Follow us on Instagram
Try our daily mini crossword
Play our latest news quiz
Download our new app on iOS/Android!

Genocide in disguise

Few would agree with the assertion that oppression is wrong and should be stopped. And most, but sadly not all, would agree that it would be oppressive of the United States to first starve and then bomb the people of Iraq in order to twist the arm of one man, Saddam Hussein, into compliance. But surprisingly few would take the next step in this syllogism to draw the conclusion that what the U.S. is doing is absolutely wrong. And even among those who can comprehend this connection, only a handful possess the moral compunction to try and stop the U.S. from continuing its oppression of the Iraqi people. Unless many more of us can find our way to this conclusion within the next few days, the blood of many more Iraqi children will spill, and the blame will fall squarely on "We the People" who stood passively by and watched.

I question the right of the U.S. to dictate the policies of all the world's governments. Sovereignty has lost its meaning in an age when any nation's policies are subject to the critique by, and humiliating subordination to, the U.S. The U.S., being the world's strongest, richest and most unscrupulous power, can dictate exactly who may own which weapons, who is allowed to trade with whom and what the criteria of right and wrong will be for any given period of time. It is only tolerable to us because we reap the fruits of this hegemony everyday, taking for granted the suffering we are causing daily to over five billion non-American brothers and sisters around the world.


The U.N. defines genocide as "an act committed to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group . . . by deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring physical destruction, in part or in whole." How are the U.S.-promulgated sanctions any different from this? Since the sanctions have been imposed, more than one million Iraqi people (mostly children) have died because of starvation or disease resulting from a lack of food, medical supplies and clean water. In a twisted justification of this genocide, Madeleine Albright said, "The price is worth it." The Sanctions Committee has declared ambulances "nonessential," thus signing the death warrant of many more people. The last time the U.S. massacred Iraqis (1991), it used shells composed of "depleted uranium" that vaporized upon explosion, imbedding radioactive particles in the lungs of millions of Iraqi people who now suffer the consequences of massive radiation exposure. Is this not equivalent to the worst chemical warfare?

All this is to say that we must stop the U.S. from carrying through yet another bombing on the people of Iraq. No matter how precise the bombs may be, the people who die will be innocent civilians like you and me, school children, families. The man whom they are trying to kill will not be touched but these people will helplessly take the blows. We must lift these inhumane sanctions before more people die of starvation and sickness. They are, after all, people just like you and me.