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FW: Where Is Our Outrage Over Iraq?

fyi - best, felicity a.
From: Rick Rozoff <>
Subject: Where Is Our Outrage Over Iraq?
Date: Sat, Sep 1, 2001, 10:08 pm

Denver Post

Where is our outrage over Iraq?

By Reggie Rivers
Denver Post Columnist
Thursday, August 30, 2001   - Sometimes I think we've
stopped paying attention to the number of rounds that
are fired and the number of people who are killed by
our law enforcement agencies. Do we really care how
far things go? Do we worry about the constant
monitoring? The invasions of people's homes? The
continuous threat of violence?
I know that we care domestically. When the police
shoot someone, there are stories and investigations.
We might not be satisfied with the results of those
investigations, but at least someone is taking a look.

It's been more than 10 years now since the United
States initiated the embargo
against Iraq and started patrolling no-fly zones. And
it seems clear to me that most of us just don't care a
lot about it.
The stories hit the paper and we flip through them as
if nothing is happening. The headlines read:
"Coalition planes fire at Iraqi air defense sites."
"Air Force drone missing over Iraq." "U.S. launches
major air attack on Iraq." "Allied jets hit Iraqi
How much longer do you suppose we're going to continue
to violate the sovereignty of Iraq? How much longer
are news stories going to describe the troops as
"coalition" and "allied" forces to make it sound as if
this is a United Nations' effort when really it's
always been just the United States and our British lap
dog that have initiated and maintained these no-fly
zones from the start?
Every time I pick up a newspaper and read another of
these stories, Iraq is portrayed as the aggressor and
we're cast as the innocent victims who are merely
trying to defend ourselves. The stories have a
how-dare-they tone as they describe Iraqi attempts to
shoot down U.S. or British aircraft.
Yes, Iraq was denounced by the entire world for
invading Kuwait in 1990, but does that mean that we
can forever ignore the sovereignty of the Iraqi
The United States was denounced by the entire world
for invading Grenada in 1983. Does that mean it would
have been reasonable for some other country to
establish no-fly zones in the air space north of
Denver and south of Dallas?
I know. I know. Might makes right in the big, bad
world. The reason that it's OK for us to do this to
Iraq is that we have the power to do whatever we want.
The reason it wouldn't have been OK for someone else
to do this to us is that no one has the power.
Yes, I'm naive, but not completely. I like the life
that we have in this country. I love our wealth, our
safety and our position at the head of the world's
table. I understand that maintaining our comfortable
lives requires a lot of brute force. What disturbs me
is not the vicious reality of geopolitics, but the
ambivalence that we demonstrate as citizens.
We're like the children of drug kingpins who love
living in big houses and having private planes, and
somehow manage to block out the fact that Daddy had to
kill a lot of people to get where he's at. And that
Daddy has to kill a lot more people to "protect our
I don't know the answer to the Iraq situation. I can't
make recommendations about how we should conduct
ourselves in the world because I'm not an expert in
that field. But I wish that we, as citizens, would
show as much concern about our military deployment in
other countries as we do about domestic issues such as
tax rebates, Social Security, education and health
If the National Guard took over a small U.S. town and
controlled the movements of its people for a week,
we'd be out of our minds with outrage.
But if our forces fly into another country and
maintain a no-fly zone for a decade, we barely look up
from our Cheerios.
Former Denver Broncos player Reggie Rivers
( writes Thursdays on
the Post op-ed page and is a talk host on KHOW Radio
(630 AM, weekdays from 3 to 5 p.m.).

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