Ten years ago, on March 19-20, 2003 , the U.S. invaded Iraq , overthrew the Saddam Hussein regime, and then occupied the country for the next eight and a half years. President George W. Bush said the U.S. went to war to liberate Iraq and “free its people.” This March 19, President Barack Obama issued a statement saluting the U.S. military for their service and giving “the Iraqi people an opportunity to forge their own future…”
What did this U.S. war mean for Iraqis? What does it mean for their future?
Iraqis killed between March 2003 and December 31, 2011 (when U.S. military forces withdrew): at least 121,754.
Iraqi deaths as a result of the war, directly and indirectly (due to the destruction and disruption of the war, including to water and power systems, to healthcare and food production): 655,000 according to a 2006 Lancet study; 1 million according to 2008 Opinion Research Business study; current estimate: 1.2 to 1.4 million.
Iraqis injured: 4.2 million.
Iraqis driven from their homes: 4.5 million.
Number of U.S. military personnel killed through 2012: 4,486
Investigations by the U.S. military, government, or media concerning the number of Iraqis killed, wounded, displaced or who died as a result of the war and occupation: None. Continue reading →
Ahmed Habib, The Electronic Intifada, 18 November 2010
An Iraqi boy in a music school that has not been restored since it was destroyed during the US-led war on Iraq. (Julie Adnan/Reuters)
“It has been almost a million months since Iraqis ran to the polls, to fill holes in their souls with bloodstained ballots. Hundreds of candidates dressed up as maggots colored the liberal lining in occupied skies, and perpetuated the lies that there is democracy. Hypocrisy of the highest order, politicians blaming their failure on porous borders, while blindly following American orders on everything from defense to education. The death of a nation, systematic assassination and relentless dehumanization of millions of people. The burning of mosques, schools, hospitals and steeples for crumbs of rotten bread. Iraq is dead, shot in the heart and stabbed in the head.”
Excerpt from a new spoken word piece entitled, “Unfinished Letters from Iraq.”
Prior to the parliamentary elections in Iraq on 7 March of this year, all the major political factions running in the country’s nationwide elections declared the entire affair to be corrupt and not representative of the people’s will. They were preemptively cooking an excuse for any unwanted results that might emerge out of the charade. Independent reports corroborated their suggestions with testimonies of fake registration forms and leaky ballot boxes. However, the elections went through, and the results were applauded by other fake democracies around the world. Since then a constipated coalition-building process has left Iraq with no government for more than eight months.
In spite of the satirical sadness of it all, the liberal media, and Iraq’s desperate population, continue to hold on to the electoral proceedings with religious fervor. From outside Iraq, those who politically organized the occupation see the elections as justification for their complicity in mass murder. Meanwhile those inside the country try to cope with the immense loss of life by pinning their misguided hopes on the empty promises of one politician or the other. Continue reading →