PSIPOOK | spleen | iraqi children
Suffer yet more little children ...
The first casualties of war are the innocents
Below you will find two short meditations about the killing of innocent people, particularly children, just because someone wants the oil under their feet.
In one story, written before the war, I wildly overestimate the number of casualties. In the second, in September of the same year, I point out that whether the number of dead is one or a million, it is still morally wrong, and that the war was an act of mass murder.
Since then I have had a number of discussions with people and read a number of comments on forums on this exact subject. One refrain I hear time and again, is 'Shit happens'. One old crusty told me, 'My dear boy, children die everyday'. Come to think of it, I've heard that more than once.
On each occasion I am stunned by the absolute callousness of the remarks and the total absence of logic to underpin them.
Yes, shit happens; yes, kids die everyday, and if we are talking about disease or accidents then sometimes we can't prevent it.
Here, though we are talking about neither accident nor disease. We are talking about guns and bombs and deliberate killing.We are talking about an act of international piracy.
If this was a situation like the second war, where we were fighting for survival, then the deaths of innocent people would have been tragic. Here it is was without any justification. This is not shit happening. If children die everyday because we are killing them, it is murder.
June 11, 2005
When I got home from work tonight my four-year-old
daughter, the youngest of my three, greeted me with a blue ribbon round
my neck and a big hug. I picked her up and turned her upside down and
held her up to the mirror so she could laugh at her reflection. Before
her down I took her over to my wife and they exchanged big upside-down
Update: September 28, 2003
Well, I guess I was a little wrong in my mathematics there, but the only thing I regret in the above was not stating the simple truth that even one dead innocent is too many. It is an objective and demonstrable fact that this war was not a moral crusade against evil or even WMD. It is, it has been, it was all along, a war fought for strategic reasons, it was all about US power. Nothing more. Nothing less. No one has been liberated.
Now, lets find out about the realities of US power. The US military conveniently keeps no record of either opposition civilian or military casualties. I guess the truth is just an ugly thing.
NGOs on the scene figure about 10,000 civilian casualties in Iraq, and this number is rising daily.
That's more than three times the number of people who died in the September 11 attacks. None of the September 11 hijackers were Iraqi, none were connected to Saddam Hussein any more than their victims were.
Incidentally, we can add to that tally a similar number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan. None of the September 11 hijackers were Afghani either, yet the populations of these two countries have born the brunt of the US response to that atrocity.
Thousands of the victims were children. Not the hundreds of thousands that I predicted — for once I am grateful my maths is lousy.
Have we seen any of these casualties in the mainstream media? No.We saw dead Americans and dead sons of Hussein, but none of the real people.
I have two images here of dead Iraqi children. They are harrowing. I wanted to cry when I saw them. I put them here not for voyeurism but to help any reader who is under-informed.
Three in a coffin. Someone is efficient.
This next image is disturbing too. If you are of the opinion that the war was noble or worthwhile, please look at it.
If you think that this is worthwhile, please write to me and explain. Please.
Interestingly, despite numerous hits on this page, no one has written to justify the killing. Nothing to say?