Apology For The Iraq War: The Disrespect, Humiliation and Dishonour of War

January 2, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Apology For The Iraq War:

The Disrespect, Humiliation And Dishonor Of War

By Mary Hamer

02 January, 2011
Countercurrents.org

*DISRESPECT: I am going to take a new approach to War & discuss the Disrespect, Humiliation & Dishonor of the Iraq War. I will discuss how War causes not only physical injuries, but war causes mental injuries such as disrespect for & humiliation of the people. Guns & bombs cause physical injuries, but disrespect & humiliation cause spiritual wounds. Why do people including governments & the media usually talk about the Weapons & noises of war & Yet not many people talk about the disrespect of war? You can see & hear & smell & taste the Hard violence of guns & exploding bombs; But disrespect is Soft, silent violence; You can not see or hear or touch disrespect – But you can Feel it’s negative, destructive force. Gun violence kills the physical body. But disrespect kills the mind & the spirit. In this paper I will discuss the Disrespect, Humiliation & Dishonor of the Iraq War that has occurred quietly in between the gunshots & the bomb explosions.

*HUMILIATION & WAR: How relevant is Humiliation to War? “An increasing number of scholars see humiliation as the number one cause of violence & suffering around the world. According to humiliation scholar Evelin Lindner, the power of humiliation to destroy everyone & everything in it’s path makes it ‘the nuclear bomb of the emotions’”. (1) How does the Soft violence of Humiliation compare to the Hard violence of War? An old Somali proverb states: “Humiliation is worse than death; In times of war, words of humiliation hurt more than bullets”. (2)

*DANGEROUS INTERNATIONAL CONSEQUENCES of HUMILIATION:

*JIHAD: “Thomas Freeman … pinpoints ‘Humiliation’ & ‘Dignity’ as being the issue in the Middle East & the driving force behind Jihad”. (3)

*REVENGE: “Humiliation without hope leads to despair & to the nurturing of a yearning for revenge that can easily turn into an impulse toward destruction”. (4)

*TERRORISM: Jessica Stern has studied people who join terrorist groups & she has observed that “They start out feeling humiliated, enraged that they are viewed by some Other as second class”. Stern explains regarding the causes of terrorism: “The variable that came up most frequently was not poverty or human rights abuses but perceived humiliation”. (5) (6)

PURPOSE: This essay on the Iraq war is Not about Criminalizing those responsible for the 2003 invasion & occupation of Iraq; Rather this paper Is about acknowledging the Ethical issues, the Human rights violations & the Negative Outcome of the Iraq war including: the Pain & suffering and the Disrespect of this aggressive act. This article is Not about indicting people for War Crimes or conducting a Nuremberg trial; Rather this essay is about acknowledging the failures of this Tragic historical event. This article is Not about judging U.S. troops – I highly respect the American troops; Rather this essay Is about the failures in leadership. Ultimately, this paper is an Apology for the Iraq War.

The Key Sections to this paper are: I. Definition of Humiliation & Disrespect. II. Illegal War of Aggression. III. Shock & Awe in Iraq. IV. Operation Iraqi Freedom: Deaths & Other Costs of War. V. Depleted Uranium. VI. Abu Ghraib. VII. The Iraq War: Facts –vs- Fiction. VIII. The Status of Iraq circa 2010. IX. The Saddam Hussein Hanging. X. Final Comments.

I. DISRESPECT & HUMILIATION:

*DEFINITION of DISRESPECT: The definition of Disrespect includes: A rude expression intended to offend or hurt, language or behavior intended to mock or humiliate, communication that belittles, to hold in contempt (the attitude or feeling of a person towards a person or thing that he considers worthless or despicable, the state of being despised or dishonored), to violate (to treat irreverently), to offend (to cause displeasure, anger, resentment or wounded feelings in). (7)

*DEFINITION of HUMILIATION:

*LINDNER: Lindner defines Humiliation as: “The enforced lowering of a person or group, a process of subjugation that damages or strips away their pride, honor or dignity”. “Humiliation means to be placed against one’s will in a situation where one is made to feel inferior”. (8) Lindner states: To be humiliated is to be placed against your will & often in a deeply hurtful way … It often involves acts of force. At it’s heart is the idea of pinning down, putting down or holding to the ground … Made helpless”. (9)

*The Emotional Competency website includes the following definitions & forms of humiliation: To “Fail to recognize the dignity of another”, “Loss of honor & induce(d) shame”, “Assault, attack or injury”, “Denigration of a person’s values, beliefs, heritage, race”, “Being forced to submit” to a dominant force, “Violating … human rights”, “Diminished competency” resulting from being disabled” etc., “Diminished resources” resulting from being defrauded” etc., “Having safety or security reduced”, “Dismissing, discounting or silencing your story”, etc.. (10)

*”Humiliations are always communicative acts; They communicate the radical disrespect of an actor towards the addressee” (11)

*”Humiliation is the emotional response of people to their perception that they have been unfairly lowered, debased, degraded, ‘dised’ or reduced to inferior positions in situations in which they feel powerless”. (12)

*HUMILIATION & OPPRESSION: “Humiliation of one person (over) another is often used as a way of asserting power over them & (it) is a common form of oppression (e.g.) bullying or abuse used in a police, military or prison context during legal interrogations or illegal torture sessions”. Humiliation “Can be brought about through bullying, intimidation, physical or mental mistreatment … or by embarrassment”. (13) ”Humiliation involves … unequal power in a relationship” where a person is treated inferiorly. “People in power use humiliation as a form of social control; It is a common tool of oppression.” (14)

*CONSEQUENCES: The personal consequences of humiliation include: “Academic failure, low self-esteem, social isolation, underachievement, delinquency, abuse, depression, etc.. (15) Hartling states “It appears that the social pain induced by humiliation makes individuals more likely to engage in aggressive behavior or (it makes them) more vulnerable to depression”. (16)

*RESPECT –vs- DISRESPECT & HUMILIATION: “The opposite of humiliation is respect”. “Treating people with respect is key to conflict transformation. When they are denied respect, people tend to react negatively, creating conflicts or escalating existing ones.” (17)

*MISSION STATEMENT: I will now analyze the Iraq War in terms of these definitions of Disrespect & Humiliation. Note: I will use the terms humiliation & disrespect interchangeably in this essay – Since there is some overlap in their meaning. (18) Also, while the Hard crimes of war including killing are tragic, it is the Soft crimes of disrespect & humiliation that are the hidden, core element of War. It is humiliation & disrespect that form the fractal units of violence that by the butterfly effect manifest themselves in the more visible forms of aggression such as: guns, bombs, killing & war.

II. The WAR of AGGRESSION in IRAQ:

*Jensen states: “Under international law & the U.S. Constitution (the Iraq) invasion (was) illegal”. (The Iraq invasion did not have) the necessary approval of the United Nations Security Council & (it was not) a response to an imminent attack”. (19)

*RIGHT INTENTION & MORALITY of WAR?: Does a war of aggression with no imminent threat show “Right intention” according to Just War principles? Is a war of aggression morally just?

*Noam Chomsky states “Preventive war is … the ‘Supreme crime’ condemned at the Nuremberg trails of Nazi war criminals”. (20) Regarding the right intention for war: “The actual motivation behind the resort to war must be morally appropriate. Ulterior motives, such as a power or land grab, or irrational motives, such as revenge or ethnic hatred, are ruled out.” (21)

*FALSE PREMISE for WAR: One of the main reasons for the U.S. war against Iraq was that Iraq was a threat to the United States. “According to the Center for Public Integrity, the Bush administration made a total of 935 false statements between 2001 & 2003 about Iraq’s alleged threat to the United States”. (22)

*GENERAL STATED –vs- REAL REASONS for the IRAQ WAR: The NetCtr.com website lists the U.S. Stated Reasons for the Iraq War including: WMD, Saddam Hussein was involved with 9/11 (The truth: Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11.), Saddam was an imminent threat to the U.S., Saddam & Al Qaeda were partners in crime, claims that Iraq tried to purchase Uranium oxide i.e. Yellow Cake from Niger, etc.. The NetCtr.com website also lists the Real reasons for the Iraq War including: Peak oil, Global imperialistic worldwide domination, Iraq’s conversion to the Euro in 2000 thus undermining U.S. cash flow, Military geopolitical strategy, to eliminate a threat to Israel, etc.. (23)

*The WAR on TERROR: Hassan reviews Lawrence Britt’s 7th characteristic of Fascism: the Obsession with National Security: “The so-called ‘War on Terrorism’ is meaningless. First, it is a manufactured catch-all phrase to label & demonize the enemy … & Second, it is a pretext to justify aggressive wars …”. (24) This War on Terror slogan to create a so-called enemy has caused a great injustice & dishonor to the Iraqi people.

*”I’M DRIVEN with a MISSION from GOD”: “President Bush told two high-ranking Palestinian officials that he had been told by God to invade Afghanistan & Iraq”. “President Bush said to all of us: ‘I’m driven with a mission from God’” a Palestinian official said. (25) The use of religion & God to wage an aggressive war has violated the basic human rights & dignity of the Iraqi people.

*WAR MAKERS DO NOT HAVE NOBLE MOTIVES: Swanson in his book: War is a Lie outlines many false reasons for going to war including: War Makers Do Not Have Noble Motives. Swanson states The (true) motivations for war include: Control of Natural Resources, Intimidation of countries, Domination of geographic regions, Financial profits for friends & campaign funders, the opening up of consumer markets & prospects for testing new weapons. (26)

*CONCLUSION: Are: A U.S. Oil addiction, the War on terror, the false Iraq WMD charge, the false Iraq/Al Qaeda connection, the false Yellowcake uranium charge, the “Sadam the Evil Doer” rationale (27) & the Mission of God belief — Just reasons for an aggressive war? An aggressive war with no imminent threat, based on false premises shows great disrespect to the people of the attacked country. Iraq has been greatly dishonored by the false reasons & deceptive motivations for this war of aggression.

