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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The US Government Punishes People For Helping Dying Children

In my article “The Evil of Killing Children,” I pointed out how the U.S. government, in an attempt to achieve regime change in Iraq, knowingly and intentionally killed hundreds of thousands of innocent children in Iraq.
Unfortunately, killing those innocent Iraqi children was not the only evil action taken by U.S. officials regarding the Iraq sanctions. They also went after an American man for trying to help the children that U.S. officials were trying to kill with their sanctions.
The man’s name is Bert Sacks. They didn’t try to kill him but they did prosecute him both criminally and civilly for trying to help the Iraqi children who U.S. officials were killing.
What specifically did Sacks do that caused U.S. officials to put him in their sights? He took medicine to Iraq. That infuriated U.S. officials because the medicine that Sacks took into Iraq interfered with their ability to kill more Iraqi children, which in turn, impeded their ability to achieve regime change in Iraq.
In a 2003 article entitled “Sanctions in Iraq Hurt the Innocent in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Sacks explained the origins and consequences of the U.S. government’s system of sanctions against Iraq.
He began the article by focusing on the large number of Iraqi children that that the U.S. government killed with the sanctions. Quoting an article from the New York Times magazine, he wrote: “American officials may quarrel with the numbers but there is little doubt that at least several hundred thousand children who could reasonably have been expected to live, died before their fifth birthdays.” Sacks then cited Richard Garfield, a health specialist at Columbia University, who estimated the death toll among the Iraqi children to be 400,000.
We also should also note that when U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright was asked in 1996 whether the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children were worth it, she didn’t deny the number and said that the deaths were, in fact, worth it. After she said that, no other U.S. official, to my knowledge, took her to task, either on the number of Iraqi children they had killed up to that year or the fact that the official U.S. spokesperson to the UN considered the deaths to be worth it. (The sanctions weren’t lifted until 2003, after the U.S. government had finally achieved regime change with its invasion of Iraq.)
While it’s true that several hundred thousand doesn’t rise to the number of people killed by Hitler’s Nazi regime or Stalin’s communist regime, nonetheless hundreds of thousands is not a small number of dead people. Moreover, while all innocent life is sacred, it seems, instinctively, that killing innocent children might be more evil than killing innocent adults.
Citing the New England Journal of Medicine, Sacks pointed out that during the Persian Gulf War, “The [U.S. government’s] destruction of the country’s power plants had brought [Iraq’s] entire system of water purification and distribution to a halt, leading to epidemics of cholera, typhoid fever, and gastroenteritis, particularly among children.”
One of the important things to note about the sanctions, which were continued after the war, is that they prevented Iraq from repairing the water and sewage treatments that the U.S. military had intentionally destroyed during the war. Naturally, that ensured that that the cholera, typhoid fever, gastroenteritis, and other illnesses would continue, particularly among the Iraqi children, who were dying en masse.  

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