January 31, 2005
By Daniel C. Maguire
People should be judged by
the ideals they most loudly profess.
O.K., "Pro-Lifers," here goes.
Archbishop Tutu (would that we had even one bishop
like him in the United
States!) writes: "Some 2 million children
have died in dozens of wars
during the past decade...This is more than
three times the number of
battlefield deaths of American soldiers in
all their wars since
1776...Today, civilians account for more than
90 percent of war
Children are the prime casualties of modern war.
As Professor Jeffrey
Sachs of Columbia University writes: "Children
in urban war zones die in
vast numbers, not just due to violence, but
also from diarrhea,
respiratory infections and other causes, owing
to unsafe drinking water,
lack of refrigerated foods, and acute shortages
of blood and basic
medicines in clinics and hospitals." Pregnant
women and their fetuses
suffer from these same lethal deprivations
and pregnant women and their
fetuses are being bombed in their homes.
If you who sanctimoniously wear the "pro-life"
banner were really
pro-life-and pro-fetus--- that would bother
you and we would be hearing
your voices raised powerfully in peace protests
around the world. We
don't. Therefore we must conclude that you
are not "pro-life" and that if
you say you are, you are liars. (Those who
disapprove of all abortions
and also oppose war must find another motto:
"pro-life" has been coopted
on the American scene by right wing militarists.)
American military leaders in Iraq have been quoted
as saying "we don't do
body counts." (Interesting, since even
"the mob" does body counts.) The
respected British journal The Lancet does do
body-counts; they counted
the bodies of civilians killed in Iraq. They
concluded that there are
more than 100,000 civilians deaths, most due
to U.S. military action.
President Bush is responsible for those murders
because he entered this
war without the Declaration of War that the
constitution (Article one,
Section 8) requires. A cowardly Congress in
a week of infamy (October
3-10, 2002) limply handed over their war-declaring
rights to him, giving
the president open-ended authority to use unrestricted
power, which could
mean nuclear weapons, whenever he alone deemed
How did those who call them selves "pro-life"
respond to this appalling
assault on the Constitution and on life. They
voted en masse for George
W. Bush, the slaughter-master of Iraq, the
killer of civilian men, women
and children, including pregnant women and
their fetuses in a war that
Pope John Paul called a "defeat for humanity."
Mr. Bush said he saw their
vote as an endorsement of his war. He was right.
The election was a
chance to vote against that war, but, overwhelmingly
the so called
"pro-life" vote was for war.
Can you understand why we call you liars?
Sister Joan Chittister writes of a front page,
large four-color picture
in The Irish Times. It showed a small Iraqi
girl. "Her little body was a
coil of steel. She sat knees up, cowering,
screaming madly into the dark
night. Her white clothes and spread hands and
small tight face were
blood-spattered. The blood was the blood of
her father and mother, shot
through the car window in Tal Afar by American
soldiers while she sat
beside her parents in the car, her four brothers
and sisters in the back
Indifference to this and to all those war crimes
like it, on the part of
anyone is criminal and sinful in the extreme.
Indifference to it by those
who canonize themselves with the "pro-life"
insignia shown by their
recent vote for more of it, is even worse.
Such hypocrisy should be
called by its name. Its name is fraud. Its
name is lying, lying under the
very banner of "life."
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