Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had this to say in February 2003 about the upcoming war on Iraq: “It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.” It has now been six years that the U.S. military has been occupying the country of Iraq.
And Iraq has been destroyed. Millions of people have fled the country, most of them never to return. Millions of children are orphans, and millions of people are displaced. Unemployment is extremely high, and only one out of three children are attending school. Electricity, clean water and sewage treatment are not at the level seen in February 2003, when Rumsfeld made his ridiculous comments.
A recent survey by Oxfam International in December 2008 showed that 40 percent of Iraqi mothers are not sending their children to school. This certainly was not true before the U.S. invasion, when nearly all children went to school. One third of the women surveyed had lost a family member to violence in the last six years. And about 20 percent of the population of Iraq is now displaced—either refugees in a foreign country or internal refugees inside Iraq. Most of them are destitute. And our “smart bombs” do such a handy job of killing that we cannot count the number of the dead, but it is surely in the hundreds of thousands. All of this—in a country that never attacked us or threatened us! And so far, the criminal minds behind this war of aggression have suffered no consequences.
In light of the fact that the country of Iraq did not attack the U.S. or even threaten this country, this invasion and occupation is simply a huge war crime. It is also a moral failing of unbelievable proportion. While Americans have not seen the hundreds of thousands of dead civilians on their TV screens, this is not true of the rest of the world. They have seen, and their opinion of the U.S. has decreased dramatically.
Congratulations, America! Hope you feel you got your money’s worth.
— Susan Oehler