III. SHOCK & AWE during the IRAQ INVASION: MILITARY DISRESPECT.

*DEFINITION: Shock & Awe is “Technically known as rapid dominance” & it is “A military doctrine based on the use of overwhelming power … & spectacular displays of force … (to) destroy (the enemy’s) will to fight”. (28)

*TERRORISM CHARGE: “According to The Guardian correspondent Brian Whitaker in 2003: ‘To some in the Arab & Muslim countries, Shock & Awe is terrorism by another name’” (29) “Anti-war protesters in 2003 … claimed that ‘The shock & awe pummeling of Baghdad (was) a kind of terrorism’”. (30)

*CIVILIAN DEATHS: The Iraq Body Count “Attribute(s) approximately 6,616 civilian deaths to the actions of U.S.-led forces during the ‘Invasion phase’, including the shock-&-awe bombing campaign on Baghdad”. (31)

*QUESTION: What is so “Awe”-some about war, bombs, killing including civilian deaths & destroying an enemy’s will to fight? — Where Awe is defined as “An overwhelming feeling of wonder or admiration” & “A feeling of profound respect for someone or something”. (32)

*CONCLUSION: Shock & Awe is a prime example of the Disrespect & humiliation one enemy inflicts on another. There is nothing noble about spectacular displays of force that destroy a people’s will to fight. Rather than rapid dominance, why can’t we treat people as equals, as partners? It would be judicious for us to talk diplomatically & negotiate with our enemies about conflicts — Rather than bomb them & destroy their free will. It would even better that the human race not have enemies.

IV. OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM:

*IRAQI DEATHS: Disrespect for Iraqi Lives.

The Opinion Research Business Survey estimates 1,033,000 Violent Iraqi deaths from the Iraq war as of August 2007. (33) “A July 2008 article in MedPage Today asserts that the Iraq Family Health survey actually estimated 400,000 excess Iraqi deaths as a result of the invasion, with 151,000 being violence-related deaths & 249,000 from non-violent causes”. (34)

*U.S. TROOP DEATHS: Disrespect for U.S. Troops’ Lives:

*TROOP DEATHS: As of 2010 there have been 4425 U.S. troop deaths as a result of the Iraq war. (35)

*WOUNDED: As of 2010 there have been about 31,951 American troops wounded in the Iraq war. (36)

*SUICIDES: “American soldier suicides during the Iraq & Afghanistan wars will reach the 1,000 number this year” (2001 to 2010). In 2009 the “American (suicide) count of 334 exceeded the toll of 316 killed in Afghanistan & 149 (killed) in Iraq”. “The suicide numbers have been undercounted & underreported”. “Other fatalities which may be suicides are listed in ambiguous categories such as: ‘Undetermined cause’ or (are) ‘Still being investigated’”. “The (Houston) Chronicle reported that 988 soldiers in the Army … & at least 997 (other troops) in the Navy, … Air Force, … Marines & Coast Guard – 1,985 total – committed suicide from 2001 to early 2009”. “At least 225 more suicides have occurred since the Chronicle article was published” (in 2009). (37)

*FREEDOM for TRILLIONS of DOLLARS: Disrespect to the Earth:

The financial cost of the Iraq War to the U.S. economy is estimated at $3 Trillion. (38) *QUESTIONS Regarding Other COSTS of the IRAQ WAR: What is the cost of the Iraq war to the Iraqi people? What is the cost of this war to the unborn children of Iraq who will acquire genetic damage & birth defects as a result of the Depleted uranium & other mutagenic war chemicals? What are the costs to all the U.S. troops & the Iraqi people who have developed: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Traumatic brain injury (TBI), depression & suicide as a result of the Iraq war? What is the cost of the Iraq war to the animals & the ecosystems of Iraq? What are the costs of war pollution, the costs of military fuel emissions as it relates to CO2 production/Climate change & other quality of life costs of this war? What is the ecological footprint of all the bombs dropped during the Iraq war? What is the cost of the noise pollution as a result of this war — due to bombs exploding, guns firing, tanks rolling, etc.? What is the cost of the Iraq war to the Iraqi infrastructure including: Schools, hospitals, electrical plants, water treatment plants, roads, bridges, agricultural businesses & other infrastructure? What is the total cost of the Iraq war to the planet Earth?

*CONCLUSION: Operation Iraqi Freedom has taken away the freedom of many Iraqis & U.S. troops — at a tremendous cost to the planet Earth. The cost of the Iraq war for quote Freedom & Democracy shows disrespect to human beings, animals & the planet Earth.

V. DEPLETED URANIUM & BANNED WEAPONS:

*DISRESPECT to HUMAN HEALTH & to The ENVIRONMENT:

*DEPLETED URANIUM: The Iraq Veterans against War state: “Depleted Uranium (DU) is a toxic, radioactive heavy metal this is the waste byproduct of the uranium enrichment process in producing nuclear weapons & uranium for nuclear reactors. … The United States government uses DU in munitions/ammunition … to pierce armored vehicles (e.g. Iraq War). … Every round of DU ammunition leaves a residue of DU dust on everything it hits, contaminating the surrounding area with toxic waste that has a half-life or 4.5 billion years, the age of our solar system. … DU is linked to DNA damage, cancer, birth defects & multiple other health problems. The United Nations classifies Depleted Uranium ammunitions as illegal Weapons of Mass Destruction.” (39)

*FALLUJAH: The Cancer, Infant Mortality & Birth Sex-Ratio study in Fallujah, Iraq from 2004-2009 shows “Increases in cancer & infant mortality (in Fallujah) which are alarmingly high. The remarkable reduction in the sex ratio in the cohort (group) born one year after the fighting in 2004 identifies that year as the time of the environmental contamination”. Busby et al draw attention to the use of Depleted uranium as one potential relevant exposure – adding that there may be other possibilities. (40) Tom Eley states: “The people of Fallujah are experiencing higher rates of cancer, leukemia, infant mortality & sexual mutations (as a result of military activity & the use of Depleted uranium in 2004) than those recorded among survivors in Hiroshima & Nagasaki in the years after those Japanese cities were incinerated by US atomic bomb strikes in 1945”. (41)

*U.S. VETERANS: A “Consequence of DU exposure is damage to sperm causing many severe deformities in the children born to veterans of the first Gulf War. A group of 251 soldiers from Mississippi, who all had normal babies before service in Iraq, were studied. 67% of their post war babies were born with severe birth defects. These children were missing legs, arms, organs or eyes & had immune system & blood diseases. … The Department of Defense denies any knowledge of birth defects in Gulf War I veterans.” (42)

*BIRTH DEFECTS in IRAQ: Examples of birth defects in Iraq since the Gulf Wars include: Hydrocephalus, anencephaly, encephaloceles, spina bifida, cardiac defects, severe malformations of the face, deformities of arms & legs, malformations of hands & feet, genital deformities, strange skin deformities including a lack of skin & discolorations, etc.. (43) (44) “Officials have advised women in Fallujah not to have children.” (45)

*LEUKEMIA: ”In 2004, Iraq had the highest mortality rate due to leukemia of any country” in the world. (46)

*BANNED WEAPONS: “Even more destructive weapons were used in the 2003 (Iraq) war (compared to Gulf War I) including banned ones like Napalm, White phosphorous, cluster bombs & greater amounts of DU”. (47)

*RADIOCIDE: I define the neologism: Radiocide to mean the criminal act of willfully, recklessly with depraved indifference or negligently causing significant harm to people, animals & the Earth — with radioactive substances. Radiocide occurs as a result of Nuclear technology activities including the Military use of Depleted Uranium. (48) Has radiocide been committed in Iraq?; Have Depleted uranium & other banned weapons been willfully & recklessly used in Iraq to cause significant harm to life? These weapons cause dishonor not only to the living, current generation of Iraqi people — but also to future generations of unborn Iraqis.

VI. ABU GHRAIB: HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS:

*HUMILIATION: Abu Ghraib showed great disrespect to the Iraqi people. “The photographs of Iraqi prisoners who were tortured by US soldiers in the (2003 Iraq war) were appalling in various ways. Not just because of the maltreatment & physical violence they showed, but also because of the humiliating gestures & postures the victims had been forced to take on. … The photographs of Abu Ghraib point to a symbolic dimension implied in the violation of human dignity”. (49) Abu Ghraib photographs show: Thumbs up poses in front of a dead man, terrorizing prisoners with barking dogs, forcing a hooded prisoner to stand on a box, pointing to a nude prisoner’s genitals, thumbs up poses in front of a pyramid of nude prisoners, leashed prisoners, forcing prisoners to wear underwear on their heads, parading around a mentally disturbed inmate covered in mud & possible feces, causing injuries to prisoners including gunshot wounds & beating, etc.. (50) (51)

*HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS: Abu Ghraib Human Rights Violations & acts of Disrespect & Humiliation include: Torture, Rape, Sodomy, Homicide & Assault. (52) One detainee describes how he was Spit on, urinated on, beaten, sodomized with a glow stick & sexually abused at the Abu Ghraib Prison. (53)

*A FEW BAD APPLES –vs- The CONTAMINATED ORCHARD Theory:

Mestrovic’s book asks the question: “Were the prison abuses at Abu Ghraib due to the actions of a few bad apples…or part of a wider pattern of behaviors?” i.e. “The contaminated apple orchard theory”. Mestrovic’s book responds: “The abuse at Abu Ghraib was clearly part of a widespread & systematic pattern. A good portion of the ‘Orchard’ is contaminated & the orchard-keepers have yet to be held accountable”. (54)

*CULTURAL PATHOLOGY: Grossinger states: “The only sensible way to address Abu Ghraib is to recognize it as a symptom of our culture’s pathology”. Grossinger declares that: “What we find amusing in a slaughterhouse (e.g. “stomping on live chickens for fun”) …will set the ultimate moral bar for our soldiers”. Grossinger explains: “When slaughterhouse workers in West Virginia are filmed stomping on live chickens for fun, flinging them against the wall, strangling them with latex gloves while hamming it up, squeezing birds till they explode, & ripping off their heads for a pen to (write) graffiti in blood, how far are we (Americans & the human race) from hell itself? … Why wouldn’t the same arrogant, sociopathic treatment of (living beings) be transferred from commercial fowl to … prisoners of war (e.g. in Abu Ghraib)”. (55)

*POOR LEADERSHIP: The Taguba report of 2004 states: “At the Abu Ghraib Confinement Facility numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant & wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees”. The Findings of Fact & Recommendations sections of the Taguba report comments on contributing factors of the Abu Ghraib torture & prisoner abuse scandal of 2003-2004 including Leadership issues such as: “Poor leadership”, “No clear chain of command”, “Unclear lanes of responsibility”, “Failing to properly supervise”, “Lack of leadership presence”, “Little coordination on the command level”, “Failure to ensure that soldiers under his direct control knew, understood, & followed the protections afforded to detainees in the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War”. (56)

*DEHUMANIZATION: The hooded man standing on a box has become a symbol of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse event. Regarding Abu Ghraib & “Why the detainees were hooded?”: David Levi Strauss references a discussion with painter Leon Golub; Strauss states: “Hooding victims dehumanizes them, making them anonymous & thing-like. They become just bodies. You can do anything you want to them.” (57)

*CONCLUSION: The Abu Ghraib torture & prisoner abuse scandal of 2003-2004 violated many human rights; It is a prime example of the humiliation & disrespect of war; Abu Ghraib stripped away Iraqi pride, honor & dignity.

OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN IRAQ:

*COLLATERAL DAMAGE/MURDER Video: The Collateral Damage/Murder “Video taken from the gun-sight camera of a U.S. Apache helicopter, depicts the July 2007 massacre of over a dozen civilians in Baghdad, including two Reuters journalists. The film, which includes the chatter of the helicopter crew reveling in the killing, also shows an attack on a family that tried to aid the wounded, killing more unarmed civilians & wounding two young children.” (58) Comments made during this event include: “It’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle”, “Look at those dead B!@#$%”, “Light ‘em all up”, the “F” word, “Look at that B!@#$ go”, “Nice”, “Ha ha!”, etc.. (59)

*FRAGO 242: Documents “Show the U.S. imposed a formal policy to ignore human rights abuses committed by the Iraqi military under an order known as Frago 242 issued in June 2004, (in which) coalition troops were barred from investigating any violations committed by Iraqi troops against other Iraqis. Hundreds of cases of killings, torture & rape at the hands of the Iraqi troops were ignored. State Department spokesperson Philip Crowly rejected the accusations, saying the United States trained Iraqi security forces in human rights”. (60)

*TORTURE: WikiLeaks documents “Contain startling evidence of more than 1,300 incidents of torture, rape, abuse & murder by Iraqi security forces while the U.S. government looked the other way”. “Prisoners were shackled, blindfolded & hung by their wrists & ankles. Some were whipped with cables, chains, wire & pistols. Some were burned with acid & cigarettes. Electric shocks were applied to genitals, fingernails were ripped off & fingers were cut off. Some were sodomized with hoses & bottles. Six died from their torture”. (61) The institutionalized complicity of torture shows great disrespect to people.

*CIVILIAN DEATHS: Journalist Chris Hedges & Laila Al-Arian interviewed 50 soldiers & marines; These U.S. troops “Described how the mechanics of war – home raids, convoys, patrols, detentions & military checkpoints – led to the daily abuse & killing of innocents – including: How the killing of civilians became routine, how rules of engagement changed all the time & how there was a culture of impunity in the military when it came to noncombatant deaths. (62)

*SURRENDER: “A U.S. helicopter was granted approval to attack two Iraqis on the ground even though the pilots reported that the men were trying to surrender. Under the 1907 Hague Regulations, it is prohibited ‘To kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defense, has surrendered’”. (63)

*REPRESSION: Repression in current day Iraq includes: “Death squads, assassinations, deportation, torture, confiscating property, blowing up residences, killing at checkpoints, trade of children & women, rape of children, kidnappings, killing academics & journalists & doctors, unfair trials, etc.. (64)

*Dishonor: These human rights abuses in Iraq show great dishonor to the Iraqi people who have been forced against their will to submit to the dominating forces.

VII. THE IRAQ WAR: FACTS –vs- FICTION

*DISHONESTY & DISRESPECT for the TRUTH: John Pilger writes about False Realities & Facts regarding the Iraq War: Example #1: “False Reality: BBC presenters & reporters have described (the) “Victorious army’ that has achieved ‘A remarkable change in (Iraq’s) fortunes”. He says the Facts are: “There is no victory of any sort. There is a catastrophic disaster & attempts to present it as otherwise are a model of Bernays’ campaign to ‘rebrand’ the slaughter of the first World war as ‘necessary’ & ‘noble’”. Example #2: Pilger says the “False Reality (is) “It is not known how many Iraqis have died … (The) Fact (is): “As a direct consequence of the Anglo-American-led invasion, a Million Iraqis have died”. (65)

VIII. DAILY LIVING CONDITIONS in IRAQ & QUALITY of LIFE INDICATORS:

*LEAST LIVABLE CITY on the PLANET: In May 2010 “The Mercer Quality of Living survey released it’s results of (the) ‘most livable city’ in 2010. It ranked Baghdad dead last – The least livable city on the planet”. — “This is due to the complete destruction of Iraq’s sewage treatment plants, factories, schools, hospitals, museums & power plants”. (66)

*ECONOMIC & ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER: “Twenty years of war, sanctions & occupation demolished Iraq. The Gulf War was an economic & environmental disaster, destroying: power & chemical plants, factories, dams, water purification facilities, sewage treatment & disposal systems, oil wells, pipelines, refineries & storage tanks”. The Gulf War attacks have left Iraq with a “Deadly cocktail of Oil, gasoline, heavy metals, DU, pesticides, benzene & other chemical & pollutants. Also, the Iraqis have a GMO contaminated food supply, water too unsafe to drink; Sanitation, electricity & decent housing are in short supply; & most Iraqis (are) deprived of adequate medical, education & other essential services”. (67)

*GENERAL Conditions: ”Conditions (in Iraq) now include:4.5 million refugees (of which) 2.8 million (are) internal (refugees), one third in squatter slums; Mass impoverishment & deprivation; Rampant human rights abuses; Settlements without basic services such as clean water, sanitation, electricity, health care & education. (68)

*GENERAL Review: ”Iraq has between 25 & 50 % unemployment, a dysfunctional parliament, rampant disease, an epidemic of mental illness & sprawling slums.” (69)

*CORRUPT NATION: According to Transparency International’s annual survey: “Iraq was fourth from the top of the most corrupt ranking”. (70) “Ranked 175th out of 178 countries, Iraq has only fallen on the corruption Perceptions Index as the war in Iraq has continued”. (71) Corruption includes: “Bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds”. (72)

*ORPHANED CHILDREN: “Iraq’s Anti-Corruption Board revealed (in 2007) that there were 5 million Iraqi orphans as reported by official government statistics”. (73)

*SLUMS: “Un-Habitat, an agency of the United Nations … defines slum dwellers as those living in urban centers without one of the following: Durable structures to protect them from climate, sufficient lining area, sufficient access to water, access to sanitation facilities & freedom from eviction”. “Prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the percentage of the urban population living in slums in Iraq hovered just below 20%. Today that percentage has risen to 53%”. (74)

*OTHER QUALITY of LIFE INDICATORS: According to the Brookings Institute Iraq Index 2010 here are other Quality of life indicators: (75) (76)

REFUGEES: Iraqi Refugees in Syria & Jordan: 2.1 to 2.25 Million.

Iraqis Displaced inside Iraq by Iraq War as of May 2007: 2,255,000.

UNEMPLOYMENT: Iraqi Unemployment Rate: 27 to 60%.

CPI: Consumer Price Inflation in 2006: 50%.

MALNUTRITION: Iraqi Children Suffering from Chronic Malnutrition: 28%.

PROFESSIONALS: Percent of Professionals who have left Iraq since 2003: 40%.

PHYSICIANS: Iraqi Physicians Murdered since 2003 Invasion: 2,000.

ELECTRICITY: Average Daily hours Iraqi Homes have Electricity: 1 to 2 hours per Ryan Crocker, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq. (per Los Angeles Times. 7/27/10.)

Average Daily hours Iraqi Homes have Electricity: 10.9 in May 2007.

Average Daily hours Baghdad Homes have Electricity: 5.6 in May 2007.

Pre-War Daily hours Baghdad Homes have Electricity:: 16-24.

SEWER SYSTEMS: Number of Iraqi Homes connected to Sewer Systems: 37%.

WATER: Iraqis without access to adequate Water supplies: 70% (per CNN.com July 30, 2007.)

OPPOSITION to TROOPS: Iraqis “Strongly opposed to presence of Coalition troops”: 82%.

SECURITY: Iraqis who feel less secure because of the Occupation: 67%.

POVERTY: 43% of Iraqis live in abject poverty. (77)

INFANT MORTALITY: Iraq’s child mortality rate has increased by 150% since 1990, when U.N. sanctions were first imposed. (78)

*CONCLUSION: These quality of life indicators show an overall poor quality of life & a deterioration in daily living conditions in Iraq. This Iraq war has tragically lowered, reduced, diminished & lessened the Iraqi people, their culture & their country.

IX. SADDAM HUSSEIN HANGING

*EXECUTION: ”The execution of Saddam Hussein took place on December 30, 2006. He was sentenced to death by hanging, after being found guilty & convicted of crimes against humanity by the Iraqi Special Tribunal for the murder of … Iraqi Shi’ite … in 1982.” “The Iraqi government released an official videotape of his execution, showing him being led to the gallows & ending after his head was in the hangman’s noose. International public controversy arose when an unauthorized cell phone recording of the hanging showed him falling through the trap door of the gallows. Also, The unprofessional & undignified atmosphere of the execution drew criticism around the world from nations that both oppose & support capital punishment”. “Hosni Mubarak, the President of Egypt, called the execution shameful … & stated that the execution turned the ex-president into a martyr”. “Terry Davis, (the) Secretary General of the Council of Europe, made an official statement condemning the execution … The death penalty is cruel & barbaric”. Examples of humiliating remarks made to Saddam Hussein just before his hanging include: “A Shi’a version of an Islamic prayer was … recited by some of those present in the room, an apparent sectarian insult against the Sunni Saddam”. “One witness told Saddam (just before the execution) ‘Go to hell’”. (79) M.C. Land of Stuttgart, Germany states: “Looking at Hussein (a Sunni) being harassed by the Shiite executioners in his last minutes is a shameful scene & a dishonor for the Iraqi government”. (80) Overall, Saddam Hussein’s executioners “Converted ‘Justice’ into … Revenge & hate”. (81)

*UNITED NATIONS INQUIRY: “In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Emmanuel Ludot called for ‘A committee of inquiry to be set up under the aegis of the United Nations” arguing that the conditions of Saddam’s execution were ‘Unacceptable on matters of principle’. The lawyer argued that Saddam ‘was until his death considered a prisoner of war & as such he should have benefited from the protections of the Geneva Conventions of 1949’. Under the Conventions, Saddam should have been shot by firing squad rather than hanged. Ludot also argued that the filming of Saddam’s face during the execution was a clear violation of his rights. ‘Why did the United Nations not take the necessary precautions to ensure a minimum of dignity for a prisoner of war?’ (Ludot) also demanded a full inquiry to determine … (regarding) Saddam’s executioners, who … taunted him moments before his death.” (82)

*3RD GENEVA CONVENTION: The 3rd Geneva Convention is about the treatment of prisoners of war: e.g. Prisoners: “Shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, including prohibition of outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliation & degrading treatment”. (83)

*CONCLUSION: The harassment of Saddam Hussein by his executioners & the illegal cell phone recording of Saddam Hussein falling through the trap door — have humiliated & shamed the Iraqi people; This poorly managed execution: #1. Violated the basic human right to die with dignity & #2. This hanging was an act of murder.

X. FINAL COMMENTS:

*APOLOGY for the IRAQ WAR: I, Mary Hamer, on 12/27/10 hereby apologize to the Iraqi people for the Iraq invasion of 2003 & the subsequent occupation, including for children, civilian & military deaths & injuries due to the war. I also apologize for U.S. troop deaths & for the Traumatic brain injuries, the PTSD, the amputations, blindness, deafness, burns & other injuries suffered by U.S. troops. I also apologize to the animals of Iraq & to the planet Earth for the deaths, injuries & damages to the animals & ecosystems of Iraq due to the war, bombing & depleted uranium.

*APOLOGIES: “Aaron Lazare in his book On Apology states: ‘Apologies have the power to heal humiliations & grudges, remove the desire for vengeance & generate forgiveness on the part of the offended parties’. For the offender, Lazare states Apologies can diminish the fear of retaliation & relieve the guilt & shame … the result is the reconciliation & restoration of broken relationships”. (84)

*FAILED U.S. APOLOGY to the IRAQI PEOPLE: Lazare discusses the reasons the U.S. apology to Iraq for Abu Ghraib failed including the fact that: #1. “Neither President Bush nor Condoleezza Rice accepted … responsibility” (for the offense). #2. President Bush failed the humility test … implying that the U.S. was a victim in the incident. #3. There was no dialogue (such as a Truth & Reconciliation Commission) that allowed the offended (Iraqi people) to express their feelings toward the offenders (the U.S.). #4. Overall, There was “No restoration of dignity” of the Iraqi people regarding this humiliating event. Lazare outlines the requirements for an effective apology by the offender including: A valid Acknowledgment of the offense, an effective Explanation, expressions of Remorse & reparations. An effective apology must also satisfy some psychological needs of the offended person including: The restoration of dignity in the offended person. (85)

