IRAQ: The War Legacy and the ‘Staggering’ Suffering of Its Civilian Population…

Iraq War: US troops

‘Staggering’ is how the UN has described the depth and nature of civilian suffering in post-war Iraq; citing over 18,000 civilians having been killed in the space of just this last year-and-a-half.

According to the report, conducted by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, an approximate 3.2 million people have also been displaced internally over this same period of time.

The UN report confirms the brutality of the so-called ‘Islamic State’ group, with its unprecedented levels of gruesome, rampant violence and criminality.

But contrary to popular portrayal, the violence in Iraq isn’t limited to ISIS/ISIL, but includes various crimes committed by Iraqi troops, militiamen and Kurdish forces, as recorded in the UN report.

The UN also acknowledges that the recorded 18,802 civilians killed (and 36,245 wounded) between the beginning of 2014 and the end of 2015 could be much higher; the figures will  logically be higher, because there are multiple no-go areas for journalists and activists, where crimes can’t be investigated.

Among the most brutal of the many brutal crimes committed by the foreign-backed ‘ISIS/ISIL’ was an incident in Mosul where victims were forced to lay down in front of a crowd while a bulldozer was driven over them, and the militants executing 19 women for refusing to submit to sex with ISIL fighters.

Up to 900 children have also been reported abducted in Mosul and subjected to forced indoctrination and military training.

The report also highlights the extent to which women and children have been subjected to sexual violence, and highlights the plight of some 3,500 people, mostly women and children from the Yazidi community, currently being held as slaves.

Read also the UN Report on the Protection on Civilians in the Armed Conflict in Iraq, May – October 2015.

And yet for all the instability and horrors of Iraq, some 245,000 desperate Syrians have reportedly crossed into Iraq to escape the horrors of neighbouring Syria; Syrians too have been paying the price for the invasion of Iraq and the destabilisation of the entire region. These horrors are inter-related, as is what is happening in Libya.

All of the horrors highlighted in the report, however, are simply from the passed year or so. The suffering of the Iraqi people and the humiliation and destruction of Iraqi society had already been going on a long time before this and before even the rise of the horrendous, foreign-funded ISIS/ISIL proxy army.

Sectarian killings in Iraq 

The governments of the US/UK and NATO essentially already committed genocide against the Iraqi people between 1990 and 2012, killing an estimated 3.3 million, including 750,000 Iraqi children through either sanctions or war.

The illegal invasion and occupation from 2003 is estimated to have led to approximately 189,000 direct war deaths, but this doesn’t also include the hundreds of thousands more who died over the course of the invasion and occupation in general.

This includes victims of displacement, victims of terrorism, and the many, many Sunni victims of the US-backed Shia ‘Death Squads’, and of course the many subsequent victims of the Sunni ‘ISIS/ISIL’, which many regard as a direct response  to those US-backed Shia militias and their earlier massacres of innocent Sunnis.

In every respect, the so-called ‘Islamic State’ owes its existence to its foreign patrons and to the illegal invasion of Iraq.

As mass graves continue to be discovered, the UN has outright accused ISIS/ISIL of ‘war crimes’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ in Iraq. Whether that means scores of individual jihadists and European teenagers are going to eventually be tried in an international court (the leader or ‘caliph’ of ISIL – the elusive Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – will probably never be tried, as he probably doesn’t exist), it’s a fair bet that the real funders and enablers of this ultra-violent sectarian nightmare will never face charges and neither will the governments, officials and corporations whose illegal warfare has created all of this suffering and death.

Whichever way we look at it – either by American/Western incompetence or by deliberate design; and there’s a massive case to be made for both – what we now know as ‘ISIS/ISIL’ is the monster-child of the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Watch this video of an Iraq War veteran, and now-activist, recounting some of the horrific behaviour of invading American troops during the war, as he openly admits “I Helped Create ISIS”.

Or examine the reality of the ISIS/ISIL ‘leadership’ and see where the organisation came from.

 Bush Regime: War Crimes 

Aside from the invasion having been entirely illegal and aside from the false pretexts under which it was carried out, at least $75 billion was made in profit by American subcontracting companies alone, including Blackwater, CACI and Titan. United States’ Vice-President Dick Cheney’s company, Haliburton, made an approximate $39.5 Billion from the Iraq War alone.

Concerning the current situation, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has said the latest study “illustrates what Iraqi refugees are attempting to escape when they flee to Europe and other regions. This is the horror they face in their homelands”.

Go back now and re-watch the old footage of Bush, Rumsfeld and the rest of the mafia of War Criminals/Profiteers talking about the need to invade Iraq; worse, go back and watch them smugly declaring ‘Mission Accomplished’.



Better yet, go re-watch this interview with former American ally and CIA asset, Saddam Hussein, on the eve of the invasion and listen to him talking passionately and proudly about the history, heritage, culture and unity of the Iraqi nation (no sectarian talk, no Sunni/Shia divide, no terrorism), and see if you can get through it without either goosebumps or feeling sick to the pit of your stomach for what was to follow.

And for what is still following even now, all these years later.

S. Awan

Independent journalist. Pariah. Believer in human rights, human dignity and liberty. Musician. Substandard Jedi. All-round failure. And future ghost.


  1. Reblogged this on An Outsider's Sojourn II and commented:
    Read this article, and you will see why warrants for arrest have bee issued for George W Bush and Dick Cheney.

    The U.S. Corporation, aided by the other NATO nations, created this genocidal mess in Iraq. And Bush, Blair, Cheney, and the rest of the elite owned and operated stooges, should be held accountable for their war-crimes/crimes against humanity!

  2. Currently, I attend mandatory French language school with the “results” of America’s screwed up policies in Iraq. One of my classmates is a 74 year old Iraqi woman from Homs, who is really heartbroken to have had to leave. She wanted to join her sons in either New Zealand or Canada (she has 2 in in NZ and the other 2 in Canada) but she would have had to marinate in a refugee camp in Turkey or Jordan for 2 years before she could join them. Fortunately, she could come to France without the ridiculous wait. She really struggles with French (if I was that age I doubt I’d do any better) and she had to leave behind a really nice life…her won house, her job as a school director, a tight knit community, all to have to start over in a foreign land. It really sucks, and as the lone American in class it’s kind of awkward (though of course they know I have nothing to do with it). Still, I know and they know why they had to leave. That said, I know not to talk too much about the actual causes of why they are here, too many cans of worms.

    • It really is just an immense human tragedy across the board. Which is largely why I have no sympathy for people complaining about refugees and migrants coming to Europe.
      Thanks for sharing that, M.

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