Fourteen years after the US-led coalition illegally invaded and occupied Iraq in search of non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the country remains in turmoil. Over 1 million Iraqis have died since Bush and Blair launched their aggression, but no one has yet been held to account for what the award-winning journalist John Pilger has called ‘the crime of the century’. The US and its allies are now seeking to ‘liberate’ the city of Mosul from Islamic State, a terrorist organization which did not exist before the previous US-led ‘liberation’ of the country in 2003. Sami Ramadani is an Iraqi-born writer, academic and activist, and we invited him to join Sputnik this week to discuss the current desperate situation of a country in crisis.
And we look at a crisis closer to home. The NHS is the most enduring achievement of the first post-war Labour government of Clement Attlee. However, what was once a very healthy institution now appears to be an ailing organization in a critical condition. About to be forced to make £22 billion worth of savings by the year 2020, it looks like the service could be rationed. But should we believe these tough choices are down to an aging population and growing demand, or could they be ideological cuts? We invited Dr. Bob Gill, a family GP from London and the co-leader of the National Health Action party, into the Sputnik studio to ask this and other questions about the health of a service which was once the envy of the world.