BY TIM STEWART
If ever there was a reality check needed amidst the noise and dust whipped up by the US war machine, this simple photograph exhibition about Iraq is it. No satellite photos and no fuzzy phone intercepts, just mountains of evidence that is indeed being hidden from the international community about what's going on in Iraq.
Photojournalist Takashi Morizumi has been documenting the children of Iraq since 1998, with particular interest in the consequences of depleted uranium weapons used by the US in the 1991 Gulf war. DU contamination has led to an alarming increase in leukemia and other cancers, and physical deformities.
The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) have launched an exhibition of Morizumi's work to "draw attention to the devastation of war and economic sanctions on the people of Iraq".
Based on Morizumi's recent book Children of the Gulf War, the exhibition is graphic proof of the US terror inflicted on the Iraqi people during round one of the Gulf war. That terror is still being played out in slow motion in Iraq.
The US and Australian blockade of Iraq continues to deprive the country of essential medical supplies and other goods and services. The resulting poverty results in malnourished and sick children, who are dying in large numbers.
WILPF has sponsored the photo exhibition in the hope of drawing attention "to the devastation of war and economic sanctions on the people of Iraq... We hope to expose the genocide and moral bankruptcy of Australian and US foreign policy regarding people in Iraq, especially children."
Morizumi's photos speak for themselves. "Baby born with anencephaly (without a skull). His shocked mother disappeared from the hospital", reads one caption. "Falah Hussein (age 20): When a US dud bomb suddenly exploded, he lost his right leg. Two years later, he contracted bone cancer that spread to his lung. His doctor predicted he wouldn't survive another two weeks", reads another.
Iraq indeed has many "smoking guns" that prove that terrorists have been at work there. This outstanding photography exhibition defines weapons of mass destruction in human terms and is proof that we don't need another Gulf war.
Children of the Gulf War opens February 12 at the Brisbane City Council City Hall Gallery.
For more information visit <http://www.wilpf.org.au>.
From Green Left Weekly, February 12, 2003.
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