Tuesday, March 18, 2008

After 5 Years, the Tragedy Continues

From the Desk of Ibrahim-Abdil-Mu'id Ramey
MAS Freedom Civil and Human Rights Director

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MASNET) March 18, 2008 — The conundrum of American primary politics, American Idol worship, and the fall from grace of the former Governor of New York, may have shifted the market-based media focus from the story, but for those who may otherwise be unaware, March 19, 2008 marks the fifth anniversary of the most recent U.S. invasion of Iraq - yet another tragic date in U.S. history that will live in infamy.

What, exactly, has been the cost of the U.S. adventure in Iraq? We are now careening to the number of 4,000 American combat deaths and 40,000 seriously wounded troops. Many of the wounded have been abandoned by their government to a fate of permanent disability and mental distress from the psychological wounds of combat. But this number is dwarfed by the devastation suffered by the Iraqis themselves: 650,000 to one million dead; 400,000 persons displaced from their homes; and the bitter reality of a raging sectarian civil war that has left the nation terrorized and divided.

The recent U.S. troop "surge" has been a useful diversion for the proponents of the war, who now claim some hollow "victory" because of ephemeral military gains in the combat operations against Al-Qaeda and other assorted armed insurgents. But the fundamental contradictions and divisions in the country remain. And Iraq, for all the horrors of it's own history of dictatorship and war, is a far more dangerous and oppressive place that it was under the rule of Saddam.

In the meanwhile, the Iraq war has not only divided U.S. citizens, it has also consolidated world opinion against this nation in a way that no one could have anticipated five years ago. Blatant torture of Iraqi captives, attacks on the civil liberties of Muslim individuals, institutions, and charities in America, and countless violations of both domestic and international law have become the hallmark of the arrogant and recalcitrant regime in Washington that continues the prosecution of the war.

But the conflict in Iraq has also resulted in countless casualties at home, measured in increased domestic violence, family disintegration, alcoholism, and drug abuse suffered by returning U.S. combatants.

War, in every case, results in the massive transfer of wealth from one social class to another. The war in Iraq is no different.

But what is different is the reality of the naked ambition of the global energy and arms oligarchies that have feasted on the $1.2 trillion dollars spent by American taxpayers on the war to date. This violence continues, despite the deepening economic crisis in the nation and the devastation of the national social infrastructure.

In Washington, DC, activists from 40 states plan to gather to mark this tragic anniversary, and in some cases, to engage in non-violent direct action in opposition of the war in Iraq. We must continue to press for the demand to end the war, even if the Democratic Congress lacks the will to oppose the Bush regime's war machine.

The popular tide of resistance to the war will—and must—continue, until the war is ended, and the massive damage to both the United States and to the people of Iraq is fully repaired.

For more information about upcoming events and gatherings, please visit:

No comments: