Legacy of Iraq war won’t be winding down

by Cesar Chelala
Published: Sep. 03, 2010 – Japan Times

The withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq in what is euphemistically called the end of the Iraq war portends anything but the end of the conflict.

The consequences of the war will be felt for many years to come. Former President George W. Bush and his advisers are to blame for engaging in a war that has ravaged Iraq and cost the United States not only economically but also the lives and well-being of hundreds of thousands of its soldiers.

As of February 2010, approximately $700 billion had been spent on the war. This figure is based on current expenditure rates from figures compiled by the Congressional Research Service and estimates by Nobel Prize economist Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard University’s Linda Bilmes. According to Stiglitz and Bilmes, the total cost of the Iraq war will probably exceed $3 trillion by moderate estimates.

As Stiglitz has stated: “This number represents the cost only to the United States. It does not reflect the enormous cost to the rest of the world, or to Iraq.”

A major contributor to the war’s final cost will be the medical care and disability benefits provided to veterans. Medical consequences don’t become immediately apparent, and claims are likely to be filed for years after the war ends, adding to present costs.

It is estimated that 20 percent of those wounded in Iraq have suffered major injuries to the head or spinal cord. Another 18 percent have suffered serious wounds, and an additional 6 percent are amputees. More than 7,000 veterans with severe brain, spinal and other injuries will require expensive round-the-clock care.

At present, government medical facilities in the United States are overwhelmed by the needs of soldiers who served in Iraq. In addition, there is the high number of suicides among veterans, the mental health impact on those who survived and the costs to the well-being and economies of families.

These costs do not include the waste of resources or the costs to the Iraq treasury because of theft and corruption, both by Iraqi officials and by U.S. contractors.

As Iraqi civilian casualties continue to mount — a result of internecine conflicts exacerbated by the U.S. occupation — the effects on Iraqi children are staggering. More than half a million children have been traumatized by the war, according to UNICEF.

“Iraqi children, already casualties of a quarter of a century of conflict and deprivation, are being caught up in a rapidly worsening humanitarian tragedy,” warned that organization in 2007.

Twenty-eight percent of children suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder to some degree, according to Dr. Haithi Al Sady, dean of the Psychological Research Center at Baghdad University.

How could they not be so affected when they are still exposed to daily explosions, killings, abductions and turmoil in Iraq’s cities? More than 2 million children have been displaced from their homes as a result of the war. Children and their families have become refugees in neighboring countries. The sudden influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees has overburdened recipient countries’ health and social services.

Meanwhile, the “brain drain” of doctors and other professionals forced to leave the country has had a negative impact on the quality of health services in Iraq.

“Iraqis are suffering from a growing lack of food, shelter, water and sanitation, health care, education and employment,” according to a 2007 report compiled by Oxfam and the nongovernment organization Coordination Committee in Iraq. Continuing violence since then has only made matters worse.

Hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, a ravaged infrastructure, a barely functioning and corrupt government, and a society terrorized by unending violence are the sad result of a greedy war waged in flagrant violation of international norms and treaties.

To call the Iraq war a “Pyrrhic victory” is an understatement.

Cesar Chelala, M.D. and Ph.D., is an international public health consultant and a cowinner of the Overseas Press Club of America award.

Source: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20100903cc.html



The New “Forgotten” War: Iraq Occupation Falls Into Media Shadows

Iraq Invasion: Responsibility and Accountability

Carnage and corruption in Iraq

The Iraq war has been a monstrous crime

Legal Case Filed Against 4 U.S. Presidents and 4 UK Prime Ministers

DOCUMENTARY – Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre

Iraq’s ‘barrels of honey’

Toxic munitions cause of baby deaths and deformities in Fallujah

The Truth Behind The Iraq “Sovereignty” Propaganda

DOCUMENTARY – “Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq” by John Pilger

Uranium in Iraq: the Poisonous Legacy of the Iraq Wars

The Responsibility of the US in Contaminating Iraq with Depleted Uranium

Democracy in the New Iraq Equals Death and Repression

DOCUMENTARY – Iraq The Hidden Story

Iraq littered with high levels of nuclear and dioxin contamination, study finds

Wanted: Tony Blair for war crimes. Arrest him and claim your reward

The Truth About Iraq: The Country is Out of Control

Depleted Uranium: The Dead Babies in Iraq and Afghanistan Are No Joke

America’s Most Wanted: The Top 50 US War Criminals

VIDEO – Iraq orphanages offer haven for homeless

Iraq: the forgotten war

Who will do justice to victims of U.S. invasion of Iraq?

DOCUMENTARY – Iraq: The Continuous War

Baghdad meets the Wild West

Iraqi babies for sale: people trafficking crisis grows as gangs exploit poor families and corrupt system 

The US isn’t leaving Iraq, it’s rebranding the occupation

2 Comments on “Legacy of Iraq war won’t be winding down”

  1. […] Legacy of Iraq war won’t be winding down Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)NEWS“Catastrophic Global Warming”, Ecological Brainwashing and World Govern…The Killing Fields of Multi-National CorporationsShoe-thrower Muntadhar al-Zaidi free, delivers speech (monkeysmashesheaven… […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s