and Human Rights Watch (HRW) were the first to blame the puppet government for crimes committed under the radar screen of the occupyingforces while they remain silent when Iraqis are tortured, raped and massacred by U.S.-British invading armies. Both, AI and HRW reports onIraq were consciously prepared to exonerate the occupying armies and depict Iraq as a “sovereign” nation marred by violence and violation of human right law.Violence will continue to engulf Iraq’s major cities; just enough to justify the ongoing murderous Occupation, serves U.S.-Israel Zionist interestsand diverts public attention away from the Occupation. Furthermore, to enforce colonial divisions and facilitate the liquidation of anti-OccupationResistance leaders, the U.S. occupying army used Nazi-like methods to separate populations along ethno-religious lines by erecting walls aroundneighbourhoods in Baghdad and other cities. For example, the Capital Baghdad with its marked ghettoes and perpetual violence is a mirrorimage of Warsaw under Nazi occupation under wretched living conditions.
Deterioration of Living Conditions
Since 2003, living conditions in Iraq continue to deteriorate. Once a middle-class nation, Iraq has been deliberately reduced to a state of abjectdestitution. In the “new” Iraq, nearly half the population live in extreme poverty. A report by the British charity organisation, Oxfam, shows that43 percent of Iraqis lives in absolute poverty and some 8 to 10 million Iraqis need emergency aid. The country is still under the genocidalsanctions. The official unemployment rate is more than 50 percent of the Iraqi active population. The illegitimate puppet government’s ownstatistics revealed that 45 percent of Iraqis live in absolute poverty lacking the necessities to survive. Nearly 62 percent (15.8 million) of Iraqis ‘completely depend’ on the food rationing system to survive from month to month. The system was created by President Saddam Hussein toconfront the genocidal sanctions and avert mass starvation. Despite the reduction in the number of food and non-food items by the illegitimatepuppet government, many Iraqis still depend on the system to survive.After seven years of murderous Occupation and deteriorating living conditions, Iraq is suffering the worst refugee crisis in history. “Iraq wouldbe the world’s second-worst crisis, as the report points out, second only to Afghanistan, and ahead of Sudan. So the strain on Iraq’s neighbours,particularly Jordan and Syria, and to a lesser extent on Lebanon is immense”, said Jessica Mathews, President of Carnegie Endowment forInternational Peace, a U.S. propaganda think-tank known for its pro-Israel Zionist bias. At least 2.7 million Iraqis are internally displaced (byviolence) and living in conditions of extreme poverty, enduring constant attacks and eviction from temporary shelters. An estimated 3 millionable Iraqis have fled Iraq into exile in neighbouring countries. Only a small number of Iraqi refugees were allowed into those Western nationswho pretend to have “liberated” Iraq. The majority of Iraqi refugees have found a safe haven in Syria and Jordan. Most of Iraqi refugees are in ‘legal limbo’, unable to work and with no hope of returning to their country. The primary causes for Iraqi refugees’ flight are violence, lack of access to water, sanitation, electricity, health care and education.
Targeting Iraq’s Education
Iraq’s education, once the best in the region, has been the target of the Occupation. Iraq’s education has been dismantled by the invadingarmies and their collaborators. The Iraqi curriculum has been changed to distort history and depicts the U.S. and Israel as democratic andcivilised societies by covering up their war crimes, flagrant violations of international law human rights, violent ideology, corruption, growinginequalities, gross injustices and racist policies at home and abroad. It is estimated that only 30 percent of the 3.5 million students wereattending schools. The majority of the dropouts are female. According to a report by UNESCO, school attendance prior to the Anglo-Americanaggression was nearly 100 percent. The crisis is exacerbated by the increase number of orphaned children. There are at least 5 million Iraqiorphans, many of them live on the streets.Iraqi universities and colleges have been besieged by U.S.-created extremists and criminals. Tens of thousands of prominent Iraqis, includingacademics, doctors, teachers and political personalities have been murdered in cold blood in a U.S-Israel orchestrated assassination campaigndubbed “DeBa’athification”. Many had to leave Iraq for safety reasons, which contributed to brain drain.The planned campaign was designed not only to kill Iraq as a nation by destroying Iraq’s human resources and independence, but also removingthe base of the Iraqi Resistance to the Occupation. Professional Iraqis who survived the murderous campaign have left the country, leaving aneducation system in a state of collapse. Students are being graduated in masse without the necessary professional knowledge, especially thosewho work in the health care services. “There is really a huge difference between now and the times of Saddam Hussein, when medical graduatesleft college with competence to treat any patient”, said Professor Fua’ad Abdel-Razak of Baghdad university (IRIN, 16 May, 2007). Before theinvasion, education and healthcare with modern health facilities were universal.
