I know all the talk is about Lebanon and Israel right now, but this is something I couldn’t ignore:
More than 14,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq in the first half of this year, an ominous figure reflecting the fact that “killings, kidnappings and torture remain widespread” in the war-torn country, a United Nations report says.
Killings of civilians are on “an upward trend,” with more than 5,800 deaths and more than 5,700 injuries reported in May and June alone, it says.
It’s been three years since Bush said the following:
This is George W Bush, the President of the United States. At this moment, the regime of Saddam Hussein is being removed from power, and a long era of fear and cruelty is ending. American and coalition forces are now operating inside Baghdad – and we will not stop until Saddam’s corrupt gang is gone. The government of Iraq, and the future of your country, will soon belong to you.
The goals of our coalition are clear and limited. We will end a brutal regime, whose aggression and weapons of mass destruction make it a unique threat to the world. Coalition forces will help maintain law and order, so that Iraqis can live in security. We will respect your great religious traditions, whose principles of equality and compassion are essential to Iraq’s future. We will help you build a peaceful and representative government that protects the rights of all citizens. And then our military forces will leave. Iraq will go forward as a unified, independent and sovereign nation that has regained a respected place in the world.
The United States and its coalition partners respect the people of Iraq. We are taking unprecedented measures to spare the lives of innocent Iraqi citizens, and are beginning to deliver food, water and medicine to those in need. Our only enemy is Saddam’s brutal regime – and that regime is your enemy as well.
In the new era that is coming to Iraq, your country will no longer be held captive to the will of a cruel dictator. You will be free to build a better life, instead of building more palaces for Saddam and his sons, free to pursue economic prosperity without the hardship of economic sanctions, free to travel and speak your mind, free to join in the political affairs of Iraq. And all the people who make up your country – Kurds, Shi’a, Turkomans, Sunnis, and others – will be free of the terrible persecution that so many have endured.
The nightmare that Saddam Hussein has brought to your nation will soon be over. You are a good and gifted people – the heirs of a great civilisation that contributes to all humanity. You deserve better than tyranny and corruption and torture chambers. You deserve to live as free people. And I assure every citizen of Iraq: your nation will soon be free.
I can only hope there will come a point when we actually care about what we’ve done to the people of that country.