Posted by CODEPINK Staff
No sir the war is not over!
by Farah Muhsin
Eleven years have passed since the historic day of the fall of Baghdad dawned on all Iraqis, marking the end of an era but the beginning of another deadly one. Eleven years have passed and over 100,000 lives were lost and millions were displaced, more than a million widowed and nearly 2 million orphaned. Children were born into war and no nothing different, the sounds of bombings and sights of blood splashes are few of many norms they are growing up with everyday.
While the US administration in 2008 advocated to bring an end to this “unnecessary” war, President Obama promised to withdraw the troops as soon as possible. Yet, the exit plan was poorly executed leaving a wounded country by war and turmoil without acknowledging the devastation it was living under.
President Obama is proud of this achievement, that he managed to cross Iraq off of his list of duties to complete before leaving the White House, he brings it up at every occasion possible to ensure that his mission is truly accomplished, that he fulfilled his promise and that no more troops are to be sent to Iraq and that Iraq should be and will be ruled by its people, that its resources are used to rebuild the country and the US-Iraqi relations continue to be smooth.
In a speech President Obama gave on March 26 at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in the Belgian capital, President Obama said the one thing anyone wouldn’t imagine, he defended the Iraq war. President Obama said “But even in Iraq, America sought to work within the international system. We did not claim or annex Iraq’s territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain. Instead, we ended our war and left Iraq to its people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about its own future.”
Here’s what’s obviously wrong with this statement:
A) The US did not seek seek to work within the international system, if anything, the US ignored all arguments from the UN security council and former secretary General Koffi Annan was on the verge of resigning.
B) There are several US led corporation that have been actively investing in Iraq since early days after the invasion in 2003. In fact, the majority of these corporations hold their offices in Erbil, northern Iraq, where they are safe and protected from any potential insurgent attacks.
C) Yes, the US did in fact exit the country in 2011 just hours before Christmas Eve, and true no US soldier was deployed to Iraq after that. But the bloodshed and war did not end. In fact, the troop withdrawal ignited more conflict as fighting groups found the vacancy they needed to fulfil their own agenda based on their religious and political motives, supported by regional powers.
The failed exit strategy in Iraq has caused even more lives in Iraq, created more destruction and fear among the Iraqi people. The escalation of violence reached its highest last year a total of 7,818 civilians and 1,050 security forces died in violent attacks across Iraq in 2013 -- making last year the bloodiest in Iraq since 2008.
Iraq today is worse off than it was 11 years ago, and if the US had truly sought to work within the international system as president Obama claimed, then Iraq would have had a better chance in maintaining its sovereignty and independence. Iraqi women would have more protected rights, and men would not have to choose between unemployment and joining a political group or armed militia.
Eleven years and I am still counting the numbers of dead and the displaced. I am also counting the days of when the war criminals who were responsible for this tragedy to spend their lives behind bars, instead of being celebrated with an art gallery or a documentary. Every penny that was spent on celebrating war criminals should be put in a fund to prosecute them. They have committed numerous crimes not only against my people, but against their people as well. Since when lying became an unpunished deed? And killing? Why is it OK for them to get away with causing the lives of 4000 men and women and thousands others who came back home wounded and damaged?
If Bush and his six gang members are not tried for failing to follow international law and unlawfully invade a sovereign country, then they should be at least tried for exploiting the ideals of American democracy.