10 Questions and Answers about Iraq
Visit the Dahr Jamail Iraq website http://dahrjamailiraq.com
Nov. 4, 2005
*Q.* /What does Iraq actually look like two and a half years after the U.S. invasion
Most of Iraq is a disaster and in a state of complete chaos.
The security situation is more accurately described as a brutal,
guerrilla war which spiraled out of control over a year ago. Attacks on
US forces even now average over 70 per day, and are expected to increase
in coming months.
The myth that the US military has control over any portion of Iraq is
just that-a myth. Even the heavily fortified "Green Zone" is mortared on
a regular basis. If one wishes to fly in or out of Baghdad International
Airport, get ready for a spiral descent/take off... as this has been
necessary for also over a year due to the inability of the military to
safeguard the area around the airport. Like in Vietnam, planes will be
shot down if they don't use the spiral method of taking off/landing.
The infrastructure is in shambles. For most of the western companies who
were awarded the no-bid cost-plus contracts in Iraq, it's their dream
contract -- guaranteed profits with no oversight. Companies like Bechtel
have been paid out in full for their initial contract worth $680 million
and awarded contracts totaling over $3.8 Billion, despite the fact that
many of their projects in their initial contract were not even begun.
Meanwhile, Iraqis suffer and die from waterborne diseases, child
malnutrition is worse than during the sanctions, and there is over 70%
*Q.* /How do the Iraqi people feel overall about the U.S. occupation?/
According to *a recent poll*
by the British military, 82% of Iraqis want all occupation forces
removed from their country, less than 1% feel occupation forces have
improved security, and 45% openly admitted to feeling that attacks
against US forces are justified. This is quite similar to what I've seen
during my 8 months in Iraq as well, aside from the fact that I found a
larger percentage (greater than 45%) of Iraqis in support of the Iraqi
*Q.* /Is there anyway to know how many Iraqis are being held in
detention by the U.S.?/
No. But there is now a huge number of missing persons in Iraq (over
100,000 according to two Iraq NGOs [non-government organizations] I know
of), many of which are feared to be detained by the US. One NGO, Doctors
for Iraq Society, estimates that there are 60,000 Iraqis in US military
detention facilities in Iraq.
*Q.* /What really happened in Fallujah and Ramadi?/
During the November, 2004 siege of Fallujah, 60% of the city was
completely destroyed. Most of the rest of it had moderate to severe
damage done as well. Iraqi NGO's and medical workers in and around
Fallujah estimate over 4000 dead, mostly civilians. To this day, over
50,000 residents of Fallujah remain displaced.
The US military used cluster bombs, depleted uranium munitions, and
white phosphorous (a new form of napalm) during the siege, and appear to
have used forms of chemical weapons as well.
I have described Fallujah as a modern day Guernica, and prefer to call
it a massacre rather than a siege. Fallujah is the model of Bush
Administration foreign policy. There has been next to no reconstruction
completed inside the city, as was promised by occupation authorities.
*Q.* /Are there other towns in Iraq destroyed by the U.S. military that
we haven't heard about?/
Many in the US may not have heard that Al-Qa'im, Kerabla, Najaf (from
during the Muqtada al-Sadr intifadas), Haditha, Hit and parts of Baquba,
Baghdad, Ramadi and Samarra have suffered large scale destruction by US
*Q.* /Is Iraq already in civil war?/
Yes, state-sponsored civil war. The US-backed puppet Iraqi government is
using the Badr Army (Shia) and the Kurdish Peshmerga militia to battle a
primarily Sunni resistance. Most ordinary Iraqis loath the idea of civil
war, but fear the possibility of it occurring as the U.S.-backed tactic
of divide and conquer moves forward in occupied Iraq.
*Q.* /How do the Iraqi people feel about the American people?/
Fortunately, most are quick to differentiate between the US government
and American people. But unfortunately, in places like Fallujah, Haditha
and Al-Qa'im where US operations have caused so much death and
destruction, that distinction is being blurred and lost.
*Q.* /Is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi alive?/
Personally, I don't believe he is alive. I researched this heavily when
I was last in Jordan, by visiting the city where Zarqawi is from
(al-Zarqa), and after interviewing many of his neighbors and old friends
found that most of them believe he was killed in Tora Bora, Afghanistan
during the US bombing campaign which followed the events of 9/11.
Any claim that he is a leader of the Iraq resistance or leading a terror
group in Iraq is, I believe, US state propaganda.
*Q.* /Do the Iraqi people have any hope for a future?/
Not much nowadays. Most who can afford it are leaving Iraq. Those who
have little choice but to stay in Iraq can look forward to continued and
increasing violence, no reconstruction, a fundamentalist state and an
endless US occupation which was failed before it even began.
*Q.* /Are the American people obligated to help the Iraqi people? And
what could be done?/
The American people are completely obliged to help the Iraqi people
because it is the fault of the American people that the Bush cabal was
allowed to invade Iraq. Any US citizen who is not doing everything in
their power to end this illegal and immoral occupation as quickly as
possible is complicit with the war crimes being committed in Iraq on a
© by the author.
Thank you, Dahr Jamail.
(c)2004, 2005 Dahr Jamail.
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