Monday, March 19, 2007

Iraq is a Humanitarian Disaster, too

Photo: Wathiq Khuzale/Getty, from IraqSlogger. An Iraqi man looks at blood-stained shoes of the victims of a car bomb explosion on March 10, 2007 near Sadr city Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad, Iraq.

  • the worst refugee crisis in the world, nearly one in five Iraqis is dead or displaced
  • a destroyed economy. 50-70% unemployment. Shortages of all basic necessities affect everyone: food, water, fuel, electricity
  • ...has increasing levels of violence. October 2006 had at least 6000 civilian casualties (double Oct 2005). The number of daily attacks on US troops has also doubled in the same time frame.
  • blamed for its own problems

Happy 4th Birthday, Iraq Occupation.'s worth thinking about what all those horrific figures will look like next March, on the fifth anniversary of the invasion, and the March after, on the sixth, and the March after that…

From Electronic Iraq and TomDispatch, Billboarding the Iraqi Disaster.

Anthony Arnove looks at the numbing numbers four years into the war and puts them next to the better known - and equally numbing - numbers in Darfur, comparing the response in US progressive circles to both tragedies.
Why is it that we are counting and thinking about the Sudanese dead as part of a high-profile, celebrity-driven campaign to 'Save Darfur,' yet Iraqi deaths still go effectively uncounted, and rarely seem to provoke moral outrage, let alone public campaigns to end the killing? And why are the numbers of killed in Darfur cited without any question, while the numbers of Iraqi dead, unless pitifully low-ball figures, are instantly challenged -- or dismissed?
Looking at what the US attack on Iraq has unleashed, and at widespread appeals for US military intervention in Sudan, Arnove notes: "The focus on Darfur serves to legitimize the idea of US intervention at the very moment when the carnage that such intervention causes is all too visible and is being widely repudiated around the globe."
Read the Whole Article


TomCat said...

Perhaps intervention as peace keepers might be different that Bush's way: intervention as conquerors.

Red Jenny said...

That would be better, but how often has damage been done in the name of peacekeeping? Afghanistan comes to mind, as does Haiti. I'm not sure what the answer is, but I'm pretty sure of what the answer is not: bombs.