*VIOLENCE: The Iraq War is an example of the Violence of the human race to humans, animals, ecosystems & the Earth. We have killed & maimed people in Iraq, destroyed ecosystems (86), killed animals (87) (88) (89) polluted the air, water & land of Iraq (90) (91), consumed enormous amounts of scarce natural resources for this war including oil (92), mutated the gene pool of unborn Iraqis & destroyed a civilization. (93) & I cry an eternal cry.

*REPENTANCE & ATONEMENT for SINS: Rabbi Michael Lerner states: “Now that the Iraq war is supposedly winding down, America needs a period of reflection, repentance & atonement before rushing into more of the same mistakes we’ve been making globally & domestically.” (94)

*”IT’S FUN TO SHOOT SOME PEOPLE”: “Lt. Gen James Mattis, (a three-star Marine General) who commanded Marine expeditions in Afghanistan & Iraq” said: “Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot” “It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling”. Marine commandant Gen. Michael Hagee counseled Mattis regarding the remarks & … Mattis ‘agrees he should have chosen his words more carefully’”. (95) Res ipsa loquitur, i.e. Latin for: The facts speak for themselves. (96)

*WAS The IRAQ WAR a MISTAKE?: Professor Robert Jensen states: “This is not an attack on soldiers, sailors & Marines” … “I am not judging or condemning (the U.S. troops for the Iraq War). Judgments & condemnations should be aimed at the powerful. … A journalist recently asked (a government official) to reflect on” the “Culpability” for the Iraq war; The official said: “Was the whole bloody thing a mistake? I don’t spend a lot of time on that”. (97) & Yet people have died, been tortured, raped as a result of this war; People are homeless, hungry, without medical care, lacking clean water, without electricity & lacking sewage treatment. Why don’t we want to spend a lot of time thinking about all this human pain & suffering? Are we that cold & uncaring? There is no greater disrespect than to Not hear the cries of the wounded. Professor Jensen urges us to: “Listen to the cries of the dead from imperial wars”. (98)

*OPERATION NEW DAWN: The Obama administration has given the Iraq war in 2010 the name: “Operation New Dawn” to reflect the reduced U.S. role in Iraq. (99) In President Obama’s Iraq End of Combat Mission speech of 8/31/10 he said that America has “Helped the Iraqi people seek the light of peace” & that “We have met our responsibility” in Iraq. (100) What kind of New Dawn & what Light of Peace is Iraq facing with: Depleted Uranium & genetic mutations, human rights violations, unemployment, slums, orphans, destroyed infrastructure, terrorism, civil war, etc.?

*PROPAGANDA: Robert Fisk states regarding the Iraq war: “Find a man who’d been tortured & you’d be told it was terrorist propaganda; Discover a house full of children killed by an American air strike & that, too, would be terrorist propaganda or ‘collateral damage’ or (the) simple phrase: ‘We have nothing on that’”. (101) Why do we say: “We have nothing on that” when a human being has been killed or tortured? Why do we deny the existence of killing & torture calling it terrorist propaganda? In my opinion, when we make a statement like that — We are not acknowledging the existence of those human beings – The greatest form of disrespect.

ALTERNATIVES to WAR: Let’s go back to the underlying premise for this Iraq war: Oil, a finite natural resource nearing Peak oil status. Can the human race find an alternative to war including: “Living more lightly on the earth, since most wars today are fought over it’s diminishing resources”. Also, can Homo Sapiens use “Diplomacy, mediation, (negotiation) & international institutions that can keep disputes from turning into wars”. (102) Professor Nagler’s alternatives to war show much greater respect to people than those who wage aggressive wars.

*WHY WRITE APOLOGY ESSAYS?: I write Apology articles: #1. To acknowledge the suffering of humans, animals & the Earth – as the result of either: intentional, pre-meditated, malicious or unintentional human behavior. #2. To acknowledge the collective responsibility we all have for the suffering in the world. #3. I write Apology essays as a method of coping with my anguish when I witness the pain & suffering of living beings. & #4. Also, Engel states an Apology is a “Peace offering”. (103) In conclusion, I Mary Hamer write this essay as an Apology to Iraq for: the Moral issues, the Human rights violations & the Negative outcome of this war. Overall, I apologize to the universe for the Disrespect & humiliation and the pain & suffering related to this tragic war.

Thank you. Respectfully, Mary Hamer, M.D.

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 http://www.countercurrents.org/hamer020111.htm

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