Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

I never shut up, do i?

The children in Iraq are already in sorrowful shape. The last thing in the world they need is another war. More than half the population of Iraq is under the age of 18, and those youngsters are living in an environment that has been poisoned by the Iran-Iraq war, the first gulf war and long years of debilitating sanctions.

One out of every eight Iraqi children dies before the age of 5. One-fourth are born underweight. One-fourth of those who should be in school are not. One-fourth do not have access to safe water.

This generational catastrophe is the fault of Saddam Hussein, no question. But those who favor war should at least realize that the terrain to be invaded by the most fearsome military machine in history is populated mostly by children who are already suffering.

The American military has significantly improved the accuracy of its weapons, and the U.S. has gone to great lengths to develop war plans designed to minimize civilian casualties. But war, as anyone who has been in the military knows, is about killing people. Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has already made it clear that the U.S. is planning to deliver what he calls a "shock" to the Iraqi system.

That shock reportedly will be delivered by 3,000 precision-guided bombs and missiles in the first 48 hours. The children of Iraq won't be the targets, but that is what their country will face if America attacks.

(On Tuesday the Air Force tested the country's largest nonnuclear bomb, the 21,000-pound Massive Ordnance Air Blast, gleefully nicknamed the "Mother of All Bombs.")

After the war will come the humanitarian crisis. There will be the dead to bury and the sick and wounded to tend to. And hundreds of thousands of refugees.

Two-thirds of Iraq's 24 million people are entirely dependent on government food rations, and the remaining 8 million are dependent to some degree. U.N. officials have said plans by the United States to feed the population after the war are inadequate, and food supplies could run out in a matter of weeks.

Carol Bellamy, executive director of Unicef, told me: "The area we're very concerned about is water and sanitation. There's very little ground water in Iraq. At least half the water has to be treated. So if the major power facilities and water treatment plants were knocked out, there would be very significant consequences, and the children would generally be the most vulnerable."

Most Americans will watch this war from the comfort of their living rooms, well out of harm's way. These are a few of the items they might consider as they make up their minds on whether an invasion is a good idea, or whether a search for a better alternative is still in order.

-from "Bombs and Blood" by Bob Herbert

Peace protestors argue for containment and bash sanctions. In a terrific piece, Walter Russell Mead argues that "Sanctions are inevitably the cornerstone of containment" (and posits other costs of containment) and also argues that the current sanctions
exist only because Saddam Hussein has refused for 12 years to honor the terms of a cease-fire he himself signed. In any case, the United Nations and the United States allow Iraq to sell enough oil each month to meet the basic needs of Iraqi civilians. Hussein diverts these resources.

France, China and Syria all have a common reason for keeping American and British troops out of Iraq: the three nations may not want the world to discover that their nationals have been illicitly supplying Saddam Hussein with materials used in building long-range surface-to-surface missiles.
FARTING IN THEIR GENERAL DIRECTION: "Oh no, some Americans have changed the name of toast and fries in a pathetic protest of what we feel is an obstruction of our genuine security concerns. How exactly is that a bigger deal than France, this week, officially banning the booing of their National Anthem, an offense now punishable by prison time and cash fines? We Americans may be jingoistic flag-waving primitives, but we're still allowed to jeer the national anthem." - from the Letters Page of AndrewSullvan.com. (I want some source linkage for this.)
"When peace stands for surrender, fear, loss of dignity and freedom, it is no longer peace. It's suicide."
-from a piece by someone who knows the horrors of WWII and Vietnam, who thinks this issue is a dilemma and that this should have been taken care of a long time ago, and whose article i find problematic

Is the US really more dangerous to world peace than a mass-murdering, genocidal dictator who has invaded his neighbours, used chemical weapons, stowed away hundreds of tons of anthrax and tortured tens of thousands to death? Is it now an imperialist nation?


America was forged in the first place by the families of Protestant settlers who had a work ethic, a strong sense of right and wrong, and a hostility to governmental power and royal authority. ... Americans are still by nature disrespectful of authority, deeply democratic by instinct, very conscious of their freedom, and particularly happy to live in a vast and beautiful land which is free from external threats.


Americans are not warlike people, but they will now go after rogue states and terrorists because, if they don’t, no one else will. All over the world, America takes on responsibilities because others shirk them.

-from an article in The Spectator

From: Steven C. Den Beste <sdenbes1@san.rr.com>
To: Elizabeth Sweeny
Date: Thursday - March 13, 2003 1:46 AM
Subject: Re: Now they're proposing a 6-point alternative to war.

On Wed, 12 Mar 2003 23:49:48 -0500, you wrote:

>I don't know how much this is floating around the major media, but Smith
>(the college i'm at) is full of war protestors, so i recently came
>across a proposed 6-point alternative to war --
>Will be interested to see your takes on it, if you happen to post about
>~Elizabeth Sweeny

They can't possibly be that naive, can they? Do they really think that
indicting Saddam would somehow lead to the end of his rule? Or that
"coercive disarmament" could happen without a prior invasion?

Who are these people?
Steven C. Den Beste sdenbes1@san.rr.com
Home page and web log: http://denbeste.nu/

On the horrors of war:
-- http://denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2002/10/Thehorrorsofwar.shtml

From: "Glenn Reynolds" <reynolds@libra.law.utk.edu>
To: Elizabeth Sweeny
Date: Thursday - March 13, 2003 10:35 AM
Subject: Re: Now they're proposing a 6-point alternative to war.

I'll check it out. I spent a fair amount of time at Smith when I was
in law school -- I had a girlfriend there. I remember it fondly.

Date sent: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 23:49:48 -0500
From: "Elizabeth Sweeny" <esweeny@email.smith.edu>
To: <reynolds@libra.law.utk.edu>,<sdenbes1@san.rr.com>
Subject: Now they're proposing a 6-point alternative to war.

> I don't know how much this is floating around the major media, but Smith
> (the college i'm at) is full of war protestors, so i recently came
> across a proposed 6-point alternative to war --
> http://www.sojo.net/action
> Will be interested to see your takes on it, if you happen to post about
> it.
> ~Elizabeth Sweeny
Tags: issues: iraq war

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