At a conservative estimate, Iraqis form 1 million statistics as the result of the most recent U.S. war of aggression, begun in March 2003. This number excludes the 500,000 children buried because of American restrictions on Iraqi imports of medicine and food between 1991 and 2003, a number former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright deemed “worth it”. It also excludes the nearly 2 million adults who also did not survive those draconian “sanctions” during that same period.
But what of those who survived the sanctions, the bombed-out housing, the devastated water-treatment facilities, the wrecked power plants, the collapsed bridges, and the wiped-out roads? The people who survived the “rules of engagement” devised by the War Department in peaceful Washington, D.C.? You know, the families whose front doors were kicked in by the new Crusaders, ready, willing, and able to shoot anyone whose looks they did not like?
Well, there are roughly 2 million of these who fled such situations, who have been forced out of their homes (or what’s left of their homes), to seek shelter and sustenance, where and when and however they might find them. And those are the ones still in Iraq.
There are also an estimated 2 million more who navigated the radioactive, poisonous, depleted uranium dust from expended U.S. munitions and found refuge in neighboring countries, lands such as Syria, denounced by the United States and Israel as supporting terrorism, and Lebanon, a country devastated and destabilized by American and Israeli pressures and policies. Unlike Israel and America, Syria, bleeding Lebanon, and nearby Jordan are poor countries, short of water, food, and resources, barely able to feed and shelter their own people.
Iraq once numbered about 25 million inhabitants. The approximately 4 million “internally displaced” and “refugees” together comprise about 15% of the population. The ones abroad are mostly members of what was once the Arab world’s most educated and populous middle class, the very people needed in any country for stability and growth, the very people that a devastated Iraq cannot afford to lose.
American policy towards Iraq has been equal-opportunity terrorism: the 2 million Chaldean Catholics, Muslim Shii, Muslim Sunni, and others, all left because of fear: fear of death from above, fear of death threats, fear of murder, fear of kidnappings. They also feared religious violence engendered by U.S.-sponsored militias, U.S.-backed sects of one kind or another–or of American-sponsored death squads designed to trigger Hatfield/McCoy-style internecine violence.
This is an unfortunately familiar pattern. The American South saw it during the War Between the States. Germany and Japan saw it during the 1939 war. It is a pattern designed to dehouse, deculturalize, destabillize, and destroy a country and its people. In this case, it is a country and a people who invented the wheel, who invented writing, who invented accountable government. Iraq is a country and a people with 5,000 years of recorded history behind them, a history reduced to dust and ashes, like the Mesopotamian treasures of the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad.
That’s the general. Here’s the specific.