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Was Killing Iraqi Children Worth It?

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    Didn t They Already Get Saddam? Was Killing Iraqi Children Worth It? By JACOB G. HORNBERGER Apri1 4, 2008 Counterpunch A snapshot of the opening scene in the
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 6, 2008
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      Didn't They Already Get Saddam?


      Was Killing Iraqi Children Worth It?
      By JACOB G. HORNBERGER
      Apri1 4, 2008
      Counterpunch


      A snapshot of the opening scene in the U.S. invasion of Iraq provides
      an excellent insight into the immorality and horror of the entire
      operation, from start to whenever it finally finishes.

      According to an article in yesterday's New York Times, at the outset
      of the invasion the U.S. military dropped bombs on a palatial compound
      in which Saddam Hussein was hiding. The article states:

      "But instead of killing the Iraqi dictator, they had killed Mr.
      Kharbit's older brother, Malik al-Kharbit - the very man who had led
      the family's negotiations with the C.I.A. to topple Mr. Hussein. The
      bombings also killed 21 other people, including children, and the fury
      it aroused has been widely believed to have helped kick-start the
      insurgency in western Iraq."

      Now, that episode has at least two important lessons.

      First, prior to the invasion the popular mantra among U.S. officials
      and many private Americans was the need to "get Saddam." But as we
      often pointed out here at The Future of Freedom Foundation, it was
      never going to be just a question of "getting Saddam." Instead, it was
      going to be a question of how many Iraqi people, including children,
      U.S. forces would have to kill before they "got Saddam."

      The article doesn't state whether the U.S. military had actual
      knowledge that there were innocent people, including children, in the
      compound that it bombed. But it is a virtual certainty that they did
      have such knowledge. After all, if their intelligence was sufficiently
      good to know that Saddam was hiding in the compound, it had to be
      sufficiently good to know that there were other people living in the
      compound, including children.

      Thus, when the U.S. military dropped those bombs, it had to be with
      the full knowledge that they would be killing innocent people in the
      process, including the children. And even if they didn't "know" that
      there were innocent people in the compound at the time they dropped
      the bombs, they knew that there were dropping the bombs in reckless
      disregard of whether there were innocent people there or not.

      The fact is that U.S. officials didn't care whether there were
      innocents, including children, in that compound. Those children and
      their parents were obviously considered a small price to pay if Saddam
      Hussein had been killed at the outset of the war.

      Of course, this attitude would match the attitude taken by U.S.
      officials throughout the period of the brutal sanctions that were
      enforced from 1991 to 2003. As tens of thousands of Iraqi children
      were dying year after year from the sanctions, the U.S. attitude was
      that those deaths were a small price to pay for ridding Iraq of Saddam
      Hussein. That's why UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright, upon being asked
      whether the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi from the sanctions were
      worth it, she replied that yes - they were "worth it." She was
      expressing the sentiment of the U.S. government, a sentiment that
      manifested itself again in the bombing of the compound in which those
      Iraqi children and their families were killed.

      Second, the killing of those children and their families is just one
      example of how U.S. foreign policy has engendered anger and hatred for
      the United States, which produces the threat of terrorist retaliation,
      which brings about the "war on terrorism," which results in more
      interventions, more massive military spending, and ever-increasing
      loss of liberty at home.

      Let me repeat what the Times article said: "The bombings also killed
      21 other people, including children, and the fury it aroused has been
      widely believed to have helped kick-start the insurgency in western Iraq."

      Now, ask yourself: Why has the U.S. government been occupying Iraq for
      the past 5 years? Didn't they already "get" Saddam? Hasn't he already
      been executed?

      The answer is that U.S. officials, having "gotten" Saddam must now
      "get" the "bad guys" in Iraq. And who are the "bad guys?" They're the
      Iraqis who are angry over the killing of Iraqis, including women and
      children, who had to be killed in the process of "getting Saddam."

      As they continue to bomb all these "bad guys," they continue to kill
      more innocents, including more Iraqi children and their families,
      which then incites more fury, which then causes more "bad guys" to
      join the insurgency. Those additional "bad guys" are then used as the
      excuse to continue the occupation of Iraq, an occupation that for
      obvious reasons will go on indefinitely.

      To state what I consider self-evident moral truths, it was morally
      wrong and a grave violation of God's laws to:

      (1) attack a country whose government and citizenry had never
      attacked the United States;

      (2) kill Iraqis, including children and their families, in order
      to achieve regime change in Iraq; and

      (3) kill Iraqis, including children and their families, in order
      to spread "democracy" to Iraq.

      One can only wonder whether the American people, in crises of
      conscience, will ever confront such issues.


      Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom
      Foundation.

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