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Saturday, February 28, 2009


 

Losing the Iraq "war"


I've written many times about the abomination of even discussing the idea of "winning" the Iraq "war" (which was little more of a "war" than the recent Israeli assault on Gaza, and, after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003 wasn't a "war" at all). But I tend to resort to statistics when I discuss the subject - more than a million dead Iraqis, hundreds of thousands more injured, three million widows, millions of orphans, two million exiled and 2.7 million more internally displaced, and so on.

Of all the things I have read in the last while, none has moved me more than this article from the latest issue of The Nation, which discusses the plight of Iraqi refugees, not with statistics (although they're there too, of course), but with the stories of the refugees. The horrible things they suffered that caused them to flee their country, and the horrible suffering they've endured since then in countries where they can't work, where they live in squalid conditions, women forced to work as prostitutes, and worse. I'm not even going to attempt to excerpt any of the stories; to do so would be an injustice to the author, and the power of her article. Please read it.

We discuss the "right of return" for Palestinian refugees, but the Iraqi refugees suffer from a problem just as serious - they have the right to return, they just can't return because their former neighborhood has been ethnically cleansed and, even today when we're told things are "safer" in Iraq, their lives are still in danger. Indeed, the fact the many of the two million Iraqis who fled Iraq live in horrible circumstances and still consider that life better than returning to Iraq tells us more about the real state of things in Iraq than any speeches from American politicians or articles in the American media.

The author doesn't say this, but I will: Every one of these tragic stories is the direct result of the illegal U.S. invasion of Iraq. And the fact that the U.S. has given asylum to fewer than 20,000 of those refugees is just one more insult on top of that massive injury.

I can't recommend reading this article more highly. It should be required reading for anyone who has ever uttered the word "winning" while talking about Iraq. Not to mention required reading for anyone who even contemplates supporting "humanitarian intervention."


Why stop here? There's more...

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