Archive for Saturday, March 20, 1999

U.S.-IRAQ POLICY

March 20, 1999

Advertisement

To the editor:

Reading Lara Jost's letter of March 16, I wonder whether it is clear that our protests about U.S. policy toward Iraq are that sanctions prohibit all kinds of humanitarian aid. Don Moseley, who spoke in Lawrence recently, broke U.S. law and the sanctions policy by taking medical journals with up-to-date information about children's diseases, and medicines, to Iraqi doctors.

Also, some people apparently think that the oil for food deal with Iraq results in money being handed over to Saddam Hussein. The money is used by United Nations personnel to buy food, and limited amounts of medicine. This material aid is administered by 250 U.N. personnel at scattered sites throughout Iraq. Saddam is drawing on his Swiss accounts, or other sources, to build new palaces while thousands of children die. Meanwhile he points to the sanctions, sanctions against humanitarian aid as well as military materials, as the source of Iraqi people's problems.

The United Nations with United States agreement has authorized increased oil sales from Iraq. However the pumping equipment that would send additional oil to market was destroyed by bombing. Sanctions prohibit Iraq from importing the repairs for these oil pumping stations.

Repairs to water purification plants and sewage disposal plants, targeted in the war, also are prohibited. Lack of these sanitary facilities results in much disease, especially deadly among children.

Ours is a strange and inhumane policy that hasn't differentiated military supplies and equipment from medical journals, medicines and repairs to sanitary facilities.

Eventually Saddam will be gone. A bitter, angry people will remain as our legacy. Then who will lead the Iraqi people, and to what objectives?

Mark Larson,

706 Ill.

Student responds

To the editor:

According to the "teaser" for the lead story in last Sunday's local section, "college students make it tough on the poor here by ... driving up housing costs." Really? Is it the college students who drive up the rent, or is it the landlords who slap a padlock on the outside of a large closet and call it a $250 a month studio apartment, or who buy a charming old home in the Oread and hack it up into ten substandard dwellings, while they sleep peacefully at home on a nice soft pile of their tenants money as a good building falls into disrepair?

To be fair, I have had landlords in this town who were good, decent people who charged a fair rate for a good dwelling, but these people seem to be a vanishing breed as everybody and their cousin jump in on the gold rush of big bucks for sad shacks. But, as usual, it's easier to blame things on the students than the landed gentry.

Kory Willis,

936 1/2 Mass.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.