Has Iraq been Liberated?


“10 yrs ago began the long,
difficult work of liberating
25 mil Iraqis.”
Donald Rumsfeld tweet

Was Iraq liberated by the U.S. invasion ten years ago this week? Let’s examine the evidence.

First, the war created four to five million refugees, half of them fleeing Iraq, the other half displaced within Iraq. Certainly they have not been liberated.

Consider also the bleak conditions within the country. Iraqis living in slums increased from 17% in 2000 to 53% in 2011. So more than half those remaining in Iraq have surely not been liberated.

The sectarian fighting continues. On the 10th anniversary of the war, 65 people were killed and 240 people wounded by coordinated bombings. Imagine if, instead of Baghdad, these nearly 20 attacks took place in and around your city. Is this “liberation”?

It gets worse. Investigative journalist Dahr Jamal recently visited Iraq and reports it is a failed state: “…it’s just utter devastation.” He also states that, beginning with the invasion, “the economy is in a state of crisis, perpetual crisis.”

Jamal reports “there’s virtually no security across much large swaths of the country to this day…” Security is so poor that assassinations, detentions, abductions, disappearances and kidnappings occur “on any given day.” Moreover, the torture techniques taught by the U.S. are ongoing and “rampant.”

Another aspect of this war’s legacy is the result of the U.S. using hundreds of tons of depleted uranium as weapons. This continues to cause “really, really, really horrific nightmarish types of birth defects.” Some they don’t have medical terms for.  “[T]he amount of congenital malformations in Fallujah is 14 times greater than the same rate measured in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in the aftermath of the nuclear bombings.”

My take: Iraq is not liberated; it is decimated.

Rev. Rix welcomes comments at Quoflections@gmail.com. © 2013 Harry Rix. All rights reserved.

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