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

February 27, 2017
Anthony DiMaggio
Media Ban! Making Sense of the War Between Trump and the Press
Dave Lindorff
Resume Inflation at the NSC: Lt. General McMaster’s Silver Star Was Essentially Earned for Target Practice
Conn Hallinan
Is Trump Moderating US Foreign Policy? Hardly
Norman Pollack
Political Castration of State: Militarization of Government
Kenneth Surin
Inside Dharavi, a Mumbai Slum
Lawrence Davidson
Truth vs. Trump
Binoy Kampmark
The Extradition Saga of Kim Dotcom
Robert Fisk
Why a Victory Over ISIS in Mosul Might Spell Defeat in Deir Ezzor
David Swanson
Open Guantanamo!
Ted Rall
The Republicans May Impeach Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Why Should Trump―or Anyone―Be Able to Launch a Nuclear War?
Andrew Stewart
Down with Obamacare, Up with Single Payer!
Colin Todhunter
Message to John Beddington and the Oxford Martin Commission
David Macaray
UFOs: The Myth That Won’t Die?
Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Mike Miller
What Kind of Movement Moment Are We In? 
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail