I saw a report on CNN yesterday, talking about the dozens of children who have been killed and maimed by cluster bombs which the US dropped on a civilian area despite its promise not to -- and the children who are still being killed or maimed on a daily basis when they come across the hundreds of unexploded bomblets which are littering the village.
I know of some people who'd say that foreign civilian casualties don't matter, because they aren't American and none of them matter as much as the people we lost on 9/11/01 (and some of these letters I've read say that all Muslims deserve whatever they get since some of them celebrated the 9/11 attacks). That's a bit too cold-blooded for me.
Then there was a bizarre thing I read on Usenet from a pro-war guy -- he saw a photo of an Iraqi civilian woman with blood on her face and sneered "Was this after she ate one our POWs?"
No wonder there's war when people couldn't care less about understanding or caring about anyone else...
I saw the crippled children myself in the report. Well, actually I was trying not to look -- although I should have looked, to bear witness.
I read a book called _The Demonic Comedy: Some Detours in the Baghdad of Saddam Hussein_ by Paul William Roberts. I mentioned this some days ago in another thread. As I recall, he's British and lives in Canada. Anyway, back in '91, during the Gulf War, he dropped in on Iraq again, experienced some bombing of civilians for himself (and lost most of the hearing in one ear as a result), and saw some pretty awful stuff. This despite our claiming that we hit no civilians. (He got out again relatively safely. He remembers watching George H. W. Bush proclaming on TV that we weren't hitting civilians, and because he was there for himself to see some of what "wasn't" happening, he ended up yelling at Bush and throwing stuff at the TV... But since he's not American, one of those foreigners, I guess he was just writing propaganda. Read the book for yourself and decide what you think.)
Drew, you got justifiably angry when you heard that Saddam had imprisoned innocent children. And because of that anger, you jumped to the conclusion that this whole war was justified.
Anyone else read about the Kurd kid (not even a teen, I think) who declared "I like war!"? That makes me a wee bit angry. Of course, the children's prison is an awful thing, but so's raising kids to enjoy killing.
And what part of "Thou shalt not kill" do we humans not understand? (I notice people brandishing their religion about like a weapon every so often, so why not remind them of one of the aspects of it? Sorry, I'm practicing Attitude.)
Wars always, always kill children, maim children, orphan children, traumatize children, no matter how many other children they may save. Both sides in any war will always commit atrocities. Even the most necessary war is a necessary evil.
War is always more than a clean video game -- and I'm unutterably sick and tired of reading letters from Americans whining about the irresponsibility of war photography. "Ooooh, noooo, mustn't let the children see that!" Well, what about the children who *live* that? Why don't we go on about protecting the children who grow up fighting and learning to be terrorists instead of moaning about the effect of seeing blood will have on our precious little kids? Gee, god forbid that learning what war does may actually teach some kids that they don't want to go to war.
I can do without your kind of attitude.
Frankly, so can the Ex Isle
How about answering his post instead of quoting the contents of an eeevil PM and saying "Screw this"? Sigh. (People who go public with private messages or e-mail are people I try to avoid, though, so maybe this refusal doesn't matter.)
"And arguably they kill or injure far more people than, say, an anthrax attack or a radiological "dirty bomb," weapons which generate more fear than actual death. And we, not the Iraqis, are the ones who used them."
That’s unsurprising, since Iraq doesn’t have them...
Gee. And here I thought we went to war with Iraq to disarm them of their nasty bad weapons... only to find that they may have destroyed any that were left just before war began. Hmm.
"The dew has fallen with a particularly sickening thud this morning."
- Marvin the Paranoid Android, "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy"
Rules for Surviving an Autocracy
Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen