Nipawin - Tuesday, October 2, 2001 - by: Mario deSantis


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"--Martin Luther King Jr.


Some time ago I expressed my feeling about the spiral of violence, that is fighting violence with violence, and I made reference to the inconceivable 'body count' kept by the American militaries in the VietNam war. We understand the outrage to the atrocities of September 11th, and we must also understand human despair occurring around the globe. Yesterday, talking to a feminist conference in Ottawa, professor Sunera Thobani has declared that


"today, in the world, the United States is the most dangerous and the most powerful global force unleashing horrific levels of violence."


Honourable Hedy Fry, the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Status of Women, attended this feminist conference and was later grilled in the House of Commons for her failure to speak out immediately against Thobani's comments. Last night, reading the StarPhoenix, I come across the article 'Sanctions against Iraq shame Canada: doctor' where Dr. David Swann, a Calgary physician, expresses his feeling of being


"deeply disturbed, disappointed and appalled It's an atrocity [sanctions against Iraq] and I don't know how we're going to justify this to our kids."



Is it really true that the United States is the most dangerous country? Is it true that atrocities are really occurring in Iraq? We must perceive our world with our experiences and emotions, and as I refer to the United States, I must say, for example, that I have been very happy for the academic opportunities our neighbour has provided for my son James. But as we refer to the United States' foreign policies, there is an understanding that they are flawed and that there is quite a bit of room for improvement. Also, I find that the American public is not properly informed in international matters as the current 'convergence' of the media provides a monochrome perception of international happenings and news.

What about Iraq? Well, it is really mind boggling to realize that some of president Bush's advisors want to bomb this country for harboring terrorists, while at the same time we understand that the United Nations' sanctions against this country have been catastrophic and against basic human rights. In fact, the same United Nations has estimated that more than 500,000 Iraqi children have died as a result of sanctions, and that 5,000 Iraqi children continue to die every month for this reason.




Humanity has no understanding for 'who is right,' or for 'who is wrong,' or for the saying that 'God is not neutral.' Humanity is the same in the United Sates as in Iraq, as in Italy, or as in any other part of the world, and we don't need the 'body count' of another war to show who is right, who is wrong, and which side God is.
------------Some References:
  Impacts of Sanctions on Iraqi Society, CANESI- Canadian Network to End Sanctions on Iraq,
  U.S. Policy Toward Iraq: Policy Alternatives, Prepared by Phyllis Bennis, Stephen Zunes, and Martha Honey, Foreign Policy In Focus
  Results of the 1999 Iraq Child and Maternal Mortality Surveys, UNICEF