Death here and abroad

My friend Monica kept me abreast of her friends’ the Siddall family’s heartbreaking travail as they supported their youngest child Kevin as he was dying of lymphoma. On Saturday his funeral mass was said in Windsor’s Corpus Christi church. Just reading the story of this remarkable family brought me to tears.

The Siddalls are  a well known  name in the Windsor area, the father a former pro ball player, mother a doctor and all the kids gifted athletes and stellar people,The sheer unfairness of  such a body blow would send anybody reeling. We’re not supposed to bury our kids but sometimes we do

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On the other hand, the overwhelming love and support for Kevin and the family showed the depth of compassion and love out there in all human communities. There is resurrection.

On the same day i read about the Siddall funeral I read about the shocking death toll in Iraq, the bizarre gift of thoughtless empire politics, namely Great Britain, namely Bush and Blair. What these non leaders created in iraq deserves an Anti-Nobel prize for cruelty and child abuse. Both should be brought to the Hague as war criminals.

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Well do we remember the US Foreign minister Madeleine Albright on a 60 Minutes program being asked by leslie Stalhl if the 5000, 000 deaths by embargo were worth it.

John Pilger writing in the Guardian about this monumental crime said

 John Tirman, the principal research scientist at the MIT Centre for International Studies, has examined all the credible estimates; he told me that an average figure “suggests roughly 700,000”. Tirman pointed out that this excluded deaths among the millions of displaced Iraqis, up to 20% of the population.

For 13 years this inhuman blockade  was carried out and suppressed by mainstream media. and children as precious as Kevin Siddall left this earth way too early. I watched children dying in hospitals, denied basic painkillers.

2000 years ago the epic Roman poet Virgil commented  (translation by Robert Fagles) “Sunt lacrimae rerum mentem mortalia tangunt  “The world is a world of tears, and the burdens of mortality touch the heart.”

 Margaret Atwood wrote in  Notes Towards a Poem That Can Never be Written

The facts of this world seen clearly

are seen through tears;

why tell me then

there is something wrong with my eyes?

In the west we weep as individuals for those in our community. Others as loved as our children are simply collateral damage.

4 Comments »

  1. 1
    wmgrace Says:

    As we all recall, this unnecessary and fraudulent call to arms in America, was carried out in the face of fierce resistance from the Catholic church in both North America and Europe. Other religious denominations followed suit and also pleaded for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Iraq. Demonstrations were led by both bishops and cardinals, who rallied millions of Catholics, in protest against the unjust war. Catholics followed the rallying cries of their local parish priests and took to the streets in unprecedented numbers – unseen since the civil rights marches of the sixties. The biblical narrative of peace, now roused from its slumber, took hold, and inserted itself into the consciousness of the entire Catholic faith community, where it continues to inform the largest Christian denomination in the world. And now the most forceful voice in the world, against militarism and war.

    Yeah, right.

  2. 2

    The war in Iraq was easily justified, on humanitarian grounds alone. Hussein was killing on average 4, 500 of his own people every two weeks. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch had lots of documentation on the oppression of the Iraqi people, but you weren’t interested in that at all. It did not factor in to your deliberations on whether we should go to war and free these people from a brutal dictator.

    But I spoke to many Iraqis after the war, and they are so thankful to have been liberated. It was fascinating to hear their stories. The Kurds were also quite happy.

    You are a hopeless ideologue that over simplifies very complex issues. You see no need for evidence. You just think on a very general level. You should really study the scientific method as well as logical fallacies. You are missing the most basic principles of human reasoning.

  3. 3
    wmgrace Says:

    Bush and Cheney had no intention, and would never have invaded Iraq simply because of Saddam’s cruelty to (yes, also murder of) the Iraqi people. That could never have happened. So no, the invasion could never have been justified on humanitarian grounds alone. Absolutely no country would ever have supported such an endeavor.

    Bush knew well and understood that there were two more ingredients necessary, that in his mind, would justify and give rightful cause to the planned invasion of Iraq by the Americans, namely; Saddams support of terrorism on a broad scale and his possession of WMD – nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Iraq’s support of some forms of terrorism seemed indisputable at the time. Bush claimed that Iraq also possessed WMD, and did his best to support the assertion and convince Americans of the same. The mainstream media basically carried the day on that score. As it turned out, there were no weapons of mass destruction within Iraq, and therein lies the fundamental untruth or deception visited upon the American people and the rest of the world. His case was fraudulent, on a massive scale. The evidence to support Bush’s claim never existed – full stop. (I’m not sure of the scientific method used by Bush and the mass media, to reach their conclusion.)

    Looking closely at the Iraq war and trying to discern the overall impact on the people (which in the end matters considerably, but not always to invading nations) certainly would entail some kind of in-depth survey based upon rigid statistical modeling techniques, but as yet nothing like that has happened. It sounds a bit frivolous in a country where you do not always have electrical power, a clean and dependable water supply, or a moderate level of personal security, which are only some of the many hardships Iraqis face today. The nation, and its buildings, historic structures and infrastructure were leveled and destroyed – that’s the only way to put it. Is it really necessary to ask 4.7 million refugees, 5.0M orphans, 3.0M widows, or 1.0M missing Iraqis if they thought it was a good war? And what about the 1.45M dead? What would they have to say?

  4. 4

    Bush and Cheney had no intention, and would never have invaded Iraq simply because of Saddam’s cruelty to (yes, also murder of) the Iraqi people. That could never have happened. So no, the invasion could never have been justified on humanitarian grounds alone.

    That is a complete non sequitur. It is irrelevant whether Bush and Cheney intended to invade Iraq on humanitarian grounds. Totally irrelevant. The fact is that they simply didn’t need to try to justify the invasion on the basis of WMD. That was totally unnecessary. There were no stockpiles of chemical weapons, because fully assembled chemical weapons is very dangerous. It takes very little time to assemble them, so there’s no need to stock pile them. What they did find is chemical weapons labs. They had everything they needed to assemble them in short order. You conveniently left that out.

    Absolutely no country would ever have supported such an endeavor.

    What does that tell you about those countries. France and Germany were bribed.

    Looking closely at the Iraq war and trying to discern the overall impact on the people (which in the end matters considerably, but not always to invading nations) certainly would entail some kind of in-depth survey based upon rigid statistical modeling techniques, but as yet nothing like that has happened.

    I love it. In depth statistical evidence is important when it comes to your side of an issue, but when it comes to economics, ideas alone are enough. What a double standard!

    You can ask the same questions with regard to WWII. Was it worth the entire loss of life? Let’s ask the millions of widows, orphans, etc. Let’s do that rigorous statistical analysis to see if we should ever oppose a Hitler again. Would you be in favour?


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