Baghdad is an urban version

Baghdad is an urban version of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. The birds have gone as avenues of palms have died, and this was the land of dates. The splashes of colour, on fruit stalls, are surreal. A bunch of Dole bananas and a bag of apples from Beirut cost a teacher's salary for a month; only foreigners and the rich eat fruit. A currency that once was worth two dollars to the dinar is now worthless. The rich, the black marketeers, the regime's cronies and favourites, are not visible, except for an occasional tinted-glass late-model Mercedes navigating its way through the rustbuckets. Having been ordered to keep their heads down, they keep to their network of clubs and restaurants and well-stocked clinics, which make nonsense of the propaganda that the sanctions are hurting them, not ordinary Iraqis.
Nine years of economic sanctions against Iraq have resulted in the deaths of half a million children. As a policy of the United Nations, this is being done in your name. John Pilger writes about the shocking realities of everyday life in Iraq since the imposition of the sanctions.
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