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

Weekend Edition
May 06, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Dave Wagner
When Liberals Run Out of Patience: the Impolite Exile of Seymour Hersh
John Stauber
Strange Bedfellows: the Bizarre Coalition of Kochs, Neocons and Democrats Allied Against Trump and His #FUvoters
Joshua Frank
Afghanistan: Bombing the Land of the Snow Leopard
Bill Martin
Fear of Trump: Annals of Parliamentary Cretinism
Carol Miller
Pretending the Democratic Party Platform Matters
Paul Street
Hey, Bernie, Leave Them Kids Alone
Tamara Pearson
Mexico Already Has a Giant Wall, and a Mining Company Helped to Build It
Dave Lindorff
Bringing the Sanders ‘Revolution’ to Philly’s Streets
Margaret Kimberley
Obama’s Last Gasp Imperialism
Carmelo Ruiz
The New Wave of Repression in Puerto Rico
Jack Denton
Prison Labor Strike in Alabama: “We Will No Longer Contribute to Our Own Oppression”
Jeffrey St. Clair
David Bowie’s 100 Favorite Books, the CounterPunch Connection
David Rosen
Poverty in America: the Deepening Crisis
Pepe Escobar
NATO on Trade, in Europe and Asia, is Doomed
Pete Dolack
Another Goodbye to Democracy if Transatlantic Partnership is Passed
Carla Blank
Prince: Pain and Dance
Josh Hoxie
American Tax Havens: Elites Don’t Have to go to Panama to Hide Their Money–They’ve Got Delaware
Gabriel Rockhill
Media Blackout on Nuit Debout
Barry Lando
Welcome to the Machine World: the Perfect Technological Storm
Hilary Goodfriend
The Wall Street Journal is Playing Dirty in El Salvador, Again
Frank Stricker
Ready for the Coming Assault on Social Security? Five Things Paul Ryan and Friends Don’t Want You to Think About
Robert Gordon
Beyond the Wall: an In-Depth Look at U.S. Immigration Policy
Roger Annis
City at the Heart of the Alberta Tar Sands Burning to the Ground
Simon Jones
RISE: New Politics for a Tired Scotland
Rob Hager
After Indiana: Sanders Wins another Purple State, But Remains Lost in a Haze of Bad Strategy and Rigged Delegate Math
Howard Lisnoff
Father Daniel Berrigan, Anti-war Hero With a Huge Blindspot
Adam Bartley
Australia-China Relations and the Politics of Canberra’s Submarine Deal
Nyla Ali Khan
The Complexity of the Kashmir Issue: “Conflict Can and Should be Handled Constructively
Ramzy Baroud
The Spirit of Nelson Mandela in Palestine: Is His Real Legacy Being Upheld?
Mel Gurtov
North Korea’s New Weapons: Full Speed Ahead?
Alli McCracken - Raed Jarrar
#IsraelSaudi: A Match Made in Hell
George Wuerthner
Working Wilderness and Other Code Words
Robert Koehler
Cowardice and Exoneration in Kunduz
Ron Jacobs
Psychedelic Rangers Extraordinaire
Missy Comley Beattie
It’s a Shit Show!
Kevin Martin
President Obama Should Meet A-Bomb Survivors
David Macaray
Our Best Weapon Is Being Systematically Eliminated
Colin Todhunter
Future Options: From Militarism and Monsanto to Gandhi and Bhaskar Save
Binoy Kampmark
The Trump Train Chugs Along
Thomas Knapp
The End of the Bill of Rights is at Our Fingertips
Cesar Chelala
A Lesson of Auschwitz
John Laforge
Dan Berrigan, 1921 – 2016: “We Haven’t Lost, Because We Haven’t Given Up.”
Norman Trabulsy Jr
John Denver and My 40th High School Reunion
Charles R. Larson
Being Gay in China, Circa 1987
David Yearsley
Skepticism, Irony, and Doubt: Williams on Bach
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail