Long-Term Effects of the War in Iraq

Was it worth it? Bush and his administration keep reminding us that Saddam’s brutal regime has been ousted, all Iraqis are smiling and the world is a better place.

It was not unexpected that Iraq would lose this war to the superior forces of the United States and the UK, but the damage that has been done by this unprovoked aggression against Iraq will reverberate in the Middle East for a long time to come and this act of insanity will cost those politicians that supported it a lot more than they realize.

Cluster Bombs

Tiny fragments of shrapnel flew upwards into Hala’s legs and into Ali’s face. At least one of them is still lodged deep in his cheek. Their father clutches the screaming boy, weeping silently. Callous though it sounds, they are lucky to be alive. Just the day before, three boys, aged between 7 and 14, were killed, and two injured in a similar tragedy just 500 yards away.

After a quarter of a century of dictatorship, 12 years of sanctions and one of the bloodiest battles of the three-week war, the people of liberated al-Nasiriyah face a new source of misery: unexploded American cluster bombs.

Coalition denial: US and British officials deny the use of cluster munitions. British military spokesman Colonel Chris Vernon said: "We are not using cluster munitions, for obvious collateral damage reasons, in and around Basra."

Later UK account: A military official in London tells BBC News Online: "We have used them elsewhere." He said they were an effective weapon of warfare, for example to target a convoy of military vehicles, but were only used in the open far from built up areas. UK Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon defends the use of cluster bombs in Iraq on 4 April, saying they are legal and not using them would put British soldiers at greater risk.

Suffering Iraqi Children

Saddam may have ruled with an iron fist but these children were clearly better off before the Americans arrived. Schools have been closed since the war began almost a month ago. Hassan the shoe-shine boy is popular with the allied troops. The seven-year-old, his face blackened by streaks of polish from his grimy hands, sleeps at a nearby mosque (Muslim house of worship). His father, who was also a shoeshine, and his mother were killed when a bomb was dropped on their shanty home.

"Justifications" for war exposed as fabrications

Where are the weapons of mass destruction?

Not one illegal warhead. Not one drum of chemicals. Not one incriminating document. Not one shred of evidence that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction in more than a month of war and occupation.

If he had any, why would Saddam fail to use his most effective means of defence, when the survival of his regime and himself was on the line?

The real question might be, "Were there ever any"? Not a single confirmed finding has been made of weapons of mass destruction, chemical, biological, or nuclear, the supposed existence of which was the formal, casus belli and, as the heart of UN resolution 1441, the sole legal justification for the war.

Documents presented by Colin Powell to the UNSC were simple forgeries. US troops have discovered no evidence at all and are guilty of tampering with or allowing others to tamper with materials sealed by IAEA inspectors at Tuwaitha.

The "evidence" of Iraq nuclear weapons presented by the UK was a plagiarized from a PhD student's thesis. Tony Blair went to the British parliament with a fabricated dossier written by a student ten years ago, and presented this as damning evidence collected by the British Secret Service.

Even though the final report of the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) in 1999 did succeed in finding Iraq's chemical and nuclear programs and destroyed them. There has NEVER been any evidence that a biological weapons program existed and there is no credible evidence that Iraq did have those weapons: chemical, biological or nuclear nor possess the capability to effectively deploy them.

Links to Al-Qa'ida unfounded

What about the alleged links to Al-Qa'ida? George Bush has managed to manipulate 9/11 emotions into supporting this immoral war of aggression because of fear. People are afraid of being attacked again even though evidence for a connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda has been fabricated.

After the 11 September attacks, the Bush administration talked up alleged links between al-Qa'ida and Iraq so it could shift the spotlight to Saddam Hussein's regime. The campaign was a success: about half of Americans believe President Saddam was responsible for the atrocities.

Alleged use of WMD on civilians

There is no documented proof of Iraq having used chemical weapons on civilians. The recently revived Halabja story was debunked in 1993 by a US Army War College report and by journalists visiting the village, who generally concurred that the victims exhibited signs of exposure to a blood agent such as cyanide, which Iraq did not have, and Iran did.

Aggression against neighbouring countries

Iraq has been accused of aggression against Iran and Kuwait, and even of attempting to carry its 1991 assault on Kuwait over to Saudi Arabia. The truth is that both the Iran-Iraq war and Iraq's invasion of Kuwait were started by US - engineered provocations and incitement, and that the alleged Iraqi threat to Saudi Arabia had no more foundation than a set of forged satellite images presented by Cheney to King Fahd.

Saddam and sons still at large

He was not killed in the bombing of the Mansur area of Baghdad, nor were his sons. Fourteen bodies were recovered, all civilians.

The Americans have a bad track record. They can't find the Iraqi Minister of Information, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf. They couldn't get Osama bin Laden. They couldn't even track down Mullah Omar.

Blair risked his political career

He took an almighty gamble, was forced to lie, Robin Cook resigned, Clare Short nearly resigned and at one point accepted that he might have been forced to resign himself.

The United Nations have become almost irrelevant

There is an argument that says the US and Britain -- having taken international law into their own hands in the name of the UN -- have marginalised the UN forever.

A divided Europe

The EU is now deeply split. We now have a divided Europe that is currently struggling for unification.

US-European relations strained

The war has left the fissure between Europe and the United States as glaringly wide as ever. American Secretary of State Colin Powell has said France will suffer consequences for having opposed the US over the war with Iraq.

The death of independent media

Literally. Why did so many journalists die? At least 12 journalists died. The US military warned that journalists reporting from Iraq without official authorization will be attacked.

Iraq is being "liberated" while truth is incarcerated. Former BBC reporter Kate Adie warned that non-embedded journalists in Iraq could be Pentagon targets before the war began. She was right.

U.S. troops fired a tank round at the 18-story Palestine Hotel in central Baghdad that houses most foreign journalists, killing two cameramen -- who worked for the Reuters news agency and Spain's Telecinco -- and wounding three others, two of them seriously. The Baghdad office was providing the most devastating account of Iraqi civilian casualties in the war to a vast Arab audience. Sky's David Chater said he saw the tank barrel turn toward the hotel and heard it spew out its deadly load. He said that the tank operators knew that there were journalists on the roof of the hotel.

Three British civilians working for ITN - an experienced reporter, a camera-man, and a translator - were killed by American troops near Basra in Southern Iraq. A fourth reporter escaped and reported that British troops on the right-hand side of the road opened fire on them.

A reporter for the pan-Arab network al-Jazeera was killed earlier in the day in a U.S. strike on its bureau.

A further "accident" on the same day resulted in a Reuters vehicle being attacked, and another "stray" bomb or missile "coincidentally" destroyed the office of Abu Dhabi Television causing severe injuries. Early on in this war, ITV's Terry Lloyd was allegedly the victim of a US bullet while two of his colleagues went missing after the same incident.

Corrupt media

To listen to CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and the rest of corporate media, you would think Iraqis are saying, together, "Thank you for 12 years of harsh sanctions leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of our children, and the recent bombing campaign leading to the deaths of thousands more, and of course, the destruction of our government, leading to looting and thugs running wild over us, taking the last of our possessions as we lie here bleeding. Thank you, Coalition of the Killing."

Thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians were being slaughtered every day, while the British and American media portrayed false images of an easy victory. It's easy to support war from the comfort of your chair.

The UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, speaking from Camp David near Washington, claimed that two dead soldiers seen on Iraqi television had been executed. The following day he was forced to admit that this was a lie because the outraged family, who had already been told the truth, made the real story public. In Britain, the notoriously inaccurate and pro-government tabloid, the Daily Mail, filled their entire front page with a bold headline proclaiming the false accusation that two Britons had been executed by Saddam Hussein. The British government tried to manipulate the news of two tragic deaths for propaganda, and this is despicable.

Politicians and military leaders in the US and the UK suggested that the people of Iraq were rising up to fight against Saddam Hussein, and this was widely reported in the media. The latest report from the Shia Islamic fundamentalists involved proves that this was not true.

"Fog of War?" Not likely. Iraqi television and radio have also been removed and now replaced with Washington and Britain’s NEW Iraq television and radio for the dissemination of news and views seen fit to broadcast by the baby killers in Washington and London.

An impromptu news conference by Iraqi information minister Al Sahaf, held in one of the destroyed "bunkers" in Baghdad was unexpectedly cut from live broadcast by CNN because of "faulty translation." Al Sahaf claimed the devastated building was a hospitality residence housing foreign dignitaries like Nelson Mandela and not a military bunker. CNN promised to return to the Al Sahaf broadcast. That did not materialize. The real reason CNN cut the broadcast was because Al Sahaf launched a verbal barrage against Bush and U.S. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld calling them "bastardized criminals who must be hit on the head by the boot.

Wars staged for the media

The Independent Media site reported that someone said he heard on NPR the voice of the mother of one of those marines who was at the now famous downing of the statue of Saddam. She was boasting that her son had called the day before to ask her to be sure to watch, because he was going to be on TV. The whole thing appears to have been staged in advance. It is useful, to draw attention from the horror that Iraqis are witnessing today, and corporate media are happy to oblige, drowning out the horror with the constant toppling of the statue, again and again, Iraqis gleefully chanting, "Thank you for bombing us, please do it again so that nobody sees an iota of the truth." I find it all to be Orwellian and pathetic, but we’re all eating it up.

Breakdown of democracy

The war revealed the gulf that exists between the decisions made by those in power and the wishes of the people. Aznar is perfectly capable of ignoring the fact that 90% of Spaniards are against the war, and Blair is unmoved by the largest public demonstration to take place in England in the last thirty years.

Potential for another war - with Syria

While smashing through weak opposition from the regular Iraqi military (but having great difficulty with Iraqi irregulars using asymmetric tactics to harass supply lines), US forces utterly failed to close the two major highways from Syria and Jordan until just four days ago...after the fall of Baghdad.

The reason I say letting the terrorists enter Iraq "verges" is that a school of thought is out there saying that the roads were left open deliberately. That they were left open so the US could justify saying that Syria was supporting Iraq against the US by sending all those fighters and Hezbollah terrorists into Iraq, and "harbouring" all those Iraqi bigwigs...who simply drove from Baghdad to Syria unmolested. Not to mention the unrestricted movement of WMD into Syria on those nice highways. All that setting the stage, if deemed necessary, for justifying US sanctions or even attacks against Syria.


The United States army ignored warnings from its own civilian advisers that could have stopped the looting of priceless artefacts in Baghdad, according to leaked documents seen by The Observer. Looting of the museum could mean 'irreparable loss of cultural treasures of enormous importance to all humanity', the document concluded. But the US army still failed to post soldiers outside the museum, and it was ransacked, with more than 270,000 artefacts taken.

A gung-ho president exposed as having gone AWOL

Lt. George W. Bush's October 1, 1973 discharge papers from the Texas Air National Guard reveal that, although under the Guard rules he had originally signed up for six years of service obligation, this fighter jet pilot had only "completed 5 years, 4 months, and 5 days toward this obligation." Signed by his commanding officer Major Rufus Martin, Bush's discharge papers also note that at the time of his discharge he was "not available for [his ] signature."

US self interests exposed

Bush never made a single statement about foreign policy before the war. His motives are all about power, staying in power, having a stake in the Middle East and the ability to control oil prices.

The five US companies invited to bid on the $900 million contract for preliminary work in Iraq are Halliburton (Kellogg Brown and Root), Bechtel, Fluor, the Louis Berger Group and the Parsons Group. All of these corporations have close ties with the oil industry; the Bush administration and some have profited heavily from war and its aftermath. Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR) received over $2 bn to maintain US bases in Bosnia and Kosovo.

