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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/15/10

WikiLeaks Video - The Greater Horror

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Michael Collins

There they are, the people who brought you every bit of the action in the WikiLeaks video and all of the other horrors flowing from invasion of Iraq. Madeleine Albright (far right, above), former Clinton Secretary of State, is a good place to start. From 60 Minutes:

Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: "We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?"

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it. --60 Minutes (5/12/96)

An exhaustive study found that 227,000 children under five (table 13) died during the George H.W. Bush - Bill Clinton regime of total sanctions against Iraq from 1990 through 2000.

Albright is distinguished as the most direct spokesmodel for senseless death and suffering that's characterized our engagement with that battered country.

But others carry much greater responsibility. The Bush administration had top secret plans to invade Iraq as early as February 2001. First hand witnesses in the prewar White House were unable to name a point when the decision to invade was made. It was a fait accompli.

Prior to the war authorization from Congress, the various intelligence agencies submitted a report that claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Many nations had WMD. The report had to find that Iraq was an imminent danger to the United States. Here's the finding:

"Iraq probably would attempt clandestine attacks against the U.S. Homeland if Baghdad feared an attack that threatened the survival of the regime were imminent or unavoidable, or possibly for revenge." Key Judgments, October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE)

The NIE is clear: invading Iraq was the potential trigger for an attack on the United States by Iraq. The White House made sure that this critical finding was deleted from their report to Congress.

Six thousand U.S. soldiers are dead as a result of the Iraq War. Twenty times that many struggle with serious war injuries. Over one million Iraqi civilians are dead as a result of the chaos unleashed by the invasion (gunshot wounds, car bombings, etc.). This is the true horror of the Iraq War.

"Collateral Murder" in Perspective

To begin with, this provocative tape, one that we as citizens have every right to see, is a moment in time in a much broader attack on Iraq. The U.S. led sanctions after Gulf War I sought to deny Iraq any imports for over a decade. Saddam Hussein continued to build palaces while the millions who hated him struggled, suffered, and died due to the denial of medicine and other necessary goods. The deadly sanctions ran parallel to regular bombings of Iraq.

Those who planned the invasion ignored warnings that Iraq's rigidly controlled society would collapse without effective post invasion planning. The central piece (of what planning there was) included the Iraq Army as guarantor of order after the invasion. Yet the Army was disbanded.

After the loss of this 400,000 man army, who was left to maintain order?

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