Editorial 12/1/97

Photograph of Saddam Hussein



(A Statement by Ramsey Clark)

    "In seven visits to Iraq since UN sanctions were imposed in 1990, I have seen the health of the people deteriorate steadily and drastically. My latest visit, shortly before the eviction of U.S. personnel from UN weapons inspection teams, revealed a human disaster in the making.

    "...The striking increase in mortality, particularly among children, reflects both widespread malnutrition and the deteriorating sanitation. For children under five, the number of deaths increased eightfold between 1989 and 1996. Those older than five have experienced a fourfold increase.

    "...Doctors I talked to everywhere say they are seeing an enormous increase in cancers, tumors, leukemia, birth defects and miscarriages. Most older patients now entering hospitals have multiple medical problems as a result of the sanctions.

    "Faced with this civilian tragedy, President Clinton assures Americans that any U.S. bombing of Iraq will be targeted. But the accuracy of U.S. missiles and bombs can be judged both from the assault in January and February, 1991 --which destroyed homes, apartments, markets, schools, hospitals, churches, synagogues -- and from the later strikes which killed hotel workers, the director of the Museum of Modern Art, and a renowned woman artist in her home.

    "Washington's insistence that U.S. personnel participate on UN weapons inspection teams is shameful. How can these officials be deemed fair and objective when their country's highest officials proclaim that the aim of the sanctions is not just compliance with UN mandates but the removal of Saddam Hussein?

    "Meanwhile, the Security Council has imposed a travel ban on Iraqi leaders which is a flagrant violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, granting freedom to travel. The ban is particularly offensive because it is clearly designed to silence voices, ensuring that the American public has no direct information about the ongoing suffering of the Iraqi people.

    "The Security Council also knows that sanctions ultimately rely on hunger as a weapon -- in clear violation of every principle of human rights endorsed by the UN.

    "The United Nations must act to end the sanctions now, before that august body finds itself guilty of conducting a policy its own charter defines as genocide." (Partially quoted from a statement by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark as taken from The Pacific News Service http://www.pacificnews.org).


   Ramsey Clark makes some points we cannot ignore. Interpreting them plainly, the current government of the United States seeks to hide the suffering experienced in Iraq for its own perverted policy of genocide and all for the sake of getting what it wants. This clearly constitutes a conspiracy. Adolph Hitler's motivations were no different than the ones we see now practiced by the United States and the United Nations. We may claim ignorance as so many Germans did of their dictator's secret activities, but Americans should be better informed.

   CNN reported Defense Secretary William Cohen as saying that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, not the United States or the United Nations, is to blame for the deaths of hundreds of Iraqi children. Iraq claims that at least 4,000 Iraqi children die every month due to lack of medicine. Cohen responded, "If that is the case, then they (Iraqis) should look to one person, and that is the person who has been inhibiting the inspectors from carrying out their responsibilities; Saddam Hussein is responsible for the deaths of the children. All he has to do, and has had to do, is stop impeding the U.N. inspectors and he would not be in the situation he is in today." Cohen rejected a suggestion by former White House adviser George Stephanopoulos that the United States should try to assassinate Hussein. Writing in Newsweek magazine, Stephanopoulos said, "If we can kill Saddam, we should." This remark to assassinate Hussein is typical of this nation's low moral state. The last generation of Americans would recoil in horror that something like that would be suggested, but no longer. America's morals are nearly the lowest of any nation on earth. It seems we work at getting as low as we can go. Sadly, America these days would do or arrange for that very thing if it could do it covertly. This White House adviser revealed more than he intended.


    May we use a little natural reasoning to discover who killed the kids? Let us suppose a man who bombs a federal building somewhere here in this country is taken to court for terrorism and murder. Let's imagine the man's defense is that Clinton blew up the building himself because he didn't do what that terrorist thought he should. I wonder if the U.S. prosecutors would say, "Oh, of course, President Clinton blew up the building." Let us consider that some Middle Eastern personalities decided to blow up the World Trade Center because the U.S. was meddling in their internal affairs. Let's say the case went to court and the defense took the position that Clinton blew up the Trade Center because he was not staying out of Middle Eastern affairs but, instead, getting his face in all of their business. Can we imagine the prosecuting attorney saying, "Oh, I should have known it was the president of the United States who blew it up. Of course, how foolish of us to think it was a terrorist."

    I think the irony here is sickeningly obvious. Our well-educated government officials say that Saddam is starving his children, but that makes just about as much sense as to charge Clinton for blowing up the Federal Building or the Trade Center. This government speak is a simple twist on reality. It is enough of a twist to constitute insanity. If I were to go to a bank and demand a million dollars, and I bombed the bank because they would not give the money to me, it would not be the people at the bank that bombed themselves would it? I would have done it, wouldn't I? But would the brilliant tacticians in government say the people at the bank bombed themselves because they wouldn't give me the money? No, they would only make this argument if they were the ones blowing up banks, but not when someone else does it. It is like saying, what's yours is mine and what is mine is mine.


    Webster's dictionary says that insanity is a derangement of the mind. It says that derangement is mental disorder. Would not our government qualify for disorderly thinking? Would that not constitute insanity? Is it not dangerous to have government run by individuals who do not think clearly or honestly, especially considering they have their fingers on the buttons of millions of tons of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons?

    It's time for another reality check. Perhaps we can put a little sanity back into the situation. Let us get brutally honest about this. Saddam is resisting letting us into his bathroom to search for some gas so we are starving his country until he relents and does what we say. Why cannot officials in government tell the truth for once in a generation? Instead, we must concoct a monstrous fantasy and say that Saddam is starving his children because he disobeys the world community of nations. That may soothe our consciences, but it does not remove our evil deeds.

    Let's say it plain, shall we? The U.N. and the U.S. speaking now, "We demand that you obey our international laws that we made up for you or you will blow yourself up, starve yourselves, poison your water supplies and assassinate your leaders. You will starve your children and stop selling your oil unless you do what we say. Why do you hurt yourselves so much? It is because you do not obey us."

    The big bully on the block asks a little child for his candy, the child refuses so the bully kicks him in the shins. Then he says, "stop kicking yourself in the shins. If you would have given me your candy, you would not have kicked yourself." I have repeated the illustrations here because most of us in this country seem drunk. For some of us it takes some repetition to cause it to finally sink in.


    I think most five-year-olds would be able to figure out who is starving the little ones over in Iraq. It is the highly educated dunces who run our national and international communities that still think, or at least pretend, they see the king's new clothes.

    It is the opinion of this editor that Mr. Cohen, Stephanopoulos, Clinton, the United Nations and those who think as they do should give up their purposes before they are brought very low. The arrogance, disrespect for humanity and insensitivity to human suffering is sticking out all over. We must stop our rude and offensive behavior and leave the people alone that we have just about bombed and sanctioned into the Stone Age. If men could take a little time off from the golf course and spend a little more time looking into the lives of the suffering, there might be an awakening.

    While we might point to Iraqi offenses as some justification for our actions, and that cause and effect are in play here, the words of Jesus might well be heeded: "Woe unto the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!" Matt. 18:7.


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