March 19 marks
its 10th anniversary. Permanent occupation is policy. Killing, destruction,
toxic pollution, and human misery remain unabated. Pre-2003 Iraq no longer
America's Iraq war is one of history's greatest crimes. It followed Gulf
War devastation and punishing sanctions.
They caused about 1.5 million deaths. Most were young children. Up to
7,000 died monthly. Former UN humanitarian coordinator Dennis Halliday
resigned in protest. He refused to be part of what he called "genocide."
Gideon Polya keeps count. From 1990 - 2011, he estimates 1.7 million violent
deaths, 2.9 million avoidable ones (from sanctions, disease, deprivation
and displacement), up to six million refugees, and a dysfunctional, repressive
The cradle of civilization was erased. An occupied wasteland cum giant
free-trade zone replaced it. Nation-building was reinvented. Chicago School
fundamentalists moved in.
"Shock therapy" followed "shock and awe." So did repression, daily killings,
deprivation, mass detention and torture. More on that below.
Iraq's one of history's greatest terror bombing victims. It's permanently
occupied. It's afflicted by violence, devastation, repression, corruption
In 2010, Refugees International (RI) described "a dire humanitarian crisis
that sees huge numbers of (Iraqis) struggl(ing) to survive." America "bears
Conditions today are no better. "Overall," says RI, "Iraq continues to
face long-standing large-scale displacement and pressing (unresolved)
In 2003, virtually everything needed for normal functioning was demolished.
Shock and awe bombing destroyed:
water purification facilities;
sewage treatment and disposal systems;
telephone and other communications;
thousands of homes, apartments and other dwellings;
food processing, storage and distribution facilities;
hotels and retail establishments;
oil wells, pipelines, refineries and storage tanks;
factories and other commercial operations;
historical sites; and
other non-military related targets.
Iraq was the region's most developed country. The cradle of civilization
no longer exists. Dystopian hell replaced it. It's balkanized.
It's illegally occupied. It's colonized for capital. It's victimized by
genocide. Vital infrastructure is absent.
Poverty is extreme. So are unemployment, malnutrition, repression, fear
and human misery. Squatters struggle to survive. They live under bridges,
alongside railroad tracks, and near garbage dumps. Others are externally
Over eight million Iraqis need humanitarian aid. Child mortality is horrific.
Only around half of all primary-aged children attend school.
About five million orphans get by best they can. Around 70% of Iraqis
have no potable water. Around 80% have no clean sanitation. Millions depend
on food aid.
War crimes continue. Daily killing persists. Iraq's a virtual free-fire
zone. Washington bears full responsibility. What Bush began, Obama continues.
Permanent occupation is official policy. Thousands of detainees are held
without trial. Torture and other human rights violations are commonplace.
On March 18, the BRussels Tribunal said "crippling devastation of Iraq
today overwhelms everything else."
Joseph Stiglitz estimates at least $3 trillion spent.
An Indian Strategic Foresight Group report calculated the regional cost
over the past two decades. It estimates $12 trillion.
Washington waged lawless aggression. It's America's forgotten war. It
continues out of sight and mind.
Iraq's a toxic wasteland. Scores of pollutants include depleted uranium,
dangerous chemicals and metals, oil, gasoline, pesticides, bacteria, and
Tigris and Euphrates river waters are contaminated and unsafe. Pollution
causes birth deformities, typhoid, dysentery, cholera, hepatitis, cancer,
diarrheal diseases, and others.
Bremer laws institutionalized pillage. They remain policy. Mass layoffs
followed. Social services eroded or ended. Infrastructure rebuilding's
ignored. Corporate priorities matter most.
Iraq's a giant free-market paradise. It's colonized for capital. It's
a cutthroat capitalist laboratory. It reflects plunder on a grand scale.
Ordinary Iraqis are shut out. Corporate predators took full advantage.
New economic laws instituted low taxes. Foreign asset ownership is 100%.
Profits are freely expropriated.
Imports are unrestricted. Multi-decade deals are consummated. Iraqis are
dispossessed of their own resources. They have no say on policy.
No-bid contracts benefit Big Oil. They take full advantage. Iraq reflects
out-of-control cutthroat capitalism. It's predatory, merciless, corrupt
and bankrupt. It's a weapon of mass destruction. It's an anti-Marshall
Plan. It's pure pillage.
Genocide continues unabated. America's war on humanity rages. It's out-of-control.
Imperial priorities matter most.
War criminals go unpunished. Coverup and denial suppress vital truths.
Managed news misinformation substitutes. What's most important to know
Nothing ahead suggests change. Obama prioritizes war. He has lots more
death and destruction in mind. Today is the most perilous time in world
history. Humanity may not survive his second term.
A Final Comment
Ahead of the Iraq war, a virtual Noar's Ark of scam artists promoted it.
Media scoundrels featured them ad nauseam.
Discredited New York Times columnist, Judith Miller, was a weapon of mass
destruction. She promoted war. She wrote daily propaganda pieces. They
were front page Pentagon features. She's an award-winning Pulitzer Prize
Fouad Ajami lies for power. He's done so for years. Scoundrel media feature
him. In early 2003, he headlined "Iraq and the Arabs' Future."
He was unapologetic about America's impending war. "The region can live
with and use (its) unilateralism," he said.
"The considerable power now at America's disposal can be used by one and
all as a justification for going along with American goals."
There's no turning back, he stressed. "Any fallout of war is certain to
be dwarfed by the terrible consequences of America's walking right up
to the edge of war and then stepping back, letting the Iraqi dictator
work out the terms of another reprieve."
On March 18, Ajami headlined "Ten Years Ago, an Honorable War Began With
Whether or not he had WMDs didn't matter. "(H)e swaggered and let the
world believe" he did. He had to go.
War "offer(ed) a new aim: the reform and freedom of Iraq, and the example
of a decent Iraq in the 'heart of the Arab world.' "
"To Iraq's east lay the Iranian despotism….To the west in Syria there
was the Baath dictatorship of the House of Assad."
War "delivered the Iraqis from a tyranny that they would have never been
able to overthrow on their own."
America's war on Iraq is one of history's greatest crimes. Don't expect
media scoundrels or op-ed contributors to explain. Ajami lies for power.
He’s one of the worst.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive
Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon.
All programs are archived for easy listening.