The Gulf: Measuring The Embargo's Bite

Even if some countries relent and send emergency food and medicine to Baghdad, Saddam still faces a cash crunch

) Iraqi television's ubiquitous stand-in for Saddam Hussein faced the camera with a doleful expression. "The children of Iraq," he claimed last week, "are dying because they are being deprived of their food and milk and medicine." With the U.N.-backed embargo only five weeks old, Baghdad's charge seemed extremely dubious. Diplomats in the Iraqi capital reported that despite lines at bakeries and preparations for rationing, no staples have disappeared from the shelves.

Precisely when the economic pressure will begin to hurt and whether it will force Saddam to pull out of Kuwait as the U.N. demands have become the biggest imponderables...

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