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Who's To Blame For Killing Iraqi Children Under The Age Of Five?
Cliff McKenzie

GROUND ZERO PLUS 1168 DAYS,--New York, NY, Wednesday, November 23, 2004--Nothing is more horrible than watching a child starve to death. That's happening in Iraq daily due to malnutrition, according to an article in the Washington Post. (www.washingtonpost.com)

Iraq estimates to have 4.2 million children five or under as part of its total of 26 million citizens, nearly half of whom(44%) are under the age of 15.

Iraqi baby suffering from malnutrition
Iraqi baby suffering from malnutrition

Currently, estimates by the Iraqi Health Ministry promote an acute malnutrition rate among children under five years at 7.7 percent, a leap from 4 percent recorded in 2002. This translates to some 400,000 children suffering from acute diarrhea and protein deficiency, common characteristics of malnutrition.

Critics of American policy in Iraq like to point fingers at the U.S. as the cause of the children's plight, and, in many cases, certain risk of death.

However, the major factor often overlooked is the presence of the Beast of Terror who is constantly swiping his claws across the face of the Iraqis and leaving the nation in a state of economic paralysis as insurgents continue to wage war against allied troops seeking to stabilize the war-torn nation.

Foodline in Iraq
Foodline in Iraq

While the U.S. has been accused of fomenting malnutrition because of sanctions levied against Iraq in the 90's when the affliction peaked at 11 percent of children under five, the oil-for-food program helped drop that startling rate down to 4 percent in 2002. The recent revelations that Saddam Hussein skimmed millions from the top of the oil-for-food program hasn't been factored into how much he had to do with the malnutrition epidemic, or, that his tyranny and oppression as a leader threatening the world pressured the U.S. to install sanctions.

There can be little question the war crushed Iraq's infrastructure and severely limited its resources to provide medical and other services and staples that might insure the health and safety of the nation. War, by its nature, creates poverty.

But the current epidemic isn't singular to any one source or fact.

What can be assured is that Terrorism has a major hand in the elimination of care and aid to the children in Iraq.

Terrorists drove the U.N. out of Baghdad
Terrorists drove the U.N. out of Baghdad by bombing it

Last year Terrorists bombed the U.N. Headquarters in Baghdad, driving it out of the embattled land. Administering U.N. programs from afar dilutes the results, and the absence of the U.N.'s direct presence in Iraq because of the Terrorist car bombing is certainly a factor in the decline of health services to children.

But the Terrorists didn't stop by simply driving out U.N. help. Doctors Without Borders, one of the most prominent groups working in high-risk battle zones, flooded into Iraq following the war. But, based on constant attacks by Terrorists, the organization withdrew in the fall.

Doctors Without Borders had to withdraw from Iraq
Doctors Without Borders had to withdraw from Iraq

CARE International, another group dedicated to helping the children, closed its doors in Iraq in October. The Atlanta-based charity worked primarily in hospitals and provided clean drinking water to thousands of Iraqis. Terrorists kidnapped its director, Margaret Hassen. In a videotape released last week, pictures of a woman Terrorists claim to be Ms. Hassen were broadcast where she was shot in the head, executed to the horror of all those who knew her and CARE as a non-political, aid organization seeking to help anyone in need.

It may be easy for those looking for reasons to brand America and its allies as the Beast of Child Nutrition Terror. That might sate those with one eye.

But for those seeking to see the whole and not the part, Terrorists have targeted the aid organizations with a vengeance, as though by driving out the sources that provide assistance to the weak and helpless they might pull the wool over the world's eye and cast the blame for the dying children solely on the stars and stripes.

Nothing seem more vicious that using children as the targets of starvation to justify victory of some perverted nature, but Terrorism has no compunction about who it kills or maims in its eagerness to inflict Fear, Intimidation and Complacency on its victims.

The starving children seem to empower Terrorists to believe the world will blame America
The starving children seem to empower Terrorists to believe the world will blame America

The thousands of starving Iraqi children are the cousins, nephews, nieces, perhaps even the Terrorists' own children in some cases--and yet the idea of blowing up the U.N. Headquarters or sticking a gun against Ms. Hassen's head and exploding her brains on a dirty floor in front of a video execution camera seems to enthrall the Terrorists. It erroneously empowers them into believing that the world community will blame America and its allies, and that the dead, starving bodies of the tens of thousands of Iraqi children will be heaped at the feet of the Statue of Liberty or Big Ben or any other nation that provides support in the Iraqi War Against Terrorism.

