to the report, and diplomats at our mission to the United Nations' European headquarters in Geneva refused to comment.

Mr. Ziegler also cited an October 2004 U.S. study estimating that as many as 100,000 more Iraqis "many of them women and children" had died since the start of the U.S.-led invasion than would have been expected otherwise, based on the mortality rate before the war. "Most died as a result of the violence, but many others died as a result of the increasingly difficult living conditions, reflected in increasing child mortality levels," he said.

Add to these Iraqi deaths the 1,500 U.S. soldiers who have died in Iraq, the many thousands more wounded and maimed, and the billions of dollars spent and one can only wonder how much longer we will allow this unnecessary and unjust war to continue.

Mike Turek


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