Sunday, January 21, 2007

Lying Like It's 2003

claims Frank Rich in The New York Times today.
When the vice president went on a tear like this in 2003, hawking Iraq’s nonexistent W.M.D. and nonexistent connections to Mohamed Atta, he set the stage for a war that now kills Iraqi civilians in rising numbers (34,000-plus last year) that are heading into the genocidal realms of Saddam.

If so, that's still an enormous improvement from what our Archdiocese claimed before the 2003 war.
In a letter mailed to pastors and parish council chairs on Holy Thursday [2000], Milwaukee Bishop Richard J. Sklba, addresses the death toll caused by the 10 year embargo of Iraq and reminds fellow Catholics of the Church's call to care for the needy everywhere. Bishop Sklba asks parish leaders to find ways for their parishes to respond to this crisis. The sanctions, along with the destruction caused by the 1991 Gulf War, have resulted in the deaths of over one million Iraqis, more than half of whom are children.

The accompanying information, titled Won't Somebody Think of the Children? Are the Children Our Enemy? [15 pp. pdf] contains other surprising statistics, like this in a reprinted America article by John F. Kavanaugh S.J. (p. 1/pdf p. 2),
While salaries of professionals like doctors, lawyers and teachers in Iraq were over $100,000 in 1990, they now make a few dollars a month.

Fr. Kavanaugh provides no source for those numbers. It appears no one questioned that Iraqi teachers were making over $100,000 a year. Not Fr. Kavanaugh, not the editors at America, not Bishop Sklba, no one at the Archdiocesan Office for World Mission which prepared the information packet.

Here's an article, republished at Common Dreams, that says
Teachers' salaries prior to the Gulf War were approximately $500 per month.

John Pilger described the impact of ten years of sanctions,
Iraqi teacher salaries have fallen from $400 to $3 per month.

P.S. On the same page, Fr. Kavanaugh claims
Infant mortality, which was 0.1 per 1,000 in 1990, is now 40 per 1,000.

Another few seconds at a search engine, and we find Rankings > Infant mortality rate. Either Iraq's pre-Gulf War infant mortality was by far the lowest in the world, over 95% lower than the runner-up, or nobody involved in producing this document cared if they might be citing made-up numbers.



Blogger Dad29 said...

Bp. Sklba and Cdl. Mahony both get the same reaction from me.

If EITHER of them told me that the sky was blue, I would go outdoors and check.

The same diligence should apply to all their statements. Thus, in the name of time-preservation, I read nothing that these fellows say.

4:03 PM  

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