Saturday, March 22, 2003
THE HORRORS OF WAR
Bethlehem Television has just broadcast some terrible and graphic pictures of victims of today's American attacks on Basra. The pictures were clearly taken this afternoon, and were shot "live" by Al-Jazeera, but I am uncertain if this repeat broadcast was the work of the Al-Jazeera network or of the Palestinians' BTV station. The accompanying commentary stressed that these were civilians, and that many of them were carrying foreign Visa (credit) cards, particularly several issued in Kuwait. (This would not be surprising considering that Basra is the closest major Iraqi city to Kuwait.) The pictures of the dead included several children, and I won't describe the graphic nature of the images shown. It was not pleasant viewing.
Viewing these pictures provided a health reminder of the horrors of war, and of its innocent victims. No war is without victims, and no invading or liberating army manages to avoid civilians. But that does not mean that the war is not justified, nor that in the long-run, its benefits will not be felt by the Iraqi people. I have lived through wars, and know of the terrible fears involved. My hope is that when the battle is over, the innocent civilians who have lived under the murderous regime of Saddam will finally find some succour, and that the narrow financial interest of France and Russia will not prevent freedom of the Iraqi people.
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