American oil companies wait for this war to receive a stamp of legality from the United Nations before they can draw up lucrative contracts. US companies look forward to being recipients of bounty from Iraq's reconstruction and the Israelis hope for a long-awaited oil pipeline from northern Iraq to Haifa.

Why Iraq. who cares about, for instance, the oppressed people of Burma?

US hypocrisy exposed

The United States was the sole country to vote against a 1986 Security Council statement condemning Iraq’s use of mustard gas against Iranian troops --an atrocity in which it now emerges the United States was directly implicated.

We attribute everything that is evil to Saddam Hussein and Donald Rumsfeld who never tires of slandering Saddam shook his hand in Baghdad a few years ago and never blinked when OTHERS accused Saddam of using gas (which we provided to him). Chemicals --- which Donald Rumsfeld never mentions and the Bush administration CENSORED from the weapons declaration (taking out 8,000 pages) which Iraq provided the UN which George Bush and the State Department kept form the public view because those pages included the U.S. companies which made money off the evil which so offends us in public but pleases them in private.

The United States possesses, and keeps on alert, more nuclear weapons than the rest of the world combined. Many Iraqis feel that it is disingenuous of the United States --- sitting atop the world's largest nuclear arsenal, refusing to comply with interenational treaties or allow its weapons programs to be inspected by international experts, and being the only nation int he world ever to drop an atomic bomb--to tell Iraq what weapons it can and cannot possess.

The United States has consistently opposed the creation of an international war crimes tribunal because it could be used against people in the U.S. government and military. They are very explicit about it. In effect, the government is saying, `Yes, we have people who could be accused of having committed war crimes.' The United States wants to find other people who have committed war crimes, but an American by definition cannot commit a war crime.

US troops exposed as inaccurate and barbaric

A man cuddles the body of his infant daughter; her blood drenches them. A woman in black pursues a tank, her arms outstretched; all seven in her family are dead. An American Marine murders a woman because she happens to be standing next to a man in a uniform. "I'm sorry," he says, "but the chick got in the way."

The front page of the Jordan Times showed a photograph of Razek al-Kazem al-Khafaj, an Iraqi man in Hillah, south of Baghdad, throwing up his arms to the sky in a gesture of grief. At his feet are the coffins of his three children, one an infant less than a year old." The man says he lost 15 members of his family when the pickup truck they were in was blown up by a rocket fired from an American Apache helicopter.

US troops fired into a crowd of civilians protesting against the American occupation of Iraq, massacring at least twelve people and injuring at least sixteen others.

An American warplane bombed a Kurdish convoy in northern Iraq which had been joined by members of US special forces, killing several people.

Two Iraqi families, including two children, were shot dead by US Marines at a checkpoint in Nasiriya. This is inexcusable, because they cannot expect Iraqi civilians to understand until they start using signs in Arabic. The US Marine Corps mainly recruits teenagers, and in this incident the young American soldiers ordered the Iraqi family to stop before they killed them - in English!

A supposedly accurate laser-guided American weapon hit a crowd of innocent people in Afghanistan. It was a direct-hit from a massive thousand-pound bomb, and 11 civilians were mangled to death in the explosion, while others were seriously injured as red-hot shrapnel tore through their flesh and splintered their bones.

A convoy carrying Russia's ambassador to Iraq and about two dozen Russian diplomats and journalists came under heavy fire Sunday while evacuating from Baghdad. Five diplomats were wounded, but none of their lives was said to be in danger.

A family of eleven -- including six children -- were killed by in a US military operation, giving a grand total of at least 19 civilians killed by the allies in the past 24 hours alone.

Two missiles hit a busy parade of shops. At least 15 scorched corpses littered a poor residential street.

A British soldier was killed and three seriously injured when British military vehicles were attacked by a missile strike from a US A-10 Thunderbolt "tank-buster" aircraft.

