Iraq war ‘achievements’
From the continued and escalating activities of the resistance, it’s perfectly clear that the people of Iraq are not willing to accept the hand that has been dealt them by the US and its allies.
Meanwhile, the officially-declared ‘end’ of this still ongoing war is a good moment for us to take stock of what has been done to a country whose healthcare system, infrastructure, sanitation, educational establishments, culture and general level of existence were once the pride of the Middle East.
The war has been a devastating nightmare for the vast majority of Iraqis. Well over a million have died; millions more have been made refugees; sanitation, employment, education and healthcare systems have been destroyed; hunger levels have risen dramatically. In short, conditions have sunk from being some of the best in the region until they are now in line with the poorest countries in the world.
A recent Stop The War newsletter summarised some of the key outcomes so far of the war:
Millions of orphans and widows;
Millions of internal and external refugees;
Alarming rise in city slum dwellers from 20 percent to 53 percent of Iraq’s 19 million urban population;
Laying the foundation for one of the world’s most corrupt and unstable states;
Massive damage to all essential services and people’s daily lives;
Rapid rise in cancer cases and deformities of the newly born, caused by the use of depleted uranium and chemical weapons (see article on Fallujah elsewhere in this issue);
Over 50 percent unemployment;
Disproportionate damage to the lives of women and children;
US tactics of divide and rule, utilising ethnic and religious differences;
Opening Iraq’s borders to an assortment of terrorists to fuel ethnic and religious tensions;
Using terror laws to repress Iraqi trade unionists.
Bradley Manning faces lengthy prison sentence
ConsortiumNews.com recently reported that Private Bradley Manning, who was a 22-year-old intelligence analyst in Iraq, has been charged by the US military with leaking a 2007 video of a US helicopter gunship mowing down a dozen Iraqi men. This video, when it appeared earlier this year on WikiLeaks, caused widespread outrage against the inhuman practices of the military occupation in Iraq.
Now Bradley Manning faces decades in prison for his role in exposing abuses committed by the US military. Reporters Without Borders commented: “If this young soldier had not leaked the video, we would have had no evidence of what was clearly a serious abuse on the part of the US military.” (Quoted in ‘Bradley Manning: accused of telling the truth about Afghanistan, stopwar.org, 18 September 2010)
All those who oppose imperialism’s war crimes should join the calls for Manning’s release.
If you haven’t yet seen it, you are advised to visit YouTube.com and search for ‘Lowkey Terrorist’. MC Lowkey’s new music video, ‘Terrorist’, released on 11 September, explores the concepts of ‘terrorists’ and ‘terrorism’, and asks whether they aren’t more suited to imperialist states than to resistance movements.
The video is causing a massive stir (at the time of writing, it’s received over 275,000 views on YouTube), and is generating serious discussion amongst young people up and down the country.