October 12, 2001 How hard is the choice? Madam Ambassador, you believe . . . you think the price is worth it. It. It — five thousand lives. Five thousand children every month five thousand children under five. What child is worth the price? A gallery of pictures spreads across my computer screen. Girls and boys, their parents, living, dead and dying under siege ?? their very water poison. No repair, no cure can come to them. In Basra two children run out to play. Bombs fall from U.S. planes. Now their mother watches weeping as neighbors' hands clear away the fallen bricks and dust and stones to bring the bodies home. This "it" ?? the price ?? the rising total reaches five hundred thousand children under five. Together with their families now the price passes one million dead. What is worth a holocaust? Who chooses these to die, the children of Iraq? The lessons taught across the world, down the bloody sweep of empire — the lesson taught and learned that life is worth the price when those who pay are foreign, different, other, far away pray to other gods, speak other tongues. Those lives lie in the scale — are worth the price. No life is worth the price. The flowers strewn amidst the guttered candle stumps fade and die as we mourn our sudden loss. New York's dead and wounded join a massive company drawn from around the world. Side by side we lay the pictures which portray our common loss. Thus we may see repeated women who hold each other, watch in grief as a child's dead body is dug from bomb blast rubble. May we learn from Brian ?? his legs cut offbeneath the munitions-bearing train on Concord's bloody tracks whence bombs were shipped to Salvador, Honduras and to Nam, where once he fought. From Brian may we learn "We are not worth more. They are not worth less."(c) 2001 Carolyn S. Scarr
Copyright by Carolyn S. Scarr, Berkeley, California, USA, 2001.
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From the "60 Minutes" segment, "Punishing Saddam" (airdate May 12,
CBS Reporter Lesley Stahl (speaking of post-war sanctions against Iraq):
"We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's
more children than died in Hiroshima. And - and you know, is the price
Madeleine Albright (at that time, US Ambassador to the UN): "I think
this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth
CBS Reporter Lesley Stahl (speaking of post-war sanctions against Iraq): "We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And - and you know, is the price worth it?"
Madeleine Albright (at that time, US Ambassador to the UN): "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price - we think the price is worth it."
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