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

 

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas: Into the Void
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Master’s Schedule
Ted Rall
How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired from the LA Times
Mike Whitney
Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
John Wight
The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington
Geoffrey McDonald
Obama’s Overtime Tweak: What is the Fair Price of a Missed Life?
Brian Cloughley
Hypocrisy, Obama-Style
Robert Fantina
Israeli Missteps Take a Toll
Pete Dolack
Speculators Circling Puerto Rico Latest Mode of Colonialism
Ron Jacobs
Spying on Black Writers: the FB Eye Blues
Paul Buhle
The Leftwing Seventies?
Binoy Kampmark
The TPP Trade Deal: of Sovereignty and Secrecy
David Swanson
Vietnam, Fifty Years After Defeating the US
Robert Hunziker
Human-Made Evolution
Shamus Cooke
Why Obama’s “Safe Zone” in Syria Will Inflame the War Zone
David Rosen
Hillary Clinton: Learn From Your Sisters
Sam Husseini
How #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter Can Devalue Life
Shepherd Bliss
Why I Support Bernie Sanders for President
Louis Proyect
Manufacturing Denial
Howard Lisnoff
The Wrong Argument
Tracey Harris
Living Tiny: a Richer and More Sustainable Future
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
A Day of Tears: Report from the “sHell No!” Action in Portland
Tom Clifford
Guns of August: the Gulf War Revisited
Renee Lovelace
I Dream of Ghana
Colin Todhunter
GMOs: Where Does Science Begin and Lobbying End?
Ben Debney
Modern Newspeak Dictionary, pt. II
Christopher Brauchli
Guns Don’t Kill People, Immigrants Do and Other Congressional Words of Wisdom
S. Mubashir Noor
India’s UNSC Endgame
Ellen Taylor
The Voyage of the Golden Rule
Norman Ball
Ten Questions for Lee Drutman: Author of “The Business of America is Lobbying”
Franklin Lamb
Return to Ma’loula, Syria
Masturah Alatas
Six Critics in Search of an Author
Mark Hand
Cinéma Engagé: Filmmaker Chronicles Texas Fracking Wars
Mary Lou Singleton
Gender, Patriarchy, and All That Jazz
Patrick Hiller
The Icebreaker and #ShellNo: How Activists Determine the Course
Charles Larson
Tango Bends Its Gender: Carolina De Robertis’s “The Gods of Tango”