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Oct-22-2012 11:43printcomments

Is Punishing Millions of Innocents Taking the High Moral Road?

Do you support the government's policy of starving and punishing innocents for political reasons? What have you done about it?

One place where Clinton lifted sanctions was Burma (Myamnar) where human rights abuse remains flagrant. Photo:

(JAMESTOWN, RI) - Most of us have been taught that America is a great country that always takes the high moral road, and was attacked by people who hate democracy and our values; but is this just a ludicrous belief that has been so firmly ingrained that some believe it.

Do we always take the high moral road, and that is why we are hated?

The US, back in the 90's, decided to take down the government of Saddam Hussein by imposing the strongest sanctions ever imposed on an entire nation, with the theory being if the masses in Iraq got hungry enough they would overthrow their leader. The sanctions were imposed and people did in fact begin to starve. Over one million innocent Iraqis died due to sanctions. When it became evident the sanctions were causing mass innocent deaths the rest of the world pleaded with the US to ease or lift the sanctions, but we refused. Is causing the deaths of one million innocents taking the high moral road?

The world was stunned when Madam Albright, the Secretary of State, was questioned about the innocent deaths. Lesley Stahl in the infamous interview asked if the sanctions were worth it, in light of more than half a million child deaths? Stunningly Albright answered that it was worth it! Is this taking the high moral road? Is there any justification for over half a million entirely innocent dead children? Could some of those parents who watched their children die because of malnutrition or lack of medical supplies, possibly become "haters" of America? Did they become haters because we are a democracy? The entire Iraq fiasco was a political ruse that never should have occurred, with the lies of WMD and Iraq's role in 9/11 being a large part of a government ruse to sell an unnecessary war. Is lying a nation into an unnecessary war taking the high moral road?

We have had sanctions imposed on the innocent folks in Cuba for over 50 years because our government did not like the leader of Cuba, and once again millions of Cubans have suffered because sanctions only hurt innocent civilians. Did you ever feel threatened by Castro or Cuba? Do you really believe he was ever a threat to the most powerful nation in the history of the world? Is punishing innocents in Cuba taking the high moral road?

More recently we demanded the citizens of Gaza hold an election, because we did not like the government in place. We demanded an election and withheld funding until they agreed. The election was held and certified to be extremely fair and legitimate, but we did not like who won election. Hamas, a group the US government does not like, won a huge political victory in the election we demanded, but the US immediately moved to impose sanctions on the people of Gaza for voting the wrong way. Their suffering is unparalleled and unreported, but once again it is mass punishment of innocents. Innocents are dying because of brutal sanctions that only hurt innocents. Is starving a nation because they voted for someone we did not like, taking the high road? Do Gazans hate the US because we are a democracy, or because they watched their innocent die and suffer because we did not like the way they voted?

Meanwhile Iran, who has done absolutely nothing wrong or illegal, is being punished by brutal sanctions. Hospitals are now saying chemotherapy drugs are hard to come by and children with cancer and diabetes are dying. Imagine being the parent of a child who dies of cancer because the US will not let Iran import chemo drugs? I suspect the parents would not care about US democracy, but might hate the US because it killed their innocent child. Is there any justification for killing innocent children?

Do you support the government's policy of starving and punishing innocents for political reasons? What have you done about it?

_________________________________ Writer Joe Clifford, lives in historic Jamestown, Rhode Island, and has contributed a number of articles relating to foreign policy to newspapers in the Rhode Island area for years.

He graduated from Providence College where he earned an undergraduate and graduate degree. After a lengthy career as a high school teacher he turned to the study of US foreign policy, and then to writing, as a means of expressing an alternative perspective. His reading and research on foreign policy is broad and extensive, especially as the policy relates to the Middle East. His interest in foreign policy was inspired by the American misadventure in Vietnam. You can write to Joe at this address:



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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.