Friday, July 29, 2011

Remarkable Photoblog of Iraqi Victims of War, in Recovery

Some of the images here are graphic, and very distressing.  But as the photojournalist himself noted, one must face head on the realities of this war - and the consequences of Mr. Bush's opening of Iraq's Pandora's Box.  Iraq isn't over.  "We" didn't "win" (pace John McCain).  But the Iraqi people surely did lose.

You think not? Then check out this NY Times piece, about Iraqis fleeing to Syria.  We read daily of Syria's turmoil - and turmoil, there is - but for many Iraqis, Syria is an oasis, a refuge from the continuing horrors that afflict much of Iraq, and that may get worse again before they ever get better - which is not to say, get good, which is nothing close to a certainty.

And there's no chance for Iraq to reshape itself as it still may need to, and on its own terms,  unless the US gets out of Iraq, by the deadline, and for once and for all.  Doug Bandow's essay nails that, and hard:

From start to (almost) finish, the Iraqi operation has been a tragic fiasco. The United States invaded to seize nonexistent WMDs. American forces destroyed the country’s system of ordered tyranny, turning the country into a bloody charnel house, killing hundreds of thousands and forcing millions to flee. Washington’s occupation transferred democracy to Iraq without the larger liberal culture necessary for democracy to thrive. U.S. intervention empowered Iran while destroying Baghdad’s ability to control its own borders.

Yet President Obama wants to stick around, meddling in Iraq’s domestic affairs and defending it in foreign matters.

The United States should not have invaded Iraq. Washington can’t undo the ill effects of the war, but it can avoid the costs of a permanent occupation.

America’s job in Iraq is done. The Iraqis should be left in charge of their national destiny. All U.S. troops should be withdrawn. Washington should stop collecting increasingly dangerous dependencies for its empire.


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