Death by Sanctions

Iraq deaths double under UN sanctions. New York Times (Feb.17, 2000)

Sleep my child, do not wake now. The portents in the sky foretell A searing death for you.

The couriers of death have come, Stealth in their cyber gaze. They scour the land for Saddam.

They poison every river, creek and well. They darken school and hospital. They warp the words you spell.

For burning oil and ancient rites they fly. They will not cease to tyrannize Your dying days and hellish nights.

They will not cease their deathly watch. Their mission is to fossilize Your bones, your heart, your eyes.

Sweet my child, do not wake now. Your eyes once soft are hard as rock. Your hair is white as snow. M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University, Boston. His second book, Poverty from the Wealth of Nations was published by Palgrave (2000). He may be reached at

Copyright: M. Shahid Alam.


M. SHAHID ALAM is professor of economics at Northeastern University. This is an excerpt from his forthcoming book, Israeli Exceptionalism: The Destabilizing Logic of Zionism (Macmillan, November 2009). Contact me at