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IPFS News Link • American History

Let's Not Forget the U.S. Mass Killings of Children

• https://www.fff.org, by Jacob G. Hornberger

While some American mainstream commentators express concern about the large death toll among children in Gaza, we mustn't forget that when it is the U.S. government — and, specifically, the U.S. national-security branch of the government — that is killing large numbers of children, most U.S. mainstream commentators go into silent mode or, even worse, play supportive roles in such killings.

Who can forget the 1990s, when U.S. officials were killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, with nary a concern expressed by U.S. mainstream commentators? Oh, sure, it's true that those killings were being inflicted by economic sanctions, rather than bombs, but so what? The Iraqi children were just as dead. What difference does it make whether a child is killed by sanctions instead of bombs?

The official mindset toward the mass numbers of Iraqi children being killed by the U.S. government was perfectly reflected in the infamous response that Madeleine Albright gave in 1996 to Leslie Stahl of Sixty Minutes. Stahl pointed out that half-a-million Iraqi children had been killed by U.S. and UN sanctions, more than the number killed at Hiroshima as a result of the U.S. government's targeting of the civilian population, including children, of that city with a nuclear bomb. Stahl asked Albright, "Is the price worth it?" Albright replied, "We think the price is worth it."

Albright was the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. As such, she was the official spokesperson for the U.S. government to the world. She was serving in the Clinton administration. No one within the government criticized her statement and there was little, if any, condemnation among U.S. mainstream commentators. That's because her callous statement undoubtedly reflected the mindset of both her cohorts in the U.S. government and the mindset of the government's loyal supporters in the mainstream press. That mindset was a classic example of Hannah Arendt's term "the banality of evil."


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