Thursday, March 19, 2009

Other voices on the anniversary of the ground invasion

Yifat Susskind:
Here in the U.S., we've rarely heard the story of the Iraq War told from the perspective of women. So what are Iraqi women saying on the sixth anniversary of the US invasion? The same thing they've been saying since 2003: end the occupation. Polls consistently show that a majority of Iraqis want US troops out.

[snip]

This week marks six years since the U.S. invaded Iraq. In that time, women have not only faced with mounting violence -- they have also organized a movement to confront US occupation and violence against women.

Looking for a way to speak out against the repression she witnessed, Fatin joined the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq (OWFI). In partnership with MADRE, an international women's human rights organization based in New York, OWFI has worked to promote women's human rights, creating a network of women's shelters to protect women fleeing violence.

The women of Iraq are creating the foundation on which a peaceful and just future will be built. It's time we started listening to them.
That article comes courtesy of Chris Floyd, who also has this to say:
...the United States very deliberately empowered some of the most violent, retrograde elements in Iraqi society (many of them militias formed, trained and armed by Iran), and then helped them carry out one of the most savage "ethnic cleansing" campaigns since World War II. The Americans did this because they hoped that the extremists would trade the power and perks that Washington had given them for a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq sweetheart deals on oil, and crony contracts out the wazoo. And despite all the talk of "drawdowns" and deadlines, all three of these aims are still very much in play. In fact, the last one -- the continuation war pork the for war profiteers back home -- is a dead certainty, with billions of arms deals for the new Iraqi military already in the pipeline, joining the hundreds of billions already funneled, by hook, crook and no-bid contract, into the bipartisan elite's favorite corporate troughs.
Robin Long (h/t Another Point of View):

In 2004 when Jeremy Hinzmen applied for refugee status in Canada the Conservative government stepped in at his Refugee Hearing and said that evidence challenging the legality of the war in Iraq can't be used in this case. The U.N. Handbook for Refugees and the Nuremburg Principals say:

A soldier of an army that is involved in an illegal war of aggression has a higher international duty to refuse service. They also have the right to seek refugee protection in any country that is signatory to the Geneva Convention.

By refusing to allow him, and by precedent all other claimants, the right to use the argument that the war was illegal, the decision closed the door on that legal avenue for refugee protection.

The invasion of Iraq was clearly an illegal act of aggression. The U.S. was not under attack or the imminent threat of attack from the nation of Iraq. The action was also not approved by the U.N. Security Council. By taking this stance, the Conservative government is condoning the invasion and continuing occupation of Iraq. Is this what Canadians want? A majority of Americans want it to end and have also realized it to be a mistake. Canadians have long known it to be wrong. Why is the minority Conservative government still holding onto the idea and still deporting war resisters? Why are they separating families and being complicit in the incarceration of morally strong young men and women? What message is this sending?

A reporter from the Miami Herald writes on the condition of Iraq's drinking water six years after the 2003 ground invasion (h/t Drudge Retort):
The stench of human waste is enough to tell Falah abu Hasan that his drinking water is bad. His infant daughter Fatma's continuous illnesses and his own constant nausea confirm it. "We are the poor. No one cares if we get sick and die,'' he said. ``But someone should do something about the water. It is dirty. It brings disease." Everybody complains about the water in Baghdad, and few are willing to risk drinking it from the tap. Six years after the U.S. invaded Iraq, 36 percent of Baghdad's drinking water is unsafe, according to the Iraqi Environment Ministry -- in a good month. In a bad month, it's 90 percent. Cholera broke out last summer, and officials fear another outbreak this year.
That of course is but one of numerous infrastructure catastrophes faced by the Iraqi people thanks to not only the ground invasion and occupation, but also years of economic blockades and air strikes spearheaded by the US.

Turns out that our corporate media are largely ignoring the anniversary (with kudos to USA Today as the primary exception):
Today marks six years since former President Bush launched the invasion of Iraq — a preventive war of choice based on “intelligence fixed around the policy.” Since that time, hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent, over 4,000 U.S. servicemen and women and hundreds more from coalition countries have died (tens of thousands more physically and mentally wounded), nearly 100,000 (or more) Iraqi civilians have parished and nearly 5 million have been displaced. Yet the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, and many other major American newspapers are ignoring the anniversary today. Only USA Today printed a story noting the anniversary of the invasion. Today’s Progress Report has more on the good, the bad, and the ugly of developments surrounding the Iraq war over the last year.
H/t The End Of The World.

Some other assorted blog voices that grabbed my attention:

Judi's Mind Over Matter has a time line, Jonathan Powers offers a veteran's eye view (Huffington Post also has something of a roundup of bloggers it hosts regarding the anniversary), Quaker House of Fayetteville NC says "End the War", Marshall Thompson (h/t The SideTrack) is organizing an online protest on Twitter and Facebook, Ten Percent marks the anniversary (h/t Blazing Indiscretions) MashGet marks a day of protests against the war and AIG, Jeremy Gantz marks the anniversary with some reflection and some data, and the Common Ills has an Iraq snapshot. Finally, see Kathy Sanborn's column in Counterpunch on Iraq's broken culture.

No comments:

Post a Comment