FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Tsunami Hits Iraq

by GEORGE CAPACCIO

Massive political plates in the depths of Old Foggy Bottom unexpectedly shifted this past weekend. Megatons of pressure, built up from decades of internal strife, sent gargantuan waves hurtling towards Iraq. The country’s antiquated defenses quickly crumbled, leaving the Iraqi people at the mercy of forces beyond their control.

Already weakened from twelve years of sanctions, two wars, and the cruelties of a monstrous regime, the people of Iraq are now suffering what some have called a crime against humanity. Entire cities have been leveled and tens of thousands left homeless as wave upon wave of tanks, hellfire missiles, helicopter gunships, and F-16s came crashing down from Mosul to Basra.

Relief workers fear that as many as 100,000 civilians may have been killed in this latest catastrophe. Iraq’s fragile health care system, crippled by sanctions and the neglect of the Hussein regime, is struggling to cope with the growing number of wounded and sick. UNICEF and similar organizations have noted a doubling of malnutrition among children under 5 and an alarming rise in water-borne diseases. Children, the elderly, and the poor, as always, are most at risk

So far, the response of the international community has been somewhat muted even as the fury of this unnatural assault on Iraq shows no sign of letting up. Meanwhile, President Bush and his supporters continue to blame the so-called insurgents for the turmoil now engulfing the country. U.S. commanders are calling for even greater force to “break the back of the rebellion” and bring peace and freedom to this unfortunate land.
Of the billions Congress has set aside for Iraq’s reconstruction, only a fraction has actually been spent. Some critics charge that the country’s economy is fast becoming a tiny lifeboat reserved for those who play by Washington’s rules. Everyone else will either sink or swim without even a food basket to keep them afloat, these critics fear. Worse, they say, are the Great White financial institutions waiting to sink their Great White teeth into the country’s now and future wealth. If the IMF and the World Bank have their way, these critics argue, the poor will end up like bloody chum at the bottom of structural adjustment programs.

Officials with the Iraqi Red Crescent acknowledge that conditions in their country are a far cry from the near-apocalyptic calamity that has befallen victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami. However, they call upon the international community and people of goodwill everywhere to recognize and address the horror of life in liberated Iraq. With death and destruction swirling ever more viciously, the number of casualties on all sides continues to mount. According to a recent study, for Iraqis, the risk of violent death is 58 times greater than it was before Washington’s wave blasted their homes and cities.

A surging crime rate, a breakdown of law and order, increased malnutrition among children, epidemics of water-borne diseases, high unemployment, chronic shortages of even the most basic medical supplies, escalating costs for food and housing, and the long-term effects of radiation poisoning from depleted uranium munitions–these are some of the monsters war has released from deep-sea cells and loosed upon the Iraqi people.
While Tony Blair speaks of a conflict between those fighting to bring democracy and those hell-bent on terror, imperial pirates and Iraqi scalawags plan the best way to plunder Iraq’s resources and keep the bulk of the population at bay. Economic reforms instituted by former proconsul Paul Bremer promise to crack open the Iraqi market as if it were the Red Sea.

In the wake of this all-too-human disaster, among the debris, the ballooning, blackened corpses, the burned out cars, the pools of bright red blood, the shattered houses, the still-trembling children; among the keening women in black, the desecrated mosques and churches, the sodomized, tortured prisoners, the beheaded hostages, the phantom furies winning the peace with blitzkrieg precision, the voice of the people cries out to be heard.

GEORGE CAPACCIO is a writer and activist who has made 9 trips to Iraq with Voices in the Wilderness and other peace and justice groups. His email address is Capaccio@3bc.com

 

 

George Capaccio is a writer and activist living in Arlington, MA. During the years of US- and UK-enforced sanctions against Iraq, he traveled there numerous times, bringing in banned items, befriending families in Baghdad, and deepening his understanding of how the sanctions were impacting civilians. His email is Georgecapaccio@verizon.net. He welcomes comments and invites readers to visit his website: www.georgecapaccio.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
May 26, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Swamp Politics, Trump Style: “Russiagate” Diverts From the Real White House Scandals
Paul Street
It’s Not Gonna Be Okay: the Nauseating Nothingness of Neoliberal Capitalist and Professional Class Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
The ICEmen Cometh
Ron Jacobs
The Deep State is the State
Pete Dolack
Why Pence Might be Even Worse Than Trump
Patrick Cockburn
We Know What Inspired the Manchester Attack, We Just Won’t Admit It
Thomas Powell
The Dirty Secret of the Korean War
Mark Ashwill
The Fat Lady Finally Sings: Bob Kerrey Quietly Resigns from Fulbright University Vietnam Leadership Position
John Davis
Beyond Hope
Uri Avnery
The Visitation: Trump in Israel
Ralph Nader
The Left/Right Challenge to the Failed “War on Drugs”
Traci Yoder
Free Speech on Campus: a Critical Analysis
Dave Lindorff
Beware the Supporter Scorned: Upstate New York Trump Voters Hit Hard in President’s Proposed 2018 Budget
Daniel Read
“Sickening Cowardice”: Now More Than Ever, Britain’s Theresa May Must be Held to Account on the Plight of Yemen’s Children
Ana Portnoy
Before the Gates: Puerto Rico’s First Bankruptcy Trial
M. Reza Behnam
Rethinking Iran’s Terrorism Designation
Brian Cloughley
Ukraine and the NATO Military Alliance
Josh Hoxie
Pain as a Policy Choice
David Macaray
Stephen Hawking Needs to Keep His Mouth Shut
Ramzy Baroud
Fear as an Obstacle to Peace: Why Are Israelis So Afraid?
Kathleen Wallace
The Bilious Incongruity of Trump’s Toilet
Seth Sandronsky
Temping Now
Alan Barber – Dean Baker
Blue Collar Blues: Manufacturing Falls in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania in April
Jill Richardson
Saving America’s Great Places
Richard Lawless
Are Credit Rating Agencies America’s Secret Fifth Column?
Louis Proyect
Venezuela Reconsidered
Murray Dobbin
The NDP’s Singh and Ashton: Flash Versus Vision
Ron Leighton
Endarkenment: Postmodernism, Identity Politics, and the Attack on Free Speech
Anthony Papa
Drug War Victim: Oklahoma’s Larry Yarbrough to be Freed after 23 Years in Prison
Rev. John Dear
A Call to Mobilize the Nation Over the Next 18 Months
Yves Engler
Why Anti-Zionism and Anti-Jewish Prejudice Have to Do With Each Other
Ish Mishra
Political Underworld and Adventure Journalism
Binoy Kampmark
Roger Moore in Bondage
Rob Seimetz
Measuring Manhoods
Edward Curtin
Sorry, You’re Not Invited
Vern Loomis
Winning the Lottery is a State of Mind
Charles R. Larson
Review: Mary V. Dearborn’s “Ernest Hemingway”
David Yearsley
The Ethos of Mayfest
May 25, 2017
Jennifer Matsui
The Rise of the Alt-Center
Michael Hudson
Another Housing Bubble?
Robert Fisk
Trump Meets the New Leader of the Secular World, Pope Francis
John Laforge
Draft Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Unveiled
Benjamin Dangl
Trump’s Budget Expands War on the Backs of America’s Poor
Alice Donovan
US-Led Air Strikes Killed Record Number of Civilians in Syria
Andrew Moss
The Meaning of Trump’s Wall
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail