BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC’S BIG MIX — THE KOOL-AID TABLE
THE COCKY LITTLE CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O BREEZED BACK INTO THE COUNTRY, STUCK HIS NOSE UP IN THE AIR YET AGAIN AND DECLARED “WE KNOW WHAT WE’RE DOING!”
REALLY? BECAUSE IN 2008, GAS WAS LESS THAN $2.00 A GALLON AND NOW IT’S ALMOST $4.00 A GALLON. AND UNEMPLOYMENT WASN’T THIS HUGE AND WE DIDN’T HAVE AS MANY BUSINESS SHUTTING DOWN. BUT OKAY, YOU FOUND A NEW SHADE OF LIP GLOSS THAT MAKES YOUR SALT & PEPPER HAIR LOOK PRETTY, SO THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS TO THE MAN WHO’S QUICKLY BECOME THE ROBERTO BENIGNI OF NOBEL PRIZE WINS.
HEY, BARRY O, WHEN YOU FINISH YOUR TOPLESS SHOOT, YOU THINK YOU CAN WORK ON THE ECONOMY? YOU KNOW, WHAT YOU KEEP SWEARING IS JUST ABOUT TO BECOME THE TOP PRIORITY TO YOUR ADMINISTRATION?
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Today the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
released [PDF format warning] “Internal Displacement: Global Overview of Trends and Developments in 2010
.” Across the globe, the number of displaced person grew to 27.5 million (“the highest in a decade”). Iraq joins Columbia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somolia and Sudan as one of the five countries with “over a million people identified as IDPs” — Internally displaced Persons — and “over half the world IDPs” are in those five countries. Of the five, Iraq ranks third on the largest internally displaced populations scale with approximately 2.8 million people in Iraq. The graph on page 16 of the report shows a steady climb in the number of IDPs in Iraq throughout the decade with 2008 being a high point, 2009 a slight dip and 2010 returning to the same level as 2008. Approximately 9% of Iraq’s population (in country) is IDP which translates as approximately one Iraqi in every ten is internally displaced.
Page 25 features a photo of an Iraqi male missing a portion of his left leg who, along with others, now lives “in a garbage dump in the neighbourhood of Al-Mushraf” in Mosul as a result of being an IDP who has had to flee his home as a result of violence. Page 78 deals specifically with Iraq. From page 78:
By 2010, people from the same sectarian or religious group had been concentrated into the same locations as IDPs fled to areas where their group was dominant. About half of the total number came from the ethnically diverse governorates of Baghdad and Diyala. As a result the country was more ethnically and religiously homogenous than at any time in Iraq’s modern history. Iraqi society remained deeply divided along sectarian lines, with many minority groups facing particular threats, including Christians of various denominations, Fae’eli Kurds, Yazidis, Palestinian refugees, and Sunni and Shi’a Muslims where they were in the minority.
Tensions remained high in 2010 yet increasingly confined to the disputed areas of the ethnically diverse northern governorates of Kirkuk and Ninewa. While the security situation in Baghdad remained fragile, it had improved tos ome extent because the major political parties had renounced violence to jockey for political influence. The only identified pattern of new displacement in 2010 was that of Christians from Baghdad and Mosul: following threats and targeted bombings, an undetermined number were displaced to the three northern governorates under the authority of the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Internally displaced children and women were particularly at risk, and faced widespread gender-based violence and labour exploitation. In a country that gives women fewer opportunities than men, internally displaced women and families headed by women had significantly greater needs than other displaced people in the same area.
Many of the vulnerabilities faced by IDPs were shared by non-displaced groups who all suffered from high rates of unemployment, limited access to basic food rations and clean water, and a declining standard of living. However, IDPs faced the additional challenge of the constant threat of eviction as most displaced families were living in rented or privately-owned houses, in collective settlements, or in public buildings.
The report notes that the number of returnees (of IDPs — not returnees from outside the country) dropped in 2010 and those who did return largely returned to either Baghdad or Diyala. (Yes, we noted this reality back in 2010 when fools like Thomas E. Ricks’ online spouse couldn’t get it correct.) Kelley B. Vlahos explores the realities of what’s been done to the land and future of Iraq in “Children of War
” (American Conservative). Scott Horton discussed the article with her on Antiwar Radio
Scott Horton: This is a very hard hitting piece there in the American Conservative magazine which is the flagship magazine of the anti-war right in this country and often times it’s worth reading in depth but this article was really great and especially timely since it’s now the 8th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. And primarily this article is concerned with the pollution of various kinds and the disastorous effects that this pollution has had for the people of Iraq. So that, I think as you even say in the piece, “Even though the American people would prefer to just pretend the Iraq War is ancient history or something, it’s still going on for the people there.” Can you tell us a little bit about the consequences and maybe some of the likely causes that we’re talking about here?
Kelley B. Vlahos: Sure. I mean I — I basically would call this if you’re going to look at something that crystalized the US invasion of Iraq, I would say this is the greatest, you know, singular example of the tragedy of our invasion of Iraq — if not the thirty year relationship we’ve had, the US has had with Iraq. This was a very difficult piece to write. But just to drill down a bit, basically it talks about the impact of, like you said, the pollution — the impact of 30 years, really of war in Iraq beginning with the Iran and Iraq war in which we supplied monetarily and with weapons Saddam Hussein in the Iraq war and against Iran in which thousands and thousands of pounds of munitions were dropped, tanks and chemical weapons. Then you fast forward to the Persian Gulf War, another anniversary that was reached this week, the end of the Persian Gulf War 1991in which, again, we used heavy artillery and tanks notably with depleted uranium that still sits out in the deserts of Iraq. And then the more recent US invasion of Iraq and the last 8 years. So the impact of that on the landscape of Iraq has been devestating. And the greatest example we have right now is the increase of birth defects in places like Falluja, for example, and Basra which were very, very heavily hit — both in this war, specifically Falluja, and in the Persian Gulf War, Basra. And what they’re finding in a recent study that I — that I mention in the piece, in Falluja they, scientists, have determined a 15% incident rate of birth defects among babies born in their General Hospital in 2010. And to sort of bring this into perspective, you know, an estimated 3% of every live birth in the US is effected — is effected by birth defects and 6% worldwide. So we’re talking a huge, auspicious number here. We’re talking birth defects —
Scott Horton: Well hold on a second, Kelley. I was going to say if — if people have young kids riding along in the back of the minivan right now, you might want to turn it to music before Kelley starts describing some of the birth defects we’re talking about being found at the Falluja General Hospital.
Kelley B. Vlahos: Oh, yeah. I mean, as a mother, this is a particular difficult story for me to do because every time that I went to do research, Googling “birth defects Falluja” I would indiscriminately get photographs of these babies that were born and we’re talking everything from congenital heart defects to what you would call skeletal malformations which could be pieces of the skull missing, missing eyes, missing limbs, additional limbs where there shouldn’t be limbs, babies who are just lying there lifeless and limp because their heads are three, four times the size they should be. Things that you don’t even want to see or ever hope to see, that will give you nightmares at night. And there are pictures and pictures and examples upon examples on the internet that, you know, I think most of us would probably — not ignore, but never see unless we were investigating it ourselves. And this is sad because the evidence is there and we have basically, like you said earlier, have decided that the war is over but this is occuring. And they’re looking for help and their own government isn’t giving them help and we certainly aren’t doing it. Now what are the causes? This is — this is the big investigation that’s going on. There’s been — There’s many theories. One being that depleted uranium that I had mentioned earlier. Our depleted uranium basically is — is a dense heavy metal that is used in both an armored plating on our tanks as well as in our munitions. Now the extent of how much we’ve used in this war is pretty much a secret because the military knows it’s controversial. It’s been controversial since the Persian Gulf War when it was used and our own soldiers were being exposed to it in friendly fire fights with tank battles. And they came home and complained of all sorts of illnesses but also birth defects in the babies that their wives were having. There had been many studies and many surveys done but the Department of Defense — surprise, surprise — has denied that depleted uranium has anything to do with incidents, increased incidents, of cancer birth defects among our soldiers so you can imagine that they don’t want anything to do with anything that’s happened among Iraqis. But anyway, so the use of depleted uranium is controversial but they’re still using. The Air Force uses it, the Army, the Marines. And in places like Falluja which had been unbelievably pounded by US air power during 2004 and 2005 if you can remember, this was a big hot bed of Sunni resistance. They were the ones that hung the Blackwater contractors off the bridge, the Sunnis in Falluja. And so the Marines went in there and basically tried to basically restore order there, to take it out of control of the insurgents’ hands. They managed to do that. They put — They put the security in the hands of local uh-uh Fallujans and left and then they had to come back after George Bush — the minute George Bush was re-elected in 2004. He — He started another air campaign. So we’re basically talking about large areas of the city just leveled. We’re talking about GPS guided bombs just like plucking buildings out, plucking insurgents out. You know strafing going on. I mean, just — you can imagine. Looking at pictures of Falluja today, it’s a wasteland. But they managed to “pacify” them in the end. But anyway, so what’s left there? And we can only imagine. So the babies that are being born today are, like I said, 15% of them in 2010 were being born with these birth defects. Is it the depleted uranium? Is it the fact that there’s no sewage or clean water in Falluja? All sorts of — I mean, the burning of the trash on the forward operating base, a little bit about that in the article. So we basically destroyed the ecology of Iraq. But we need to find out exactly what’s causing the birth defects and also the high levels of cancer among Fallujans as well as the people in Basra which I mentioned earlier was also heavily hit too. The studies are there but they need the help not only to bring it to light and to do something about it. And we are-are so far ignoring the plight of these people. For all obvious reasons. It is — It is an embarrassment and a humiliation. And it is anathema to everything we were told: we went into Iraq to save and to liberate these people.
About 75,000 children in Iraq are now living in camps or shelters, having lost their homes due to the war or been forced to evacuate because of threats of violence.
Hundreds of kids have been injured, or even died, from war-related violence. Many, many others have lost family members to the war. One twelve-year-old girl was shot repeatedly by US soldiers who burs into her home. The soldiers shot and killed the girl’s uncle and injured her aunt. They even killed all of the family’s chickens before they left, to lessen the family’s chance of survival.
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“THIS JUST IN! RETURN OF BARRY O!“