In Iraq, Legacy of US Occupation Continues

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in 2012. (Photo: DOD/D. Myles Cullen.

In Iraq, Legacy of US Occupation Continues

Mounting deaths of Iraqis offer somber reminder of what US intervention has brought

Iraq, a country "wrecked" by U.S. invasion and occupation, continues to experience yet another month with hundreds of civilian casualties.

According to a statement issued Saturday by the United Nations mission to Iraq, 703 Iraqis were killed in February, and 564 of those were civilians. There were also 1,381 Iraqis injured last month. Those figures follow a month in which 733 Iraqis were killed, including 618 civilians. The figures for both months leave off deaths in Anbar province, because the UN stated it could not validate those numbers.

2013 also marked a somber record for Iraq--the highest number of civilian casualties since 2008.

The U.S. has recently poured Hellfire missiles and surveillance drones into the country, purportedly to help Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki fight al Qaeda.

"The political, social and religious leaders of Iraq have an urgent responsibility to come together in the face of the terrorist threat that the country is facing," Nickolay Mladenov, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, stated Monday.

Yet Raed Jarrar, an Arab-American blogger and political analyst, explained to Common Dreams that "what is causing violence and casualties in Iraq today has little to do with terrorism. It's caused by corruption, sectarian politics, and other legacies of the U.S. occupation in Iraq."

"What started last year as a legitimate nonviolent movement was crushed by Iraqi government tanks in late December," Jarrar continued. "It has since turned into an armed uprising against the Iraqi government. The U.S. continues to interfere in Iraq by sending weapons and providing political support to its allies in the country."

Other critics of military intervention have also charged that the ongoing violence gripping Iraq has "everything to do with the aftermath of the U.S. invasion and occupation."


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