Iraq Disaster 80

Not even in Ghana can you escape the US propaganda surrounding the final pull-out of troops (but not oil companies) from Iraq. They leave Iraq “sovereign and free”, a variety of thuggish looking and dull Americans have just told us.

But being in Ghana I probably see rather more balance on TV than I would in the UK. For example, while there is still no official body count from the war, there is an official count of those wounded. The Iraqi Ministry of Health states, officially, that over 3 million were maimed.

Even though the Iraqi healthcare system was damaged by a decade of sanctions before the invastion, on the eve of the attack there were still over twice as many functioning healthcare clinics and hospitals as there are today, and nearly five times as many doctors working in them.

You won’t see that on BBC or Sky.

80 thoughts on “Iraq Disaster

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  • Mary

    The Troubled Families Team. You could not make it up. Under the ‘leadership’ of Louise Casey of Bliar’s failed ASBO scheme.
    PM vows ‘problem family’ action
    Correction on the number of troops for the Olympics security. It’s 13,500. The remainder will be private security. Probably long term unemployed given a month’s work by Crapita or G4S or the like.
    Military to provide 2012 security

  • Passerby

    Tom Welsh,
    It is sickening to be witness to the discounted numbers of the dead, and injured civilians, in the wars that Us has waged. Evidently the science that can predict how many people will die of inhaling second hand smoke? Or how many polar bears will be left without any ice to hunt on?
    However the same scientific methods do not apply to the bombs, rockets, missiles, grenades, bullets of all manner and sizes, and shells of all kinds. Therefore we witness a situation that even in death Iraqis, and Afghans are stripped off from any dignity and their deaths are discounted.
    Thus the 1.5 million dead Iraqi civilians are reduced to hundreds of thousands, to make mass murder more acceptable for the benefit of the hamburger munchers.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Tattoo or chip is fitting ‘Mary’ as you observe, a fast becoming fascist Britain. Only a few of years have passed since Dave Davies was deploring the erosion of liberty in Britain and countering a right wing Conservative proposal to record DNA at birth.

  • Njegos

    Tom Welch:
    My view on the Iraq War is not only that many died totally unnecessarily but that the wrong people died. Every stinking neo-con who was prepared to sacrifice others for his beliefs should have been drafted into the military and thrown into battle. Wars to “defend Western civilisation” would magically lose their urgency.

  • CJM

    “The Iraqi Ministry of Health states, officially, that over 3 million were maimed.”

    This is a truly staggering figure – 1 in 10 of Iraq’s roughly 30 million population! Yet no one in the MSM dares to repeat it. Why?

  • Ken

    @Mary [Nowhere have I seen any mention of the terrible legacy of depleted uranium in the soil and in the air and now in the humans, nor of the terrible birth defects it is causing.]

    There have been loads of reports on this even from the MSM. A quick Google search puts up 1.5 million hits including reports from the BBC and the Guardian.Birth defects in Iraq puts up over 2 million hits with reports from Reuters,Guardian,BBC.YahooNews,Huffington Post,Bloomberg and many others.

    So anyone claiming that they have seen thee reports nowhere is not looking much.

  • Rose

    Yes exactly Mary – it sounded to me that Humphreys was only trying to get them to apportion blame for the lack of help they received, but to their credit, neither of them would play ball. The unquantifiable cost of these wicked wars in the social ills visited on us all by the fall-out from mental illness and family breakdown is almost never raised.
    My family, like countless others no doubt, still bears the scars of the suffering inflicted on parents and grandparents from the two world wars. Man hands on misery to man alright and we never bloody learn.

  • conjunction

    Regarding Uzbek’s comment about apologizing for Vietnam: of course there was massive opposition to the war at the time. But the real US response to the humiliation of defeat was electing Reagan and introducing decades of fiscal deregulation and populist politics to set up a substantially more mindless form of imperialism.
    A point about Iraq that is sometimes forgotten – though probably not by Iraqis – is the sophisticated culture that has been so badly damaged. I worked with an Iraqi psychiatrist for several years, and he was the best psychiatrist I encountered in twenty years – only one example I know, but I can think of others.

  • nuid

    (Slightly) off-topic:
    “Speaking with the Christian Science Monitor on Thursday, Iranian military officials said that they were able to cut off communication between the U.S. drone and its operators, and reconfigured the drone’s GPS to make it land where it thought was its home base in Afghanistan.

    “The GPS navigation is the weakest point,” the Iranian military official told the Monitor, calling the downing an “electronic ambush” of secret drone.”
    (Somehow I doubt if that’s true. Why would they be so open about how they downed the thing. Electronic interference yes, but not necessarily in the way that they say.)

  • nuid

    “I worked with an Iraqi psychiatrist for several years, and he was the best psychiatrist I encountered in twenty years …”
    And I’ve read that Iraq had more PhDs per capita than the USA, before the blood-drenched invasion.

  • mike

    Indeed, Craig. Or the small matter of that 104-acre “embassy” or the thousands of “advisors” that have stayed behind. The show with the flag is so that Obama can go to the voters and say he ended the war Bush started.

  • Mary

    Ref DU Of course I know that it has been covered but I am saying that it is NOT being mentioned currently. It is perhaps the worst part of the legacy USUKIs is leaving the Iraqi people. Half life? So long it is incomprehensible.
    The use of DU in munitions is controversial because of questions about potential long-term health effects.[5][6] Normal functioning of the kidney, brain, liver, heart, and numerous other systems can be affected by uranium exposure, because uranium is a toxic metal.[7] It is weakly radioactive and remains so because of its long physical half-life (4.468 billion years for uranium-238, 700 million years for uranium-235). The biological half-life (the average time it takes for the human body to eliminate half the amount in the body) for uranium is about 15 days.[8] The aerosol or spallation frangible powder produced during impact and combustion of depleted uranium munitions can potentially contaminate wide areas around the impact sites leading to possible inhalation by human beings.[9]
    The actual acute and chronic toxicity of DU is also a point of medical controversy. Multiple studies using cultured cells and laboratory rodents suggest the possibility of leukemogenic, genetic, reproductive, and neurological effects from chronic exposure.[5] A 2005 epidemiology review concluded: “In aggregate the human epidemiological evidence is consistent with increased risk of birth defects in offspring of persons exposed to DU.”[10] The World Health Organization, the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations which is responsible for setting health research norms and standards, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends, states that no risk of reproductive, developmental, or carcinogenic effects have been reported in humans due to DU exposure.[11][12] This report has been criticized by Dr. Keith Baverstock for not including possible long term effects of DU on the human body.


  • Mary

    On Medialens
    BBC: ‘tens of thousands’ of Iraqis killed
    Posted by The Editors on December 15, 2011, 5:39 pm
    What is it with BBC News? Has a circular gone round stating that every news presenter and journalist has to refer to ‘tens of thousands’ of Iraqis killed – assuming the Iraqi death toll is mentioned at all? Is this the officially-decreed newspeak now from Big Brother?
    George Alagiah was at it on BBC2 in his interview with ‘Sir’ Jeremy Greenstock – one of the prime UK war mongers – at 12.37pm today:
    Michael White makes the same observation in his blog today:
    ‘…today’s newspapers speak almost exclusively of the 4,500 American dead and 33,000 injured, almost nothing about Iraqi casualties other than generalised “tens of thousands” (BBC) or “hundreds of thousands ” (Guardian).’
    BBC ‘News’? Hang your heads in shame.


  • Mary

    Jonathan Dimbleby presents a panel discussion of news and politics from Sir John Cass Red Coat School in Stepney, London with broadcaster and former Cabinet minister, Michael Portillo, poet Andrew Motion and writer, ++John Pilger++.

    I avoid the programme because it is usually waffle but will hear what John Pilger has to say. Iraq will feature surely. Any Answers on Saturday is usually nearer the mark. It follows a repeat of AQ at 13.10

  • Póló

    Re Franz’s comment on Russian sources.
    I used to listen to Radio Moscow on shortwave in the old days for the laugh. The propaganda was so blantant.

    I now have a DAB radio and it regularly relays syndicated output from foreign stations. I was listening to Russia Today without realising what it was and found it very interesting in its criticism of US policy. I know there is still the propaganda angle but, given the complete lack of balance in the “western” MSM it is now worthwhile to listen to opposing propaganda to redress the balance a little.

    Like Franz, I never thought I’d see the day.

  • conjunction

    samesame in Vietnam. How many times did we hear about the 67,000 US dead. How many times about the four million South East Asians who lost their lives as a more or less direct consequence of the US ‘intervention’.

  • DonnyDarko

    I think that this so called withdrawal/war over rhetoric is garbage !!
    reason being, I was sitting on one of those containers on wheels that transit passengers between flights at Dulles International in Washinton DC 3 months ago.
    There was a young soldier from texas , 23 , 24 covered in tattoos on his way back home for a weeks leave from Iraq. His 4th tour of duty.We were delayed for ages in this container type contraption and it was freezing,but there was a little old lady talking to him and I was party to the conversation.
    She was like a concerned mother fawning over this American hero who only was getting one week off in one year to see his family.On being asked if things were better now and if they’d be coming home soon, he looked up and just kind of sniggered a “NO”, and in his Texas drawl, said not for a long time.On being asked if it hadn’t become safer he said no, and repeated that he’d be there for a while yet.She said, but I thought we were leaving Iraq ?? And he looked up from the floor with that snigger again and said, that there were more servicemen arriving than leaving and shrugged a ” you figure it out”.
    That was September , and from what I reckon was the horses mouth.
    The US army has dug in and are not moving.

  • johnm

    As to the body count- is where I first came across it, this- where they got it- and this seems like a perfectly reasonable method of deduction to me
    And since their population is roughly half ours [UK] that translates as all the welsh dead and all the scots maimed, more or less.

  • Ken

    @Mary [‘currently’=today]

    Now you are just joking Mary, you have gone from Nowhere have I seen,to currently and now you are saying you mean today. Guess it is just hard for you to admit you are wrong.There have been load of reports of birth defects and DU use in Iraq,virtually every MSM outlet has covered it.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    There is a process of war afoot in the world, and it comes from a number of sources. However,of some sources for conflagrations – religion,ethnicity and economic factors ( to mention some sources) – none trumps the West’s on-going hegemonic war against the world. The “war on terror” and “Islamophobia” is the most recent fabrication to find an enemy and justify huge military expenditures in the minds of the Western populace. One might find a backdrop to this mind-set from the “great” imperial past, and no less an articulate voice than Winston Churchill might assist:-

    “How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!
    Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia
    in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many
    countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods
    of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the
    Prophet rule or live.A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and
    refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan
    law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either
    as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction
    of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

    Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion
    paralyses the \ social development of those who follow it.

    No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund,
    Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread
    throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were
    it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science
    against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe
    might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome ….”

    Sir Winston Churchill;
    (Source: The River War, first edition, Vol II, pages 248-250 London).
    Churchill saw it coming……

    What Churchill fails to appreciate are the following facts:-
    1. Rationalist though is not exclusive to Christianity. If that were true then the “Dark Ages” of Europe ( some 600 years) saw preservation and growth of human knowledge within the Islamic world, which would not have taken place if what Churchill is saying was absolute truth.
    2. “No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith” – and what of your Christian enslavers and genocidal killers across the Americas Mr. Churchill?
    3. Not all Muslims adhere to proselytising.
    4. Some Christians still do proselytise.
    5. “…and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science” – it simply is not factually true to state that Islamic influence freezes intellectual development, for if this were so then Khan in Pakistan would not have had the intellectual capacity to have developed the bomb.
    6. While the backward elements of any religion may move to the forefront at certain stages of human history, those very ideas while dormant in some religions may not necessarily be dead.
    Churchill is just assuming Western intellectual superiority ( which is perfectly in keeping with his having mustard gassed the Iraqis when he was British Minister of war). And he is not accurate in his history nor is he in his wider assumptions. Putting his “humanitarian” actions against the Iraqis aside, was it not Christianity that committed genocide across the Americas, about which Pope John Paul recently apologised, and was it not Christian “civilisation” that enslaved Africans for centuries, and found a rationale even into the 1950s and 1960s legislatively to discriminate against fellow citizens in the United States of America? What greater militaristic force does one want to witness in the world today than the use of the bomb by Christian America in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the repeated wars of aggression launched in the post-World War 11 era. So – can we really simply focus narrowly on the negatives of this or that religion without some interpretative and historical context?
    Sometimes propaganda suitably placed might even make you think that you are a supremely informed and smart person while I am inherently stupid. Think again.

  • macky

    It seems nobody wants to be accused of feeding the troll, but Ken you need to be told that your repeated bullying of Mary is both pathetic & disgraceful; can’t you find a more subtle way to derail threads ?

  • Fedup

    One of the Afghans presidential advisor has stated; there exists solid evidence to tie up the British Military presence to cultivation, production and transportation of the opium in Helmand province.
    In the other news the Iranians are engaged in manoeuvres to block the Straits of Hormuz, whilst ex Saudi intelligence minister Prince Faisal has gone on record; an attack on Iran would be a calamitous, a cataclysmic event for the world.
    China has been “invited” to set up a Naval base in the Indian ocean, on the Seychelles.
    Well if the inexperienced fuckwits in the leadership are contemplating the Fox Werrity Gould plots, they best start re-plotting to find another victim, because the whole lot is looking more like the Polish Scenario of the WWII, ie one war too far/many.

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