Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Better Iraq? 4 Million People Say Otherwise

For everyone who still wants so badly to believe that the Iraqi invasion has made life better for the Iraqis, take note that over 4 million of them disagree with you. The first 2+ million moved around inside Iraq:

The number of internally displaced Iraqis rose to more than 2.77 million people by the end of March, some five years after the US-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday.

More than half of the displaced were uprooted after the Al-Askari shrine bombing in Samara in February 2006 which sparked a wave of ethnic violence across the country, UNHCR spokeswoman Jennifer Pagonis told journalists.

Yes 2006 was a long time ago, but if you are looking for hope in the recent lower rates of dislocation, think again:

Displacement was now continuing at a much lower rate, at least partly because communities were now much more homogeneous, as many minorities targeted for persecution had sought refuge among their own kind.

Although there had been a small trickle of people returning to their original homes, only a few families have returned to areas under the control of another sect, it noted.

"No members of minority groups (Christians, Sabaean-Mandaeans and Yazidis) have been reported to be among the returnees," the report said.

So instead of bringing Iraq together, we have motivated them to further segregate themselves, to the point where no one feels safe enough in "unfriendly" neighborhoods to be willing to move into one.
And those neighborhoods aren't so great even for the people living there:

The IDPs' lot remains miserable with more than a million people in need of adequate shelter and food and more than 300,000 people without access to clean water.

One million people without homes and enough people to fill the Cowboys new stadium 4 times over who don't have clean drinking water. I challenge anyone reading this who doesn't think that is such a big deal to go one week, just one, without drinking, cooking in, or otherwise using any water except to bathe.

And of course many Iraqis have simply fled the chaos:

Two million Iraqis have also fled to neighbouring Jordan and Syria, where social and health services are struggling with the influx.

I'll bet they are. Ever been to Syria? Ever wonder what it would be like for Syria to be the best option you've got? Welcome to the new Iraq!

As if all this news isn't bad enough, it ends with this gem of irony:

The UNHCR in January launched an appeal for 261 million dollars (167 million euros) to help all displaced Iraqis, but said Tuesday it had only received a third of this amount.

$261M is what they need. We are spending $14,000M a month to fuck up this country, and we can't spare 1/50th of that to help the refugees we made? So much for the party of personal responsibility. I guess that got flushed down the War on Terror shitter right after "the party of fiscal responsibility".

It's time we got a leader who will end the fiscal and moral threat that is misdubbed The War in Iraq. Sometimes it takes courage to maintain the course. And sometimes, it takes courage to admit a mistake and stop the bleeding. We need that kind of courage now. I know where the Republicans are on this: The 100 Years Train. Where are the Democrats, the cowards, that promised to end this mess and spent the last 3 years sitting on their hands? America voted you in to perform a task, and you have failed. Don't expect much sympathy come November.

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