Thus far, 4,261 members of the U.S. military have been killed in Iraq and 67,237 wounded, not counting many diagnosed after leaving Iraq, including estimated hundreds of thousands with traumatic brain injury, hundreds of thousands with post-traumatic stress disorder, unknown numbers poisoned by hexavalent chromium or depleted uranium, also not counting the many victims of murder by veterans unable to stop doing their jobs, not counting the one in three women in the military sexually assaulted by men in the military, and not counting 6,570 suicides, and twice that many attempts, per year by veterans, and rising. Suffering and death for U.S. troops resulting from the war on Iraq is rising, not diminishing. Veterans are becoming ill, homeless, murderous, and suicidal.
Meanwhile, for Iraqis, years of homelessness, imprisonment, lack of electricity, lack of medicine, injuries, trauma, lost family members, and poisoned environments are taking their toll. Of 1.2 million killed, 2,000 have been doctors. There are 4.7 million refugees, including 20,000 doctors. Almost a third of Iraq’s children suffer from malnutrition, and virtually all Iraqis lack adequate medical services, electricity, and — in many areas — drinking water. Cancer and miscarriages have increased dramatically. While violence is down, the same may not be true of deaths and suffering.
While the U.S. media obsesses over teeny fractions of the trillions of dollars the U.S. government is giving to bankers, 130,000 troops and 160,000 contractors continue to occupy Iraq in the name of the United States, and very few Iraqis are convinced they will ever leave, while even fewer want them to stay. The protest on Saturday at the Pentagon was smaller than on past anniversaries of the invasion of Iraq, apparently limited to those who do not leave it to their televisions to decide what is important to them. Very few voices in the U.S. media address the topic with any seriousness at all. A fake New York Times declared the war over in November as soon as a different brand was put on the “commander in chief,” but the corporate media, congress, and most of the public has accepted that story with a straight face. read on