HELLER, Stanley. Chair of the Middle East Crisis Committee calls for 12 May Iraq Genocide Memorial Day

Stanley Heller is a middle school teacher in Connecticut, USA, and has been Chairperson of the Middle East Crisis Committee (MECC) since 1982. MECC publishes the journal "The Struggle" and the website "Demand Justice" at www.TheStruggle.org (see: http://cosmos.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/php/authors.php?auid=596 ).

Stanley Heller, chair of the Middle East Crisis Committee, in calling for the Iraq Genocide Memorial Day (2012): "This horrific loss of life [in Iraq] was ignored for six years until the US ambassador to the UN appeared on [the TV show] '60 Minutes' and admitted the deaths of half a million children. We in the Middle East Crisis Committee call for 12 May to be marked as Iraq Genocide Memorial Day." [1].

Stanley Heller on Iraq Genocide Memorial Day (2012): “May 12 was Iraq Genocide Memorial Day, the date in 1996 that Madeleine Albright admitted that the US sanctions had killed 500,000 children in Iraq.” [2].

Stanley Heller on Iraq Genocide Memorial Day (2010): “Reacting to a report from the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization that over 500,000 children had died Leslie Stahl on “60 Minutes” asked then U.N. Ambassador Madeleine Albright about it On May 12, 1996 the program broadcast this conversation. Leslie Stahl: We have heard that a half a million children have died. I’m mean that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. You know, is the price worth it? Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price we think, we think the price is worth it . Stahl pressed on. Stahl: Even with the starvation? Albright: I think Leslie it is hard for me to say this because I am a humane person, but my first responsibility is make sure that United States forces do not have to go and refight the Gulf War.

That was the only time a major American journalist grilled a U.S. official about the sanctions. And it had no effect. The sanctions ground on for seven more terrible years. How many Iraqis died all told? A million, a million and a half? No one knows. How many children were stunted from their years of malnutrition? Conveniently most Iraqi government medical records were burned up in the looting after Bush “liberated” the country… So I would propose that rather than celebrate a “Victory in Iraq” day, we instead mark May 12 (the day of Albright’s admission) as Genocide in Iraq Day. Using Mark Twain’s ideas for a memorial to the millions killed in the Congo as inspiration, why not bulldoze Lafayette Park near the White House and construct on the land a pyramid of a million baby bottles and toys for our Presidents to view during their morning constitutionals and for school children to wonder at on their trips to D.C.

Well, that will never happen, but at least let people of human feeling can seriously mark May 12 by some grim ceremony. And let our historians collect and publish the names, the U.S. and European officials who made the decisions to murder the Iraqis.” [3].

[1]. Felicity Arbuthnot, “Madeleine Albright and the Iraqi Genocide”, Al-Ahram Weekly, 24-20 May 2012: http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2012/1099/op3.htm .

[2]. Stanley Heller, “May 12: Iraq Genocide Memorial Day”, Peacenews.org, 15 May 2012: http://peacenews.org/2012/05/may-12-iraq-genocide-memorial-day-stanley-heller-for-counterpunch/ .

[3]. Stanley Heller, “May 12: Iraq Genocide Memorial Day”, Counterpunch 10 May 2010: http://www.counterpunch.org/2010/05/10/may-12-iraq-genocide-memorial-day/ .