Who Is Responsible for the Plight of the Iraqi People?
In the Opinion page article Why Are You Doing This to Us? Feb. 10, the author makes some compassionate and compelling points about the actual effectiveness of the United Nations sanctions being imposed on Iraq. However, she should be cautioned against applying the findings from her visit to all the people of Iraq when discussing the current situation there.
I recently returned from a two-week trip to northern Iraq where I toured refugee shelters, tent cities, and cities such as Sulaymania and Halabja. The Kurdish people would not agree with the author's comment that "Saddam Hussein is not their 'Hitler. And, unlike those the author spoke with, the Kurdish would not dispute that Saddam is to blame for "their current tragic plight."
The conditions in the north were in some cases heartbreaking to see. And yet, as the author said, "they are hungry with dignity."
My impression after talking to the Kurdish people in the north was that they felt that sanctions were difficult but they want Saddam out. They are also suffering from an internal embargo in which Saddam has completely cut the north off from any materials or food. The UN is trying to keep up with the demand, but the needs are great.
There are no easy answers to ending the pain and suffering in Iraq. One way or another, Saddam Hussein has got to be taken out of power. Let's just hope that it happens soon and that all of the Iraqi people will be given the freedom to live as they choose. Suzanne Hickman, Minneapolis The Kurdish Relief Fund
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