To the editors:
The Reader should be commended for printing “The Dying Has Just Begun” in the May 10, 1991, issue. Tom Johnson’s interview with Louise Cainkar of the Human Rights Research Foundation about the consequences of the U.S. war against Iraq contained facts so horrible that it was almost physically painful to read. I put it down halfway through and had to force myself to pick it up again.
Now none of us can claim “we didn’t know” the nature of our government’s campaign of genocide against the Iraqi people (not Saddam Hussein). Ms. Cainkar’s heartbreaking descriptions of babies dying in Iraqi hospitals demand more than moral outrage–although that’s a start. They cry out for our continual, conscious activity in the fight now being waged by millions of people in the U.S. against hunger, homelessness and further U.S. military intervention. That fight can only end with the abolition of the system which carried out the slaughter in Iraq–and paid for it with money which might have silenced the screams of children dying outside shuttered Chicago hospitals. In Chicago genocide is more subtle than in Baghdad but no less real.