Letter to the editor
Between 1990 and 2003, a 13-year war was waged against the Iraqis. Aerial bombing was done to destroy water treatment plants, which got the results the Pentagon anticipated. Many could not get clean water and could only get contaminated water that carried typhoid and diphtheria. Those most vulnerable, children under age 5, died from those in the tens of thousands. The only factual debate on this is whether the total was 350,000 or 450,000. This violated the U.N. Charter and the Geneva Conventions' laws of war to which the U.S. had been a signatory for a long time. Economic sanctions, a kind of war, promoted hard by the U.S., prevented medicines and parts to repair water treatment plants and other necessities from being brought into Iraq. During that time and afterwards, a lesson the Pentagon took from the Vietnam War was to censor televised images in the U.S. of the dead, and therefore to dampen any anti-war protests in the U.S. Middle Easterners were under no such censorship and learned more than we did. The Iraqis nationalized their oil fields in 1970-1972, forced out foreign oil companies, and used the oil revenues to build up their nation, which became a leading nation by many indicators of social wellbeing in the Middle East. Since the nationalization, big U.S. oil corporations sought ways to get back in since the extraction of oil from Iraqi fields is the least expensive anywhere. After the invasion in 2003, and some time during the occupation, more and more pressures were brought against the Iraqis to change their oil law. Now five big U.S. oil corporations have set up shop there. Americans, six percent of the world population, consume 25 percent of the resources of the planet. Americans who have "being comfortable" as their highest priority, can now expect lower prices at the gas pumps for themselves. Furthermore, if you think the Israelis have been treating the Palestinians justly over the years and therefore deserve our support, you need to do some research.
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