Jun 16, 2008
Improvement? In Iraq? It’s a lie every bit as blatant as the ones told to justify invading Iraq over five years ago.
What could “improvement” possibly mean for the Iraqi people? Today, they are imprisoned in ghettoes, many driven out of their own neighborhoods or villages by violence, herded into quarters established along ethnic or sectarian lines, and kept penned up there by militias armed to the teeth by the U.S.
What “improvement”? There are even fewer doctors and medical facilities than before. “Improvement”? Ever higher food costs are producing a whole generation of malnourished infants. Sectarian militias force women to wear the veil or face the constant possibility of rape, torture or death, and this in a country that once was one of the most secular in the Middle East.
There may be fewer Iraqi deaths today – but only because so many people have already been killed or driven from their homes. Over one hundred thousand were killed by military action, perhaps another 700,000 or more are dead from the consequences of the war. Over five million Iraqis were turned into refugees.
No, there is no improvement, neither for the Iraqi people, nor for a whole generation in this country who ended up in Iraq, often because they saw no prospects for decent jobs or education here unless they joined the armed forces.
It’s possible the Bush administration may find the way to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, putting more of the filthy work controlling the Iraqi people into the hands of mercenaries and sectarian militias armed and paid for by the U.S. But if so, it’s only so the U.S. can send more troops on to Afghanistan or even on to Pakistan.
The results for U.S. troops will be the same.
They will come home in body bags – over 4600 already have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, with over a thousand more who died in this country, waiting for treatment at VA hospitals. They come home ready to kill themselves, learning too late what this war is about. No one knows exactly how many died by their own hand, but we do know this: more have killed themselves than were killed in the war.
There is no improvement in Iraq – there is only that hell which is war. U.S. vets will go on paying its price long after U.S. imperialism has gone on to other wars against other people – just as vets from Viet Nam continue to pay today.