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On the most conservative estimates 75,000 Iraqi civilians have died since US and UK forces invaded Iraq in 2003 - many of them children. Barbara Panvel contrasts our media's silence about their fate with the hullabaloo over the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

"Contrast the almost total silence of the press about the thousands of suffering Iraqis mourning the maiming, death or disappearance of their children with our media's obsession with the tragic McCann mystery", writes Moseley peace activist Elizabeth Way.

She believes that politics have silenced compassion and truth, censoring news of the real extent of Iraq's destruction and chaos following the US & UK's illegal invasion of that country.

The silence was broken on Saturday by the Archbishop of Canterbury's assertion that the conflict in Iraq has done far more harm than is being admitted. "The events of the last few years have done terrible damage in the whole of this region and many people, I know, do not see the cost in human terms of the war which was unleashed."

At huge expense - using money coming directly or indirectly from the taxpayers - the second war against Iraq has completed the ruin of that country. Foreign company owners, shareholders and highly paid employees of arms manufacturing and oil companies are its only beneficiaries.

Dr Williams said that taking military action against Syria or Iran, would be "criminal, ignorant ... and potentially murderous folly . . . I can't understand what planet such persons are living on when you see the conditions that are already there. The region is still a tinderbox."

He hoped that, in future, politicians would no longer even contemplate such wars.

But if they do, what then? A million protestors on the streets of London were not heeded.

Effective action could be taken by those men and women enlisting to defend their homeland but irresponsibly ordered - by politicians living in comfort and safety - to enter and destroy other countries.

By following the example of many, including the boxer Mohammed Ali, imprisoned for refusing to accept his Vietnam draft papers and, in 2006, the RAF doctor who was imprisoned for refusing to resume service in Iraq which he believed was unlawful, they could stop these deadly political adventures.

Should British troops refuse to serve in Iraq? And should our media give more attention to the fate of Iraqi children who've died in the conflict.


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