Top Leaderboard, Site wide
October 31, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!


The Missing Women of Afghanistan






Truthdig Bazaar
The Best American Essays 2007

The Best American Essays 2007

By David Foster Wallace (Editor), Robert Atwan (Series Editor)
$11.20

more items

 
Report

The Cruel Jest of American ‘Humanitarian Aid’ to Iraq

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Aug 11, 2014

By Juan Cole

    U.S. soldier stands in front of an Iraqi woman’s house during a search for three missing soldiers in Al Thobat, Iraq, in 2007. The U.S. Army (CC BY 2.0)

This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page.

The United States of America has no claim on the language of “humanitarian aid” to Iraq after what it did to that country.  It is rather as though Washington should send Meals Ready to Eat to the good people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  One is happy that the U.S. has dropped food aid for the Yezidis trapped on a mountain after they escaped the so-called “Islamic State” of self-styled “caliph” Ibrahim.  But the U.S. press either has a short memory or is being disingenuous when they talk about a humanitarian mission in Iraq!

The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent 8-year military Occupation of that country caused over one million Iraqis to be displaced abroad, especially to Syria and Jordan, but some of them got to Sweden and a few to the U.S. itself.

Further about 4 million Iraqis were displaced internally.  Baghdad underwent an ethnic cleansing of its Sunni Arabs, with the proportion likely falling from 45 percent of the city to 15 percent or so of the city.  The “Islamic State” push on the capital in concert with other Sunni Arabs is an attempt to recover what was taken from them by the Bush administration.  Likewise, the Sunni Turkmen of Tel Afar under the Americans were ethnically cleansed and the town became largely Shiite.  Turkmen Shiites are among the northern ethnic groups now menaced by IS.

Advertisement

Square, Site wide
The U.S. was the proximate cause of a civil war in 2006-2007 in which at some points as many as 3,000 people were being killed each month. 

How many Iraqis died because of the U.S. invasion, i.e. the extra mortality rate, is hard to estimate.  But likely it was at least 300,000 persons.  Typically wounded in war are three times as many as the killed, so that would give us nearly 1 million wounded.  Most of the 300,000 who died were men, many of them with families, and in Iraq there were few or no insurance policies.  That left 300,000 or so widows and likely 1.5 million orphans.

“Humanitarian mission” may sound good to American ears.  But there is no way a few food drops can make up for what the U.S. did to Iraq.

——–

ABC News:  “Crisis in Iraq: U.S/. launches Second Round of Airstrikes in Iraq”


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook