Cindy Sheehan: Children And War – OpEd
Recently, I was listening to KGO radio and in case you don’t know, KGO is the ABC affiliate super-station here in San Francisco that can be heard by millions of people with it’s mega-wattage transmitter.
Gene Burns happened to be the host at that time. The night that I was listening, Mr. Burns was wondering why the U.S. is bombing Libya, but not Syria, because Syria is, “torturing and killing children,” and Mr. Burns didn’t know how the people of the world could stand by and watch this happen.
I wish I could have gotten through on the call-in line because I would have asked Mr. Burns how he feels about the USA torturing and killing children in places like Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. These are the active places the US is bombing, but what about the children that were held or are being held in places like Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Abu Ghraib in Iraq or Bagram AFB in Afghanistan? Why are the “people of the world” standing by and watching the US destroy civilization as it murders and tortures children?
It is my suspicion that even the most hardcore war supporter knows that women and children are the ones that suffer the most from war—but as War Madam, Madeline Albright notoriously said in an interview with Lesley Stahl of CBS: the slaughter of over 500,000 Iraqi children during the sanctions period during the Clinton regime was “worth it.” Monsters don’t always have to have long claws, bloody fangs, or inhabit our nightmares—they can look like somebody’s Grammy—and that’s what I call a waking terror.
As a mother of a victim of US Imperialism, my well of empathy is bottomless, but I am not like Gene Burns—I don’t think we should just be upset when “rogue” regimes kill or torture children—because the US is the largest rogue regime in recorded history. The rogue Empire counts on people like Gene Burns to provide cover for its crimes, in part, by over-sensationalizing the crimes of others.
Because of the definition of “collateral damage” (“We don’t do body counts,” General Tommy Franks), it is hard to pin down the exact number of children that have been killed by the US’s War OF Terror since 2001—in fact, it’s almost impossible, but a safe guesstimate is hundreds of thousands. However, one was exactly one too many.
What I can do for you is tell you some statistics on how children are treated here in the US:
NUMBER OF HOMELESS CHILDREN: 1.5 million
NUMBER OF HUNGRY CHILDREN: 16.7 million
NUMBER OF CHILDREN LIVING IN POVERTY: 13 million
NUMBER OF CHILDREN WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE: 10.6 million
PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS WHO DON’T GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL: 30%
JUVENILES INCARCERATED IN THE US: 92, 854 (2006)
HOW MANY CHILDREN HAS THE US DETAINED IN GITMO? 22
NUMBER OF CHILDREN SYRIAN FORCES ARE ACCUSED OF KILLING: 30
Children should be the ultimate expression of love, joy, and hope in all societies and I am not trying to excuse Syrian forces for what has happened. Killing/torturing a child (adult) is an abomination, but what I am trying to do is put things in perspective.
Why would the dark forces that run the US care about murdering brown children with odd sounding names in far away places when it doesn’t even care about the children here within our own borders?
Today (Sunday, June 12), on CBS’s Meet the Press, war monster, Senator Lindsey Graham of SC said that the time was “very close” to attacking Syria, and it’s time to let President Assad know that “all options are on the table.”
If we do attack Syria, then the Nobel Laureate POTUS would be at war with at least six countries. I hope that Graham is just having a wet dream about Syria, but I fear he is correct because the US can’t allow anybody else to kill people–our War Machine already has a near monopoly on murder.