Monday, February 2, 2009

The human costs of Bush's invasion of Iraq

[Click here for souce of photo and much more information]

John Tirman, writing for The Nation, provides us with the latest estimates of the human costs related to George W. Bush's ill-advised, illegal and incredibly stupid invasion of Iraq.

He says, "the United Nations estimates that there are about 4.5 million displaced Iraqis -- more than half of them refugees -- or about one in every six citizens." [More perspective: That's about as many people as live in the area of South Florida comprised of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach.]

"Only 5 percent [of these displaced Iraqis] have chosen to return to their homes over the past year, a period of reduced violence from the high levels of 2005-2007. The availability of healthcare, clean water, functioning schools, jobs and so forth remains elusive. According to Unicef, many provinces report that less than 40 percent of households have access to clean water. More than 40 percent of children in Basra, and more than 70 percent in Baghdad, cannot attend school.

"The mortality caused by the war is also high. ... we have, at present, between 800,000 and 1.3 million 'excess deaths' as we approach the six-year anniversary of this war."

In summary: "About 1 million killed, 4.5 million displaced, 1-2 million widows, 5 million orphans."

What did they do to deserve us?

Read the entire article here.


Bob Poris said...

For those interested, the history of Iraq is interesting. They were primarily secular, well educated and with a strong middle class. They were a perfect target for a democratic state once Saddam was overthrown. Had the Bush administration known their culture, we could have had a sort of democratic country. I am afraid, they think of all Arabs as if they were one nation or one people. There are many different Arabic languages and only the written language is the same. A Syrian would have trouble understanding the Berbers of Morocco or even a Saudi. They are different not just dialects. The variety within Islam is also misunderstood by many. They are not a united people. Palestinians are mostly Syrian in culture, language, music, religion, literature etc. and very different from the Saudis and most of the Gulf kingdoms. Hopefully Mrs. Clinton is aware of all this and understands the differences. Iraq was destroyed culturally in addition to physically and will have difficulty putting it all back together again, especially with Iran stressing the religious differences, which was workable for centuries, with intermarriage and cooperation of both major sects.

This is why it is important to vote for intelligent, educated people if we want to exist as part of the global world we find ourselves in now. Palin is not in that league, incidentally. She is uneducated regarding the world outside Alaska or the USA.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Mr. Poris. It reminds me of the fact that in the US, we've reduced many peoples' cultures, their languages, arts, and achievements, to oil and terrorism. We think of them as nothing outside of those two prisms.

Anonymous said...

It was incredibly stupid of W to invade Iraq, PERIOD! He should have been impeached; he should be arrested for war crimes. Let's hope someone in DC has a spine and goes after the former administration before some other country does. Oh wait, what do I care? I hope ALL countries go after W!

Bob Poris said...

I hope Obama decides to look into any precedents that violated our Constitution, like deciding what the role of the VP is; the attorney General’s changing the role to one of politics; unwarranted wiretaps; refusal to allow testimony or to ignore a legal summons; the destruction of e-mails; etc.

We are now seeing respected former officials cheating on their taxes; election fraud; etc.

How can we be expected to trust our government if we cannot investigate?

How can Bush pardon people before they have been charged with anything?

If these things are allowed to establish precedent, what happens when we get a potential dictator in office?

The checks and balances will not work if one branch can take over the other branches responsibilities.

We are now reaping what has been sowed.

Anonymous said...


Tom Grey answers David Crow's request the empirical basis for his statement on the number of dead under Saddam Hussein. "See Here is an excerpt:":Along with other human rights organizations, The Documental Centre for Human Rights in Iraq has compiled documentation on over 600,000 civilian executions in Iraq. Human Rights Watch reports that in one operation alone, the Anfal, Saddam killed 100,000 Kurdish Iraqis. Another 500,000 are estimated to have died in Saddam's needless war with Iran. Coldly taken as a daily average for the 24 years of Saddam's reign, these numbers give us a horrifying picture of between 70 and 125 civilian deaths per day for every one of Saddam's 8,000-odd days in power"

It seems the people of Iraq can't catch a break.

Anonymous said...

I agree Bob. What do you think of our judicial branch? Their job is to interpret law rather than make law right? Legislation branch makes laws right? Do you think some federal and appellate courts have pushed their own agenda on the American public by crossing that fine line of interpret/make laws?

Jacob said...

You're sure as hell right about that!

Bob Poris said...

Sometimes, perhaps. The Court is what has allowed the Constitution to be a living document. Their role does include the interpretation of the Constitution, what was meant by the words. I do not believe that a document written in the language, morals, knowledge, culture, etc of the times, can be taken literally hundreds of years later, any more than we can take the Bible literally. The founding fathers allowed for amendments, in the event that changes were deemed to be necessary. It is always possible that people do have an agenda and that they are pulled in a direction that we do not agree with. Again, I make the comparison with the Bible. Some denominations disagree with others on what various words and passages meant. Off hand, I cannot think of any document that is not subject to interpretation and viewpoints. We have a system of checks and balances to avoid abuses of the various obligations of the three branches. We have seen what happens when one branch over shadows either or both of the other branches The past eight years have been very dangerous ones as far as our system goes. We were in danger of a dictatorship due to excessive power of one branch.

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