Wednesday, March 19, 2008

...and the consequences of those lies. 

Over the past five years, the United States occupation has brought so much death and misery to the people of Iraq that it is hopeless to try to convey it in a blog post, even if I really understood it myself.

One tiny snapshot of what has happened was published by the Wall Street Journal:

Iraq, 5 Years On,
A Nation of Refugees

BAGHDAD -- Five years ago, Enas Abood exulted over Saddam Hussein's overthrow from her comfortable three-story home. Her husband found a job with the U.S. military and started bringing home a handsome paycheck, along with American candy for their son.

"We started to see a light at the end of tunnel," says Ms. Abood. "But this light did not last for long."

As the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion approaches this Wednesday, she and her three children live in a shabby rental in a Baghdad slum. Ms. Abood often goes hungry to feed her kids and survives on handouts. Her husband, unhappy and unemployed, took off two months ago. She hasn't seen him since.

America's decision to topple Saddam Hussein has left Iraqis a people uprooted. Iraq's Ministry of Health estimates that 180,000 Iraqis have been killed; other estimates put the numbers much higher.

But far more common still is Ms. Abood's journey from middle-class prosperity to transient poverty, reflecting the life-shattering disappointment that many Iraqis now see as the legacy of the war. An estimated four million Iraqis -- over 14% of the country's population -- have been displaced inside Iraq or to neighboring countries, largely due to the chaotic aftermath of the American-led invasion that began on March 19, 2003.

Four million refugees in a country of 25 million is stunning. Even Colombia isn't that bad.

In fact, it is these refugees who have fled by the hundreds of thousands to other countries that is particularly damming. After all, the propogandists for the war claimed Iraq qould be made into a beacon of hope for the Middle East. If it were a beacon of hope presumabely people would want IN to Iraq, not out. Yet virtually anyone who can leaves.

That they flee to other non-democratic countries such as Syria and Jordan shows they clearly see the fake democracy of Iraq for what it is.

And more than just having a fake democracy, it is deadly too. The "higher" death toll numbers that the article alludes to are around 600,000. Between 180,000 and 600,000 dead in just five years. I don't think that Saddam, as savage as he was, ever managed to cause so much death in such a short period of time.

Be all that as it may, don't expect to hear Judith Miller, or John Burns, or Thomas Friedman, or Paul Wolfkowitz, or Richard Perle, or Johnathan Pollack, or any other of the lot apologize for it.

Their too busy coming up with the reasons why the U.S. needs to attack Iran.


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