The Surge a Success? Ask an Iraqi.

Chris Floyd links to an opinion piece by Sami Ramadani, an Iraqi exile who opposed the U.S. invasion. Ramadani writes about post-surge Iraq in the context of Sunday’s suicide bombing, which at most recent count has killed over 150 people — including an unknown number of children — and injured at least 500:

t is tragic that Iraq hits the headlines only if there is a major explosion with hundreds killed and injured. Yesterday’s carnage in Baghdad is the second of its kind in two months, and yet another horrific reminder that the Iraqi people are still paying with their blood for the US-led invasion and occupation of their country.

Though inevitable, there is something morally questionable in the way Afghanistan has replaced Iraq in the news headlines. As the number of casualties suffered by US forces went down in Iraq and as the equivalent numbers of US and British casualties in Afghanistan started to climb, the latter has gradually displaced Iraq in the news schedules. This has given the impression that the situation in Iraq has improved markedly and that the country is making progress on all fronts. Back in June, amid much fanfare, the US forces were “withdrawn” from the Iraqi cities to various US bases around the country.

There is no doubt that the situation has improved for US forces, while British troops were airlifted from the fires of Iraq to be thrown into the flames of Afghanistan. The US plan for Iraq has so far succeeded in reducing its own casualties by pushing more of the Iraqi forces into the battle against the “insurgency” – better known in Iraq as the “honourable patriotic resistance” to distinguish it from the hated al-Qaida-style terrorists attacks.

But try to tell Iraqis who are not part of the ruling circles that their situation has improved since the occupation and they will remind you not only of the countless dead and injured but also of the million-plus orphans and widows, the 2 million who fled the country, and the 2 million internal refugees, most of whom live in dreadful squalor.

They will tell you about the sewage covering the streets of many towns and cities, the lack of clean water, fuel and electricity, and the ever deteriorating health and education services. They will tell you about the more than 50% unemployment, the kidnapping of children, the fear of women to move freely, and the rapid rise in drug abuse and prostitution. They will describe the horrific methods of torture inflicted on the tens of thousands of prisoners in Iraqi and American jails. They will remind you that if a “world-famous patriot” such as Muntadhar al-Zaidi, who threw his shoes at President Bush, was tortured by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s own guards and forces, what chance ordinary citizens?

3 Responses to “The Surge a Success? Ask an Iraqi.”

  1. Tater Salad says:

    General McCrystal will resign within a couple of weeks!

  2. Whatever, maybe this guy should write about Saddam to compare. Funny part is we have Muslums killing Muslums!! This is no religion of peace, no way …

    Iraqi people need to take a little responsibility here … they should blame themselves and their gutter religion.

  3. opit says:

    Didn’t take long for the ‘Blame the Victim’ commenter to mouth his vile hatemongering.
    Kathy : there are many ways to ‘wage war’. Sewage in the street is associated with cholera epidemics. Lack of infrastructure is a complicated way of saying people don’t have access to water,food,shelter or safety of their person. The harassment of medical staff and teaching professions work to attack infrastructure too.
    Remember all those ‘Reconstruction’ programs…that didn’t work ?
    What if the arrival of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse can be stage managed ?
    I have put together a collection of sources monitoring stories about drinking water : actually more than just that. My ‘End of an Era’ post was prompted by the dysfunction of Katrina where things were going on in NOLA that made no sense. But I happened to recall a tenet of slavery : monopoly control of essentials leads to empire. So I checked into the Wiki on ‘Hydraulic Empires’…and things have never stopped falling into place. My Index is actually at where you see Opit Online in Collections Forwarded to Blogger. Water – Wealth and Power is the section which is most concentrated in its focus on the subject.
    So what did I notice first ? Likely Common Dreams ‘The Secret Behind the Sanctions’ which notes how George Bush Sr ( ! ) attacked Iraq’s water supply.

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