ABC Explains War in a Way Children Can Understand

Television networks are frequently accused of frightening youngsters with violent programming. On Saturday morning, however, ABC attempted to ease the minds of young viewers about real violence--the war in the Persian Gulf.

In a 3 1/2-minute segment during its abbreviated children’s programming schedule, ABC distinguished between a cartoon clip of jet fighters in combat and Wednesday’s U.S.-led air bombardment of Baghdad.

Following news footage of U.S. military equipment in Saudi Arabia, correspondent Bill Greenwood explained the background and significance of the war, saying the U.S. military buildup in the gulf began “after the country of Iraq invaded its tiny neighbor, the country of Kuwait.”

“For years,” Greenwood added, “those two tiny nations have argued over who owned a piece of land that contained oil worth a huge amount of money.”


The report included this observation on the hostilities by an unidentified fifth-grader: “I think if Saddam Hussein and George Bush were women, there wouldn’t be such competition between them.”

Greenwood prepared the report with advice from his 10-year-old daughter, ABC said.