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THE IRAQ DISASTER

While we are forced to view and read about the "success" in Iraq, both in the mainstream and right-wing media, we rarely get a glimpse at what is truly happening there.  How about introducing some factual information about Iraq and putting things into some true perspective?

"And today, after seven years under U.S. occupation, Iraqis are still without sufficient clean water, electricity, education, or health care.  Tens of thousands of Iraqis are disabled, physically or mentally.  There are over two million refugees outside Iraq and more displaced refugees inside Iraq; there are three million widows and five million orphans.  Fifty percent of Iraqis are unemployed.  Children continue to drink contaminated water, and large numbers of Iraqi women are afraid to get pregnant because so many babies are born with severe deformities."

"Twelve thousand physicians and thousands of intellectuals and engineers -- a large percentage of the professionals in Iraq -- were assasinated, died as a result of war, or were forced to flee the country with their lives.  These are the people who would have been able to maintain hospitals, schools, and universities and to repair roads, bridges, electrical plants, and water-treatment facilities.  Hence, the country lost much of its capacity to rebuild, and although $53 billion was spent (or should we say squandered) on so-called 'reconstruction' in Iraq, the U.S. occupation never managed to deliver electricity, jobs, clean water, or health care to the people." -WORLDWIDE WAMM, May, 2010, page 1.

Who prospered?  Halliburton, with great help from its former well-paid CEO, Dick Cheney.  Now Cheney is going around saying the U.S. did the right thing in invading Iraq.  He has full pockets, so why should he care?  Dick Cheney, a sinister individual with no conscience, gave Halliburton billions of dollars in business with no contract or written agreement!

From the very beginning of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, I have stated that it was a huge mistake.  Iraq was not really a nation, in the true sense.  It was cobbled together by European powers.  Without a strong, ruling hand in Baghdad it would disintegrate into civil war.  This is now happening.  There is not democracy in Iraq.  It took many months just to count the ballots and "determine" a winner in the last election.  The Kurds are waiting to secede and establish a separate state unless they get adequate oil revenues.  The Sunnis, long a ruling minority with Saddam, are now being punished by a clique of Shiia rulers.  And Iran is playing a huge role in determining the future of Iraq.  That is some strange "success."

Finally, the U.S. presence in Iraq continues to bring torture, murder, and havoc.  There is a highly respected website, receiving accolades from major news organizations all over the world.  Its webside is: www.wikileak.org.  

"In April 2010, WikiLeaks released a classified U.S. military video with audio, depicting unprovoked, indiscriminate slaying by U.S. military of over a dozen people on a street in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad July 12, 2007; the victims included two Reuters news staff.  The footage also revealed soldiers shooting up a civilian vehicle that stopped to help the wounded; people in the vehicle were struck and seriously wounded including two young children.  Reuters had tried to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack." -same periodical as above

U.S. troops were sent into Iraq with no real plan to follow the military invasion.  Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld put these troops into an impossible situation.  Military men and women are not trained to rebuild a nation after attack.  They are trained to fight and they did so valiantly and at great sacrifice.  But the bungling leadership in Washington placed them into a far-off country, and expected them to ad lib their way in rebuilding a nation that was never really a nation.  We owe them a debt of gratitude for what they did and what they tried to do.  We owe it to the United States to put Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and others on trial for this catastrophic blunder and for the cause of all the tragedy it inflicted.  And that administration lied to Congress and the American people to gain support for their ridiculously poorly planned attack.  On top of it all, it put the U.S. economic system at a strain that it will take generations to straighten out.  But it is the human toll of Iraqis and Americans that is most tragic.

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