Sunday, April 07, 2013

Truest statement of the week II

If there is anything worse than the United States destruction of Iraq and the killing of one million people, it is the fact that this crime has gone largely unreported. Most Americans don’t know very much about the invasion and occupation for the simple reason that the corporate media didn’t tell them much of anything important about it. Media consolidation into ever larger corporate conglomerates, and political subservience to big money guaranteed that only those Americans intrepid enough to seek out their own sources of news know about the degree of horror their government brought to the Iraqi people.
They don’t know that shells and missiles made of depleted uranium have poisoned Iraq’s air and water and that it was first used in the Gulf War of 1991. They don’t know that thousands of Iraqi children were killed when sanctions prevented them from getting food and medicine. They don’t know about the city of Fallujah and how it was destroyed by United States forces in 2004.
A campaign to “pacify” this city began after U.S. military contractors were killed there in 2003. In April and then in November of 2004 the city was decimated by a campaign meant to destroy popular resistance. The U.S. military attacked Fallujah’s hospitals in order to prevent the international media from seeing the carnage they had produced. Civilians trying to flee were turned back or even killed and soldiers cut off supplies of water and electricity. Mark77 firebombs, a variant of napalm, and white phosphorus, a weapon which melts skin and bone, were used during the attacks. All of these ghoulish concoctions are banned by international law and so is using collective punishment against a civilian population. 

The result of the use of depleted uranium and other weapons is a rate of genetic damage higher than that of any other population ever studied. Rates of cancer, leukemia, and infant mortality are higher in Fallujah than in Hiroshima and Nagasaki after they were bombed with nuclear weapons in 1945. 

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Hidden War Crimes in Iraq" (Black Agenda Report).
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