Whenever the ruling elite wants to engage in another bout of humanitarian slaughter, it will have its media auxiliaries soften up the public by barraging it with images of innocent people – particularly children – who are suffering and dying. Every “humanitarian” war makes those images go away. Children are still being mangled and murdered, of course – but those who control the state-aligned media are no longer interested in showing them.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently deployed the “It’s for the children” trope in a debate that she had – and lost – with her five-year-old grandson over the impending war with Syria. Since the child has not yet been processed through the government mind-laundry, he retained both his native intelligence and his natural impatience for obvious evasion. He also displayed a more mature understanding of ethics than his grandmother.
According to Pelosi’s account of the conversation, the child asked her if she favored war in Syria. Seeking refuge in circumlocution, Pelosi tried to brush off the question by replying, “We’re not talking about war; we’re talking about action.” The child, who apparently knew that the “action” being discussed would entail killing people, persisted through Pelosi’s persiflage: Did she support war with Syria? Pelosi again tried to deflect the question, this time by turning it back on the child by asking what he would do.
“I think no war,” was his reported reply.
In desperation, Pelosi unleashed the most potent weapon in her rhetorical arsenal – the “Bomb-the-children-to-save-the children” argument.
“I said, `Well, I generally agree with that, but you know, they’ve killed hundreds of children there,’” Pelosi recalled in a brief statement to reporters on the White House lawn. “And he said, `Were these children in the United States?’ And I said, `No, but they’re children wherever they are.’”
America’s political class is thickly populated with thinly educated people, and in that dismal company, Nancy Pelosi has always distinguished herself through her sheer stupidity. She is so incurably dense that she shared this story in the belief that it offered a compelling display of wisdom – rather than the pitiable spectacle of a policymaker losing a debate over geopolitics to her five-year-old grandson.
That child, displaying an intellectual acuity not possessed by his famous grandmother, instinctively drilled down to a question she and her comrades cannot answer: Quo warranto? By what supposed authority would the US government make war on Syria to deal with atrocities committed against children living in that country?
Pelosi is famously disdainful of the idea that the U.S. Constitution imposes limits of any kind on federal action. Her platitudinous response to her grandson’s insightful and incisive question seems to assume that the US government has universal jurisdiction over mistreatment of children everywhere. One unspoken corollary is that the same government has unqualified authority to abuse and slaughter children in order to achieve its objectives.
At least for now, Syria seems to be the geographic limit of Pelosi’s exquisite sensitivity regarding the suffering of children overseas. Her concern crested just to the west of Iraq, where more than a million children have died from violence inflicted by the government that has employed Pelosi since 1987.
No recorded examples exist of Pelosi expressing anguish over the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children who perished in anguish from starvation and disease as a result of the US-inflicted embargo that lasted from 1991 to 2003. Pelosi’s silence about that atrocity tacitly ratifies the assessment of her fellow humanitarian warmonger, Madeleine Albright, who blithely told 60 Minutes that the extermination of a half-million or more Iraqi children was a suitable price to pay in order to “punish” Saddam Hussein.
Pelosi has likewise been silent about the ongoing horrors experienced by the children of Fallujah, an Iraqi city that was pulverized by the US military in 2004 as retaliation for the killing of a handful of Blackwater mercenaries. That onslaught included widespread use of chemical munitions in the form of white phosphorous rounds and ammunition made with depleted uranium. Those, too, are chemical weapons, unless the relevant sections of the periodic table have been revised to suit the interests of the Exceptional Nation.
The collective punishment of Fallujah for defying the illegal occupation of Iraq was an atrocity of Stalinist magnitude, and that punishment continues today as the city witnesses an unprecedented increase in the rate of pediatric cancer and birth defects, such as spina bifida, heart problems, and inexplicable deformities. Medical researchers believe that this is a result of persistent elevated levels of lead, mercury, and uranium from the onslaught.
It appears that Fallujah’s victims constitute another exception to Pelosi’s axiom that “children are children wherever they are.” The same is true of Pakistani, Yemeni, and Afghan children who have been annihilated through US drone strikes. For Pelosi they are small lives, of little consequence.
Not a syllable of condemnation has escaped Pelosi’s lips regarding her president’s murder of 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, who was obliterated by a drone-fired missile just weeks after Mr. Obama murdered his father, Anwar al-Awlaki.
If Abdul al-Awlaki had been a Syrian teenager killed by the government of Bashar al-Assad, Pelosi might have taken notice of the crime. When committed by her Dear Leader, however, such extra-judicial killings are considered commendable by Pelosi, who doesn’t think that the Regime needs even to acknowledge killing U.S. citizens.
“People just want to be protected,” warbled Pelosi when asked about summary execution of US citizens by drone strikes. “And I saw that when we were fighting them on surveillance, the domestic surveillance. People just want to be protected. [They’ll say] `You go out there and do it. I’ll criticize you, but I want to be protected.’”
Pelosi’s logic – if that word can be tortured into applying here – dictates that it is sometimes necessary to “fight” Americans to “protect” them — even if it means “protecting” them to death. That’s a serviceable summation of her position regarding Syria: She’s willing to bomb Syrian children in order to protect them, too. Although Pelosi’s views won’t withstand the scrutiny of her five-year-old grandson, they do display a certain deranged consistency.