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By Robert C. Koehler
My favorite quote was from the British government spokesperson, who assured us: "All ammunition used by UK armed forces falls within international humanitarian law and is consistent with the
Tears come to my eyes as I think about the kindness of coalition bullets, the empathy of coalition bombs -- unlike, I'm certain, the ammo used by terrorists, which is cruel, which hates our way of life and wants only to destroy it.
Forgive me the sarcasm. Another study has come out, this one underwritten by the
When does amorality turn to immorality? How bad must the crime of war reveal itself to be before those who wage it cease and desist, of their own volition or in deference to global outrage? Must an organized global power arise that so terrifies the leaders of nations they surrender to peace? I doubt that that's how change will occur.
French anthropologist and philosopher Rene Girard wrote, in "Things Hidden Since the
In other words, once we begin killing others on the pretext of common safety or some other sort of necessity -- once we choose to believe that murder is necessary -- we have to keep committing murder, from generation to generation, or we'll suffer conscience recoil, you might say. So nations organize themselves around the idea of having enemies and the need to destroy them and have no tolerance for peace. They must keep killing "in order not to know that they are killing." I believe this explains the persistence of war, no matter how insane it becomes.
The recent study focused on the cities of Basra and Fallujah, where serious fighting occurred during the war. Fallujah was the scene of two large, extremely destructive coalition assaults in 2004. Five years later, doctors at
About eight months later, the
In addition, between 2004 and 2006, 45 percent of the pregnancies among those families resulted in miscarriage.
In Basra, researchers examined the records of the
The research also revealed high levels of metal contamination in the children and other family members, in particular, lead, mercury and uranium. Dr. Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, a lead author of the report and an environmental toxicologist at the
It was in response to this study that the British government spokesperson said British ammo is within the bounds of the
War poisons the future, but the last ones to know are the ones who wage it. How do we summon the moral equivalent of Nuremberg?
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