Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Iraq: the price continues

From The Economist, 21 April, 20077: 'It was one of the bloodiest weeks for Baghdad since the American invasion fours years ago...Baghdad suffered its worst-ever bombing: nearly 200 people, almost all of them Shia civilians, were killed by five suicide bombs'.

From the Financial Times, 27 April, 2007: 'General warns Iraq violence may worsen'.

The most shocking aspect about the continued bloodbath in Iraq is how mundane it has become. Every day, tens of people die, brutally and violently, and on many days the death toll reaches into more than 100. However, now, unless you carefully read a newspaper, unless you watch a cable news channel all day, unless you relentlessly surf the net, this is not reported. The US and its allies are an occupation force in a Middle Eastern country. They have helped to create a civil war that did not previously exist. As a direct result of their actions, on top of the more than 100000 Iraqi children that died in the 1990s as a direct result of sanctions, an estimate published in the Lancet suggested last year that some 650000 Iraqis have died as a result of the invasion. Four million people are internally displaced refugees. More than one million have fled abroad, and neighbouring countries are struggling to cope with the influx.

Following a prolonged, bloody dictatorship, Iraqis have been subjected to a prolonged, even bloodier, occupation. The US and its allies are creating an entire country so brutalized that when they decide to bring their war to the West, they will know no compulsion, will know no boundaries, in what they are prepared to do. Yet the root cause remains with the West, with the brutalities that we in the West have forgotten about, with the death and destruction that we have wrought, with a war that currently is without end, and whose repercussions will be felt for years, if not decades, to come.

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