Iraq: November 7, 2000

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The UN reports that Iraq has exported $37 billion worth of oil since 1996, when the "Oil for Food" program began. In theory, this amount would be more than adequate to buy sufficient food and medicine for the Iraqi people. But most of the money was diverted to military and political (goodies for Saddam's supporters) uses. Meanwhile, the airline transports now regularly flying over Iraq's no-fly zones have forced the US and British warplanes enforcing the zones to change their procedures. Not only must they avoid shooting down civilian transports, but there is also fear that trigger happy Iraqi anti-aircraft gunners will shoot at foreign and Iraqi transports in error. So, for the moment, Iraq has gotten away with violating the UN sanctions on commercial air travel.

 

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