Dec 02, 1998
A constant in the conflict between the United Nations and Saddam Hussein is the imposition of economic sanctions against Iraq. Each side claims that the "humanitarian impact" of the sanctions is the fault of the other side. Though the exact impact of sanctions is difficult to ascertain, it's estimated that 500,000 people have died as the result of sanctions, about half of them children under five. The claims of each side--that it is utterly exonerated while the other side is completely guilty--strains credulity.
When I was an adolescent, one of the visions that filled my head with flash and color and glory was the French Revolution. I actually knew very little about it. Some vague impressions, incidents and names mixed haphazardly in my mind to produce a drama of pure romance, excitement and the triumph of righteousness. I imagined something spiritual and blazing, something extravagant and glorious.