|A skeletal Uncle Sam sticking a knife in Iraq.
(A very graphic picture of a child's interpretation of a violent America killing Iraqi people - children included.)
-from a display of childrens' art in Basra, Iraq in September, 1998.
|The caption to the cartoon reads,
ITEM: THE COST OF ONE B-1 BOMBER COULD FEED 200,000 PEOPLE FOR A YEAR.
As the bombs and missile began to fall once
more on the towns and cities of Iraq, on the evening of December 16 1998,
British Prime Minister Tony Blair appeared on national television to address
the nation and explain to us why were were bombing Iraq.
.. “Our quarrel is not with the Iraqi people,” he reminded us towards the end of his speech (later echoed by President Clinton), while, thousands of miles away, as he spoke, huge fires raged, lives were being destroyed and homes and neighborhoods were being reduced to rubble.
…Over 400 cruise missiles were fired on Iraq from US ships and from B-52 bombers, in what was the biggest bombardment ever of cruise missiles. More cruise missiles were fired on Iraq in four days of Desert Fox than during the entire Gulf War.
Having already lived through the horrors of the Gulf War, followed by eight years of the most comprehensive sanctions ever imposed on a country in modern history, the long-suffering people of Iraq have been subjected to yet further massive bombardment. And for what?
The effects of economic sanctions have been devastating. According to the UN’s own agencies, over 600,000 children under the age of five have died since sanctions were imposed. UNICEF reports that 6,000 – 7,000 children are dying each month, in Iraq, because of malnutrition (virtually unheard of before the sanctions) and curable diseases for which they have no treatment.
… Eight years of economic sanctions have caused the deaths of 1.5 million Iraqi civilians. This is a crime against humanity. This is genocide.
“Our quarrel is not with the Iraqi people”, say those responsible, but it is the Iraqi people who are suffering. This is Iraq today. This is the ‘real’ Iraq – the Iraq our governments do not want us to know about, the hidden, unreported suffering – the ‘silent war’ of the Iraqi people.
…what courage does it take to barrage a small, defenseless third world country with hundreds of cruise missiles, fired from warships stationed miles away from their targets in the Persian Gulf, or to rain down 2,000 pound ‘smart’ bombs from warplanes at 40,000 feet in the darkness of night? What risk was there to these pilots? Virtually none.
This was not an act of bravery, carried out by courageous men and women, in the name of ‘world peace’ and ‘international security’. Rather, this was an illegal, unprovoked, unjustified and one-sided assault carried out by government-hired professional killers who will never be held to justice for their crimes, against a country unable to defend itself….
-Janice McDonald can be reached at email@example.com