Tuesday, February 2, 2010

nine-eleven versus nine-one-o-one

"Health Ministry Statistics say that the incidence of abnormal births has increased 400-fold since 1991. The Iraqis also say that, all told, 1.7m children have died because of the various effects of UN sanctions."
- The Economist, September 14th 2002, p 39

Notice the date: a year after 9/11, the Economist decides to publish a piece of the utmost interest in a casual and disinterested manner. What has been brewing under Bill Clinton, John Major and Tony Blair between 1991 and 2001 appears as though it had been the work of the previous year. Furthermore, the article occupies only three-quarters of the page, whereas the Economist constantly prints surveys of a dozen pages and briefings of three to four pages. Why this extreme economy? The Economist was a rabid supporter of the 'war' against Iraq: its willful neglect of the subject wears the aspect of a fig-leaf. Moreover, by placing the article in an issue before 9/11 in a style suitable to the gravity of the subject, the newspaper would have thrown light on why 9/11 occurred: 2,700 Americans died because nearly 2 million Iraqi children were killed. While we hear constantly about 9/11, we never hear about '91/'01 – nine-eleven versus nine-one-o-one.

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