Monday, 26 December 2011


       In 2003 George W. Bush stood in all his military regalia and with that daft Hollywood salute proudly stated, “Mission accomplished”, which was his announcement telling the world that the war in Iraq was over and they had won. Here we are in 2011 and Obama has announced that the US troops are leaving Iraq, the war is over and they have won, "Mission accomplished", again. Well it is now true, they have won, they have won the oil and that was what it was all about, the rest is of no consequence to our corporate world. What price have the people of Iraq had to pay for this Western oil adventure? What sort of country is Iraq now, after the West has “liberated” them? Saddam was no angel, but who is that rules over a country? Under his rule there was a considerable movement to get more women to participate in the affairs of society. His government was a secular government and didn't tolerate religious fundamentalists. From 1970 to 1980 the Iraqi economy grow by 11.7%, this after they finally nationalised the oil, which was the real problem with the West, they don't allow nationalised oil. The economic growth all came to an end with the Iraq/Iran war, aided and abetted by the US. The first Gulf war and the 10 years of sanctions imposed by the West, all but destroyed the country. The death toll from the sanctions varies form 500,000 upwards. One comment made about two years ago by a young Iraqi tells us something of what they might be thinking, "When the Americans started this whole war issue, we started to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we walked toward it. But when the war happened, that light was the American train coming the other way that ran us over."

    What has more than 8 years of occupation cost? In cash terms it has cost the USA over $1 trillion, roughly about $5,000 a second. In coalition deaths, over 5,000, and in injured approaching 40,000. One other figure that doesn't seem to get much headlines is the fact that 30% of US troops suffer some form of mental illness within 3 to 4 months of going home. No matter what it cost those troops of the coalition it fades when compared to what the Iraqi people have suffered and they didn't ask to be “liberated”. Estimates, and that is all we can get as nobody seemed to be interested in recording the true numbers, of Iraqi civilian deaths vary from 600,000 to 1 million. Those Iraqis displaced but remaining in Iraq number approximately 3 million, those displaced to Syria and Jordan approximately 3 million. Those Iraqis injured, the number is just not available and would dwarf any of the figures already given.
      We could say the war is over so everything is fine, but unemployment is running about 60%, child chronic malnutrition approximately 30%. The number of hours that the average Iraqi has electricity to their homes (Ryan Crocker, US Ambassador to Iraq 2007) 1 to 2 hours. The number of Iraqi homes connected to sewer system 37%.
      Another tragedy of this war is that just prior to the war Iraq had 34,000 physicians, today it is less than 12,000, though the need today is far greater than ever. One poll shows that 82% of Iraqis are “strongly opposed to the presence of the coalition troops. Only 1% believe that the coalition forces are responsible for any improvements in security. 67% feel less secure because of the occupation and 72% have no confidence in the coalition forces.
        In your own analysis, do these figures look like a success story, does it look like the “liberation” of a people? Or does it look like the decimation of a country and its people for the sole reason of getting our hands on that nationalised oil? 

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