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Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007 01:01 am

Life in Iraq

Our occupation is making life intolerable

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Untitled Document According to the “Dick and George Show,” broadcast daily from the White House, things are really looking up in Iraq. Hmmm. They might want to ask the Iraqi people. Ordinary folks report that life there is miserable. Violence erupts constantly and unpredictably, fear is everyone’s companion, bombings and bodies are everywhere, it’s dangerous to leave your house, jobs are scarce, basic services are practically nonexistent, and distrust, frustration, and anger rule. It’s so bad that some 2 million Iraqis have fled their country, including 40 percent of professionals. For example, one-third of doctors have fled — no surprise, because more than 2,000 doctors have been murdered. Three thousand people a day are leaving Iraq — so many that Saudi Arabia, supposedly our ally in this mess, is building a 560-mile fence on its border to try to keep its “neighbors” out. Another 1.6 million Iraqis are displaced within their own country, forced from their homes by various factions in this civil war. Many of these are children. Only 30 percent of Iraqi children attended school last year. Before the war, nearly every child was in school. Worse, the nation’s kids are in shock from routinely witnessing violence, including gruesome killings. They see the dead bodies of close family members and friends. A recent study of 2,500 gradeschool children in Baghdad found 70 percent of them showing symptoms of posttraumatic-stress disorder. And although Bush brags that his war has liberated women, there has been an explosion of violence against them since the war began, including abductions, rapes, torture, public beheadings, and hangings. One of the female members of the Parliament says bluntly, “This is the worst time ever in Iraqi women’s lives.”
Did I mention that 71 percent of Iraqis want George, Dick, and our troops out of their country?

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, columnist, and author.
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