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imperialism & war | labor

An Appeal for Iraq's Children

After enduring over ten years of bombing, sanctions and exposure to depleted uranium, seemingly the children of Iraq must suffer another terrible nightmare with George W. Bush's planned aggression.
I have written several articles based on the illogical nature of the excuses given for the approaching war with Iraq. Now, I would like to make an emotional appeal. Several years ago, I purchased a video called Paying The Price: Killing the Children of Iraq by British journalist John Pilger. Part of the video depicts the horrible suffering among children caused by the depleted uranium used in American bombs and tank shells. In a cancer ward in Basra, a city in southern Iraq, one can see little children lying on beds in agony from various kinds of cancers and birth defects and an Iraqi doctor crying because she can't get the required medicines to treat the cancers due to the US embargo. Even morphine to treat these children's pain is under embargo.

The video also shows how Denis Halliday, the former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and former UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, spent his own money and imported medicine against the embargo to save the life of a pretty little Iraqi girl named Saffa. Saffa had leukemia, but she is alive today thanks to the courageous action of Denis Halliday. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the means to save all these precious children from dying.

After winning her battle against leukemia, now Saffa and thousands of other Iraqi children must undergo another nightmare if more depleted uranium and bombs are dropped on Iraq. All so a tiny elite group of American capitalists can gain even more wealth from Iraqi oil, when they are already living the most ostentatious life style possible and want the wealth only to increase their power. This is so obscene and evil that I don't even have words to describe it.

Although not the actual perpetrators, the media are accomplices in this tragedy by accepting without question the official lies and suppressing the truth. I would extend culpability right down to the pretty faces with the smooth voices who just read the lies that are put in front of them. The German people claimed ignorance of what Hitler was doing too. Ignorance is no excuse. Besides lying and marginalizing the truth, the most evil thing those in the media do is to demonize whole populations in preparation for US wars of aggression. If one just listened to the media, one would think Iraq was populated by a bunch of evil Saddam Hussein clones. No, these people are human beings with the same needs, desires, hopes, fears and dreams as American people. To think otherwise is to hold a very racist viewpoint that Iraqi lives are somehow less valuable than American lives.

If progressives are ever successful in creating a decent, just and peaceful world, then these war criminals, including those in the media, need to be brought before a war crimes tribunal like the one at Nuremberg.

Justice may come too late, though, for Saffa and other Iraqi children if George W. Bush gets his way. I wish I had a magic wand that I could wave and stop this damn war from happening. I'm afraid that only something like a general strike, which hits capitalists hard in the pocketbook, will stop it.