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A Nation Without a Conscience

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Iraqi Children
(image by US Navy)

We are a nation without a conscience, and that friends, is a frightening thing. Far more frightening than any terrorist group could ever be to this nation. Recently I discussed with a friend, the folly of our 23 year war on Iraq. I cited the example of the US imposing the most brutal sanctions in the history of the world on an innocent people. Nothing was allowed into their country, and as the sanctions took their deadly toll the rest of the world pleaded with us to remove them, but to no avail. Children and the elderly were the hardest hit by the sanctions, as the sick and the in-firmed always suffer most in cases like this. In a 1996 famous interview on 60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl asked then Secretary of State Madeline Albright a powerful question. “We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” Without blinking Ms. Albright answered, “Yes we think it is worth it.” I gasped, and was breathless and speechless for a couple of minutes, when I heard her answer. What could be worth the lives of 650,000 children, most of whom were less than 6 years old? What could ever be worth that? I was stunned that Ms. Albright could even get the words out, but was even more shocked when the entire nation barely raised their eyes at Ms. Albright’s comment. The entire nation, somewhat like Ms. Albright did not blink at the deaths of 650,000 children. There was no outrage or real anger among the American public. I was shocked yet again, and I am still stunned by the indifference of the US public, to the policy of taking 650,000 innocent children’s lives and apparently have no real regret, remorse, or even anger. There was, and still is, practically no reaction to the mass killing of 650,000 children. What kind of a nation kills 650,000 completely innocent children and does not blink?

When I brought up the case of the sanctions and the deaths of 650,000 children, my friend just looked at me; no shock, no horror, nor remorse, or anger. Nothing. My friend showed the same indifference as did the US public, towards a government policy which took the lives of 650,000 innocent children. Look into the eyes of the Iraqi children in above the photo? Do you approve of killing 650,000 kids like those? Does it bother you that your government killed so many children like those in the picture? Do you have a conscience? Did you ever protest the deaths of so many innocent children?

To illustrate the folly of US policy towards Iraq, I pursued the next argument, by pointing out that this nation killed over 1.5 million Iraqis, and I dared or challenged that friend to tell me what they were killed for? There is no logical reason, for the entire war was based on lies and distorted evidence. It was a war of choice. There were no WMD in Iraq. It was all for naught. The deaths of 1.5 million were for nothing. I pressed this point to my friend and just got a blank stare. No shock at the 1.5 million, no shame, nothing. This nation did not care about the 650,000 innocent dead children, so why would they get upset about 1.5 million Iraqi deaths? We were not angry because individuals lied us into a war that caused the deaths of 1.5 million people. We just do not care; we have no conscience. We have never admitted wrongdoing, and no one has ever been held accountable for the 650,000 dead children and 1.5 million dead Iraqis who died for no reason. As a people and a nation we have no conscience, and a nation without a conscience is to be feared by all.


Joe Clifford lives in Rhode island and has written a regular column for an online newspaper and has contributed many articles to various RI newspapers. His articles deal almost exclusively with American Foreign policy but ventures into other areas (more…)

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Categories Iraq War, U.S.A.

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