The Beast of Terror doesn't blink when it eats its own children.

That's the problem with Terrorism

It is void of any moral borders, any civility, any humanitarianism.

The end justifies the means.

Arguments are hurled at America from the same camp, but there is one small but critical exception to the veracity of such allegations. Americans don't believe that by starving and killing children, the end result of "domination" by "tyranny and oppression" can be achieved.

The opposite is true.

Margaret Hassan, executed by Terrorists
The Red Cross believes the execution by Terrorists of Margaret Hassan, the head of Care in Iraq is as violent as...

Americans go on trial daily for their crimes against humanity. Recently the Red Cross compared the execution of Ms. Hassen by Terrorists to the killing of an Iraqi Terrorist by an American Marine. The Red Cross used the two examples to call for more "humane" constraint of violence and to remind the two forces to follow the Geneva Convention in regards to the treatment of prisoners.

What was paradoxical about the comparison was that the U.S. Marine, caught on video tape shooting a wounded Iraqi in a hostile war zone, was responding to a series of reactive combat situations where wounded Terrorists pretended to be unarmed and then fired upon Americans when they approached to render aid, or, mined themselves with explosives killing themselves and the Americans trying to be "humane."

U.S. marine killing a wounded Iraqi in battle situation
...a marine's killing a wounded Iraqi in a battle zone who was responding to a combat situation call

In the case of Ms. Hassen, the Terrorists kidnapped an unarmed civilian performing a humanitarian function, held her prisoner, and executed her on television for the world to see.

Nevertheless, the impression cast about the world by the Red Cross was that the two situations--the U.S. Marine shooting a "wounded combatant" and the execution of an unarmed "humanitarian" were somehow equal acts of atrocity.

Similar views can be taken in respect to the starvation of Iraqi children. Those wishing to castigate and disparage American intent to provide freedom and liberty to Iraqis can vomit accusations that it is America's fault that the children in Iraq are starving and dying, and were it not for the "imperialism" of America, the children would have fat bellies, big smiles, and wonderful futures.

Political agonized critics such as the Red Cross fail to negotiate the vast difference between the willingness of Americans to die for others' freedom and liberty and the Terrorists intentional attacks on humanitarian support groups that deny children the access to life-saving resources.

Pointing the finger at America as evil feeds the goal of Terrorism
Pointing the finger at America as evil feeds the goal of Terrorism

To point a finger at America as being responsible for the deaths and suffering of tens of thousands of starving Iraqi children feeds the goal of Terrorism. Nothing would serve the Terrorists better than to have world and public support pressure the U.S. to withdraw so that the various power factions of self-serving tyrants could take control over the land.

Terrorists with guns and bombs will not likely set them down when the smoke clears and ask for free and impartial elections. All Terrorists want the spoils of victory, and in Iraq, that is power over the people as Saddam had for nearly a quarter century.

A Terrorist would not want to risk being "voted" out of control, not as long as he knew that his guns, grenades, bombs, torture chambers, beheading swords and other tools of oppression and tyranny could keep a population on bended knees, fearful that their necks might be sliced if they oppose the rule of the land.

It cannot be forgotten that the Terrorists' predecessor gassed and killed tens of thousands women and children to assure his reign of power. If Saddam Hussein is a model for the current Terrorists, then starving a few thousand children and pushing the blame onto America is equal to swatting flies for Terrorists.

So, who is to blame for the starving children in Iraq?

To me, the perp is the Beast of Terror--the one who wants to dominate the land by tyranny and oppression, the one who beheads innocent civilians and shoots unarmed women humanitarians and then leaps in glee when the International Red Cross puts an American Marine in the same spotlight as a cold-blooded executioner.

Has America any history of starving children?
Ask yourself: Has America a history of starving and killing children?

But each person must search his or her own Sentinel of Vigilance vault to come up with the answer. That may mean forcing one to think "outside the prejudice box" and ask this question: "Has America had a history of starving and killing children to achieve its power as a nation?"

If one comes up a "yes" to that answer, he or she should go out and buy one of those ski masks the Terrorists use when they execute the innocent and wear it down the streets.

At least we'd know where they stood.


Go To Yesterday's Story: "Killing President Kennedy On A Video Game: Terrorism Training? Or Parental Neglect?



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