Ground Zero Imam: America Worse Than al-Qaeda

If there was ever any question what Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam behind the Ground Zero mosque project, thought about America, the latest audio clip uncovered by Pamela Geller on her Atlas Shrugs blog should remove any doubt.  In the 2005 lecture the "moderate" imam said this about our country:

"We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non Muslims. You may remember that the US-led sanctions against Iraq led to the death of over half a million Iraqi children. This has been documented by the United Nations."
 
The "half-million Iraqi children died because of US sanctions" lie was also a favorite of both Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein who both used it in their hate-America propaganda.  This whopper of a myth was first dreamed up by Saddam Hussein era Iraqi officials, in order to smear America and sway world opinion against the sanctions imposed on Saddam to stop him from expanding his "biological, chemical, nuclear, and missile-based weapons systems." 

A detailed expose done by Reason magazine back 2002 debunked this lie and explained the origin of this myth.  The article documented the deeply flawed studies that gave birth to this falsehood and the lack of objective and independent data to backup the outrageous claims. 

"The idea that sanctions in Iraq have killed half a million children (or 1 million, or 1.5 million, depending on the hysteria of the source) took root in 1995 and 1996, on the basis of two transparently flawed studies, one inexplicable doubling of the studies' statistics, and a non-denial on 60 Minutes.

In August 1995, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) gave officials from the Iraqi Ministry of Health a questionnaire on child mortality and asked them to conduct a survey in the capital city of Baghdad. On the basis of this five-day, 693-household, Iraq-controlled study, the FAO announced in November that "child mortality had increased nearly five fold" since the pre-sanctions era. As embargo critic Richard Garfield, a public health specialist at Columbia University, wrote in his own comprehensive 1999 survey of under-5 deaths in Iraq, "The 1995 study's conclusions were subsequently withdrawn by the authors....Notwithstanding the retraction of the original data, their estimate of more than 500,000 excess child deaths due to the embargo is still often repeated by sanctions critics."

In March 1996, the World Health Organization (WHO) published its own report on the humanitarian crisis. It reprinted figures -- provided solely by the Iraqi Ministry of Health -- showing that a total of 186,000 children under the age of 5 died between 1990 and 1994 in the 15 Saddam-governed provinces. According to these government figures, the number of deaths jumped nearly 500 percent, from 8,903 in 1990 to 52,905 in 1994."

Building on the old adage that "if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it," the "moderate" backer of the Ground Zero mosque has just provided us with important insights on just how objective, balanced, and moderate his views are.  Let's hope that America is paying attention. 

 

Chris Banescu blogs at chrisbanescu.com.
If there was ever any question what Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam behind the Ground Zero mosque project, thought about America, the latest audio clip uncovered by Pamela Geller on her Atlas Shrugs blog should remove any doubt.  In the 2005 lecture the "moderate" imam said this about our country:

"We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non Muslims. You may remember that the US-led sanctions against Iraq led to the death of over half a million Iraqi children. This has been documented by the United Nations."
 
The "half-million Iraqi children died because of US sanctions" lie was also a favorite of both Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein who both used it in their hate-America propaganda.  This whopper of a myth was first dreamed up by Saddam Hussein era Iraqi officials, in order to smear America and sway world opinion against the sanctions imposed on Saddam to stop him from expanding his "biological, chemical, nuclear, and missile-based weapons systems." 

A detailed expose done by Reason magazine back 2002 debunked this lie and explained the origin of this myth.  The article documented the deeply flawed studies that gave birth to this falsehood and the lack of objective and independent data to backup the outrageous claims. 

"The idea that sanctions in Iraq have killed half a million children (or 1 million, or 1.5 million, depending on the hysteria of the source) took root in 1995 and 1996, on the basis of two transparently flawed studies, one inexplicable doubling of the studies' statistics, and a non-denial on 60 Minutes.

In August 1995, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) gave officials from the Iraqi Ministry of Health a questionnaire on child mortality and asked them to conduct a survey in the capital city of Baghdad. On the basis of this five-day, 693-household, Iraq-controlled study, the FAO announced in November that "child mortality had increased nearly five fold" since the pre-sanctions era. As embargo critic Richard Garfield, a public health specialist at Columbia University, wrote in his own comprehensive 1999 survey of under-5 deaths in Iraq, "The 1995 study's conclusions were subsequently withdrawn by the authors....Notwithstanding the retraction of the original data, their estimate of more than 500,000 excess child deaths due to the embargo is still often repeated by sanctions critics."

In March 1996, the World Health Organization (WHO) published its own report on the humanitarian crisis. It reprinted figures -- provided solely by the Iraqi Ministry of Health -- showing that a total of 186,000 children under the age of 5 died between 1990 and 1994 in the 15 Saddam-governed provinces. According to these government figures, the number of deaths jumped nearly 500 percent, from 8,903 in 1990 to 52,905 in 1994."

Building on the old adage that "if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it," the "moderate" backer of the Ground Zero mosque has just provided us with important insights on just how objective, balanced, and moderate his views are.  Let's hope that America is paying attention. 

 

Chris Banescu blogs at chrisbanescu.com.

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