Sunday, August 10, 2014
Juan Cole - The Cruel Jest of American “Humanitarian Aid” to Iraq
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
One is happy that the US
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 US press either has a short memory or is being
disingenuous when they talk about a humanitarian mission in Iraq!
The US 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 US 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.
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 US 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
US did to . Iraq