More on David Cortwright

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Dec 12 08:33:40 MST 2002

Letter to the Nation, Nov. 15, 2001

Killing Sanctions in Iraq

New Haven, Conn.

David Cortright's "A Hard Look at Iraq Sanctions" [Dec.
3]( was a
slick attempt to defend a ten-year war against innocent civilians.
Cortright charges that the number of dead is commonly overestimated by
critics of sanctions, usually alleged to be a million. He claims the
most reliable studies estimate that the number of Iraqi children under 5
who died is actually 350,000. Curiously, he makes no attempt to estimate
the number of children over 5 who perished, or the elderly who died of
malnutrition or the sick adults finished off by lack of medicine. If
Cortright is correct and critics (who base their figures on UN and NGO
studies) are wrong, that's wonderful news indeed. Hundreds of thousands
presumed dead are still alive. But why is he doing The James Rubin,
figuring out every which way to blame the Iraqis for what is being done
to them?

He says the sanctions would have ended if Iraq had been more
accommodating to the arms inspectors. Rubbish. Presidents Bush and
Clinton both swore the sanctions would not end until Saddam Hussein was
removed from power. Cortright also faults Iraq for not agreeing to "oil
for food" sooner. I'm no defender of the tyrant and war criminal Saddam,
but it was a hard call. Any Iraqi leader would try to protect oil, the
country's only natural resource. Has Iraq been treated fairly in the
five years since "oil for food"? $44 billion in oil has been sold, but
only $13.3 billion worth of goods has been delivered to the Iraqi


Middle East Crisis Committee

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