"Children are bearing the brunt of the current economic hardship," said Philippe Heffinick, UNICEF's Baghdad representative. Unfortunately, the malnourished children are also becoming a bargaining counter and propoganda tool for Saddam Hussein. Iraqi television is dominated by images of women wailing over the bodies of eight children apparently starved to death at a Baghdad hospital.
Unlike the infamous baby milk factory stunt during the Gulf War, this one appears to be real. The U.N. agency's extensive survey covered every area of the country and was made in cooperation with the Iraqi government — which claims as many as 7,000 children aged under five died in October as a direct result of sanctions. The agency scheduled an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss the crisis. One easy solution they probably won't discuss — destroying Iraq's chemical and biological warfare stockpile immediately.