Wednesday, March 19, 2003

The Killing Fields revisited. Syndey Schanberg, the legendary former New York Times reporter whose coverage of the Cambodian holocaust was transformed into the 1984 film The Killing Fields, offers up his outrage in the Village Voice.

Schanberg runs through a list of US inconsistencies: its cozying-up to nuclear proliferator Pakistan, its studied indifference to North Korea's nuclear capabilities, its friendship with Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, when he was no less evil than he is today.

Schanberg writes:

As for the instant question of Iraq, what would be so wrong if, instead of the all-out smash-and-destroy war the president and his people have planned, the U.S. and Britain simply began to ratchet up the small, quiet war that has been going on for quite a while. The air patrols in the northern and southern no-fly zones could be gradually enlarged until all of Iraq was blanketed with overhead surveillance that could spot and, when necessary, knock out clearly identified weapons installations. Economic sanctions could be tightened as well, with stiffer penalties against those selling contraband to Saddam Hussein.

True, this would not bring about a change of regime as swiftly as a blitzkrieg, but over time it would loosen Hussein's grip on power and make change possible.

Wise words, but too late. Seven hours and 18 minutes to go.

No comments: