Iraq: Four years on

Four years after the start of the illegal act of butchery which caused between 650.000 and one million Iraqi lives, President George W. Bush asks for patience. Is this what the people of the USA voted for and is this how they wanted 200 billion USD of their money spent?

Iraq, Spring 2007. The infra-structures are destroyed, targeted by military hardware. The country is in chaos, attacks by the militia carry on unabated. Terrorists of every size and shape have poured into the region which Saddam Hussein was adept at keeping them out of.

George Bush has still not found the Weapons of Mass Destruction while four years ago, he was claiming he knew where they were. Precision weaponry was deployed against Iraqi civilians, people were slaughtered in their homes by US pilots, cluster munitions were deployed in residential areas, battlefields were rendered dangerous after conflict. People were kidnapped illegally, tortured, raped, beaten or murdered. War crimes were committed.

Is Iraq a better place today? Are women free to go out without a veil for fear of being raped or tortured to death? A recent opinion poll conducted by the BBC indicates that 53 per cent of Iraqis are dissatisfied with the way their country is being run. 39 per cent claim their life is going ahead well or very well, while 60 per cent describe it as “quite bad” or “very bad”. 64 per cent consider that in a year’s time, things will be the same or worse.

62 per cent of the citizens who answered the opinion poll claim that the country is the same or worse than in 2003, before the invasion. 79 per cent describe the employment sector as “quite bad” or “very bad”, 88 per cent describe the electricity supply as bad. Clean water: 69% (bad). Medical care: 69% (bad). Availability of basic necessities: 62% (bad). Protection from crime: 60% (bad). Family’s economic situation: 64% (bad). Availability of fuel: 88% (bad). Freedom of movement: 75% (bad).

Freedom to live without persecution: 77% (bad). Reconstruction since 2003: 68% (insufficient or nil). Confidence in US/UK occupation force: 82% against. Continuation of occupation force: 78% against. 71% state that the arrival of more US troops in Baghdad has made no difference or else has worsened the situation. Presence of US forces: 79% state that these worsen the situation or make no difference. Attacks on coalition forces: 51% consider acceptable.

Russian approach: 87% neutral or favourable. USA: 88% neutral or negative.

In short, the opinion poll reflects very faithfully what every independent observer sees on a daily basis in Iraq, something which we have been saying in this column for four long years and against which we warned four and a half years ago when there was still time to stop.

Let this article and what is happening in Iraq today be the political epitaph of George W. Bush before he is tried for war crimes, which the International Penal Court at The Hague postulated recently as being a possibility.



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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey