With all of the talk about America’s involvement in Iraq, the people that we were actually supposed to “liberate” are rarely mentioned. And, when they are, it’s usually in the form of some statistic. I hope most people understand that our unprovoked attack on a nation with no evidence whatsoever is not exactly a recipe for success. ZNet reports some details in Awaiting Justice:
Since the US and UK forces invaded Iraq in 2003, an estimated 4.2 million Iraqis have fled their homes, the majority in the last two years. Up to two million are estimated to have sought refuge outside Iraq, while the remainder has been displaced within the country. The exodus is the largest the region has witnessed since the Palestinian Nakba. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the flight of Iraqis continues at a rate of 60,000 per month.
According to an Amnesty International (AI) report published last month, of those who have left Iraq, the US has resettled 753 since April 2003. The US refugee resettlement programme is designed to accommodate 70,000 yearly. In an apparent response to pressure to resettle more, it has issued pledges to resettle up to 25,000 refugees in 2007. However, AI is “concerned that the USA is trying to distance itself from these commitments” and that the numbers it has committed to resettling “are small compared to the extent of the need and the potential capacity.”
While I doubt many Americans care about these people, the quality of life in Iraq has clearly decreased. U.S. profiteering has benefited American companies, and George Bush seems to have carried out God’s mandate (as he understands it). Still, there should be some responsibility here. I would ask Americans: How would we feel if a foreign nation attacked us for no reason, created their own government, and then force us to like it. And, by the way, our quality of life would be decreased to an unimaginable level. Would we welcome these “liberators”?