Deterioration of Iraq’s Healthcare
Iraq’s healthcare system has deteriorated at an alarming rate with a devastating impact on the health of the Iraqi people. The deterioration of the healthcare services has seen a marked increase in mortality. According to UNICEF, under the Occupation, Iraqi children are now dying fasterthan before invasion. One in four children under five years of age is chronically malnourished. One in eight Iraqi children die before the age of five, and millions of Iraqi children are affected by post traumatic disorder. “Healthcare in Iraq since 2003 is worse than during the sanctions. Atthat time we had little equipment and medicine, but in the last three years we have lost almost all the specialists”, said Dr Majeed al-Naomi in aBaghdad clinic. It is estimated that at least, 25 percent of Iraq's 18,000 physicians had left the country since the invasion in 2003 which isdevastating the healthcare system.Furthermore, Thousands of tons of white phosphorous shells, ‘depleted’ uranium (DU), napalm, cluster bombs, and neutron bombs were droppedon Iraqi population centres, including Baghdad Basrah and Fallujah. The Anglo-American armies used more than 1700 tons of DU during the2003 invasion on top of more than 320 tons of DU used in 1991 attacks on Iraq. In the natural environment, these weapons-grade particleshave extremely long half-lives and there is strong evidence of their detrimental effects on the health of the Iraqi people.Iraqi officials are reporting incidences of cancer, deformed babies and other health problems have risen sharply since the U.S.-led invasion in2003. Many suspect the causes are contamination from weapons used in years of Anglo-American criminal wars and unchecked pollution. InFallujah, Iraqi children are suffering from brain damage, deformity and cancer. An Iraqi doctor said that the rate of deformity and cancer amongchildren in Fallujah is extremely high when compared with the rate of cancer ad deformity of that in 2003. A spike in the number of births of stillborn, deformed and paralyzed babies there has alarmed doctors. Fallujah was the target of two massive assaults by the U.S. military. InBasra, Doctor Jawad al-Ali said: “We have seen new kinds of cancer that were not recorded in Iraq before the 2003 war, types of fibrous (softtissue) cancer and bone cancer. These refer clearly to radiation as a cause.” In Basra, Leukaemia cases were up by 600 percent since 1990.Access to clean water remains inadequate in many parts of the Iraq. According to the World Bank survey, 87.5 percent of the population haveno adequate water supply, and 20 percent proper sewage disposal. In many parts of Iraq, including Baghdad and Basra, the water, soil and airare contaminated with radio-active particles caused by DU shells without adequate healthcare services the situation is rapidly worsening for themost vulnerable Iraqis, including women and children.
The Status of women
According to UNICEF, before the Anglo-American invasion, “Rarely do women in the Arab world enjoy as much power and support as they do inIraq”. After seven years of U.S. Occupation, the status of Iraqi women has deteriorated beyond belief. The U.S.-imposed constitution hasstripped Iraqi women of all the civil and basic rights that they enjoyed before the invasion and condemning them to statutory second-classcitizens. Unemployment among Iraqi women is nearly 80 percent. A report by the Organisation for Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) releasedon the fourth anniversary of the Anglo-American invasion stated that: “women of Iraq have gradually lost most of their 20th century gains andprivileges in the last 4 years of occupation”. You would think European Islamophobes who pretend to support Muslim women “liberation” inEurope would be concerned about Iraqi women’ rights under Occupation. Instead, they are engaged in a fascist campaign of anti-Muslim hatredto justify Western war on Muslims.According to Professor Maha Sabria of Al-Nahrain University in Baghdad, "The status of women here is linked to the general situation. Theviolation of women's rights was part of the violation of the rights of all Iraqis. [...] At the same time women do not have freedom of movementbecause of the deteriorated security conditions and because of abductions of women and children by criminal gangs”. (Inter Press Service, 12March 2010).Furthermore, as a result of the U.S. Occupation and its violence, there are 2.5 million widows in Iraq, the highest in the world. According to theUnited Nations, in 2006, 90 to 100 women were widowed each day by the Occupation and its collaborators. Many of these widows do not knowwhat happened to their spouses and most of them receive no assistance from the puppet government.Throughout Iraq, women are living in fear of their lives and dignity. Kidnapping and rape are the common crimes under the Occupation. Over10,000 women have suffered detention at the hands of U.S. forces and their Iraqi collaborators. The majority of detainees remain withoutcharges. They are tortured and abused on regular basis. (See my: Iraq: A cluster of torture prisons, Online Journal, March 08, 2006). Thesituation for Iraqi women reflects the country’s situation under U.S. military Occupation.
Elections and Colonial Dictatorship
The recent U.S.-staged illegitimate elections were conducted in an atmosphere of terror and execution perpetrated by the Occupation forces andtheir collaborators. The final outcome of fraudulent elections was ensured. Like the 2005 elections, the 2010 elections were widely regarded,both in Iraq and outside Iraq, as rigged and fraudulent elections. The elections designed to legitimise the Occupation and validate a corrupt