While official politics and the media in the United States are focused largely on competing plans for salvaging the American occupation from the debacle it confronts in Iraq, little serious consideration is given to the historic catastrophe that has been inflicted upon Iraqi society itself.
Although no definitive figures can be given on the total number of Iraqis who have died as a result of the US war and occupation—including those killed in the invasion and subsequent armed violence and those whose lives have been cut short by disease and hunger, particularly among the young and old—every serious estimate places the excess death toll between several hundred thousands and one million human beings.
Iraq, once among the most advanced countries of the region, has been reduced, in terms of basic economic and social indices, to the level of the poorest countries of sub-Saharan Africa.
What is involved is the systematic destruction of an entire society through the unleashing of violence and criminality on a scale not seen since Hitler’s armies ravaged Europe in the Second World War.
American society itself is suffering deadly consequences from this war. The number of US soldiers killed in Iraq has topped 3,400, with every indication that the casualty rate is climbing as the Bush administration’s “surge” sends combat troops into the densely populated and overwhelmingly hostile neighborhoods of Baghdad.
Another 30,000 American military personnel have been wounded or injured, many of them grievously. Undoubtedly, hundreds of thousands more will suffer the psychological effects of having participated in a dirty colonial war.
The war’s daily drain on the US economy is estimated at over $300 million, with predictions that its total cost could top $2 trillion.
There is an even greater cost, however, in terms of the damage done by this criminal war to the political, social and, indeed, moral health of American society. The Iraq war—all of the tired propaganda about the “war on terrorism,” the struggle for “democracy” and the “liberation” of the Iraqi people notwithstanding—is a failed attempt by America’s financial elite to further enrich itself and secure its continued global hegemony through the naked theft of Iraq’s oil wealth.
Every section of the US political and corporate establishment, all branches and levels of government, both major political parties, and the mass media are all implicated in massive war crimes. Criminality on such a grand scale cannot go unpunished without grave implications for the future of the American people and, indeed, all of humanity.
Taken together, US operations in Iraq have amounted to sociocide—the deliberate and systematic murder of an entire society. READ MORE