The Common Good
July-August 1998

The Right Question?

by Jim Douglass, Shelley Douglass | July-August 1998

"HOW DO YOU contain Saddam Hussein without either bombing or starving the kids in his country?"

"HOW DO YOU contain Saddam Hussein without either bombing or starving the kids in his country?" Is Jim Wallis’ definition of the moral question regarding Iraq ("United Against War," May-June 1998) what we need to be asking ourselves?

How can we Americans, of all people, hope to "contain" Saddam Hussein when the U.S. government refuses to disarm our own weapons of mass destruction, ranging from nuclear bombs to the continuing evil of massive sanctions that are murdering the innocent?

The sanctions are not part of a moral dilemma. We have seen the children of Iraq dying in their hospitals. The killing of more than half a million Iraqi children is evil. The responsibility is ours.

It is true that weapons sanctions alone should be maintained against any government, including Iraq’s, that threatens others with monstrous means.

What about our own? Rather than a focus on containing the evil of an opponent, how about not bombing or starving the kids in his country or any other, by disarming our own threats to the world?

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