Happy Fifth Birthday, Free Iraq

Everywhere you look in the media these days there are words of optimism over Iraq. “Things are getting better”, is the phrase rolling off the tongues of journalists and writers from NBC to BBC.

George W Bush looks less harassed by the minute; Tony Blair still wears his silly grin while pocketing another hundred thousand from his latest speech on spreading “faith and freedom”.

In fact, it seems the only ones not smiling and looking relieved are Amnesty International, who have just released a twenty-eight page report on the progress in Iraq, entitled, somewhat surprisingly:

“Carnage and Despair: Iraq Five Years On.”[1]

It makes interesting reading:

“Five years after the US-led invasion that toppled
Saddam Hussain, Iraq is one of the most dangerous
countries in the world. Hundreds of people are being
killed every month in the pervasive violence, while
countless lives are threatened every day by poverty,
cuts to power and water supplies, food and medical
shortages, and rising violence against women and girls.
Sectarian hatred has torn apart families and
neighbourhoods that once lived together in harmony.

Despite the heavy US and Iraqi military and police
presence, law and order remain a distant prospect.
The US-led Multinational Force (MNF) and the Iraqi
government formed from political parties that gained
from or emerged out of the 2003 invasion have failed
to institute the rule of law, uphold human rights, bring
peace and security, or end impunity.”

And that’s just the first two paragraphs.

You may like to put yourself out, take time off from browsing the latest antics of Brittany or Paris, to find out a little more accurately just what your government has done – in YOUR name – to that country.

Oh, and did I mention Amnesty International were the only one’s not smiling?

I was wrong. Iraqis aren’t smiling much, either.

[1] “CARNAGE AND DESPAIR: IRAQ FIVE YEARS ON”, Amnesty International, March 2008.

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