A soldier from the US 5th Corps was killed in central Iraq. He had been close to and examining a destroyed Iraqi tank when colleagues who were nearby mistook him for an enemy soldier and opened fire.

More than 50 Iraqi civilians were killed in a single air-strike.

US troops could be seen opening fire without provocation at roadblocks on civilians and their cars. As the hospitals filled, the Americans then allowed them to be looted.

At least 100,000 small children in Basra were at risk of disease after water supplies were cut following US-led air strikes on the besieged southern Iraqi city, the United Nations Children's Fund warned.

The US military confirmed that a bus carrying Syrian civilians was hit by an American missile, killing five people and wounding at least 10.

Turkish police confirmed that a bomb - thought to be from a US fighter plane - had fallen in Turkey's south-eastern province near the Syrian border.

US Marines shot-down, with surface-to-air patriot missiles, a British RAF jet plane that was returning from a successful mission.

The US military claimed to have "complete control" of the port of Umm Qasr. American and British TV news showed maps of Iraq with most of the Southern half of the country coloured-in indicating allied control. In reality the US Marine Corps, whose recruits are predominantly teenagers, were forced to retreat from Umm Qasr while experienced British troops were sent to replace them as cannon-fodder. The allied troops are under US command, and British casualties are less of a political problem than American ones in the US.

A US soldier was arrested after a grenade attack at a rear US base camp in northern Kuwait which killed another serviceman and wounded 12 others.

Three US missiles hit a city in Iran, hundreds of miles away from Baghdad.

Limies too...

A storage warehouse containing 75,000 tonnes of food, including children's milk, and tea and sugar in Basra was destroyed by British forces surrounding the city of Basra. This was apparently an attempt to force an early end to the siege.

The two-man British crew of a Challanger tank were killed in a tragic accident when their vehicle was destroyed by another British Challanger tank.

A terrified Iraqi civilian arrived in his car and told the reporter that the British troops nearby had opened fired on him. The windows of the vehicle were perforated by multiple bullet-holes indicating a machine-gun attack. The camera filmed inside the car where a seriously injured civilian lay dying.

Three British soldiers in Iraq were ordered home after objecting to the conduct of the war. It is understood they were sent home for protesting that the war was killing innocent civilians...


Geneva conventions broken

Death toll

On the Allied side: 119 Americans killed, four still missing; 30 British servicemen killed.

According to the US military, more than 3,650 Iraqi combatants, at least 2,320 in Baghdad, were killed. Iraq has given no figures for its military losses. Iraq says 1,254 civilians were killed before 3 April. There has been no update since. More than 5,000 were wounded.

The Shaab and Shuala market bombings killed at least 68 and 47 respectively, with many more injured, and 14 civilians died in the bomb on the restaurant in the Mansur district in the attempted assassination of Saddam Hussein and his sons.

The war was illegal

The view of the majority on the Security Council was that the resolution did not contain any automatic trigger for war, that the term "serious consequences" fell far short of "all necessary means" and that a follow-up resolution was needed to authorise action. If we can have one illegal war, we may have more.

Continual miss-allocation of billions of dollars

The fact is the US spends $357,000,000,000 on their military budget. If the US spent just 1/4 of that on domestic aid programs every year they could wipe out poverty and illiteracy forever.

Destruction of Iraq

The wounded and killed are a result of the war. Hospitals were not filled beyond capacity before this war. Before the sanctions Iraqis had enough food also and enough medicine. Health care in Iraq was available free, from cradle to grave, before sanctions. The U.S. and Britain and their allies killed Iraq even before George Bush's war of aggression.

By the way, for all of Saddam Hussein's ruthlessness he did (like Tito in Yugoslavia) manage to keep Iraq united.

Escalation of anti-US sentiment and terrorism

Most of the international community were against the war. Revenge could be sought.

NB The above is an amalgamation of my own thoughts plus extracts from various sources including quotations.

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