Monday, March 17, 2008

The real face of war

Catching one of Channel4's documentaries on Iraq last night, Iraq's Lost Generation, I was profoundly moved by the children in hospital in Amman, all severely injured in the sectarian strife, all refugees waiting for operations in an overstretched facility. It was impressive just how cheerful they were in spite of having lost family members in addition to the awfulness of their plight. In particular, the little girl, Hanan was utterly marvelllous despite looking to be severely burnt all over (her photo's in the linked page's header) from a suicide bomber whose actions had also killed several of her family. She was bright and cheerful all the way through and only burst into tears when the surgeon who was treating her announced her next operation would be delayed for a year.

No child should have to suffer like that. Ever.

My compassion was only tempered by feelings of anger toward the architects of this war, the neo-cons in Washington, greedy for Iraq's oil, happy to give lucrative restoration projects to their friends in big business. Probably also concerned with the instability of Saddam's regime and his recent move to trade oil in Euros rather than dollars. Anger towards their crony, Blair and his dossiers of lies. Even more anger toward the big publishers, Murdoch in particular, whose media made the war possible, and the cowardly, snivelling teams of journalists that work for him - have they no conscience at all?

There's also another bunch of victims who are seldom thought of as such - last year 6,526 US Army veterans took their own lives compared to 3,863 actually killed in the 5 years of war, and ironically this comes from one of Murdoch's own publications, The Times.


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