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Today Is Not the End of the Iraq War
Posted on: Thursday, December 15, 2011
The end of the US war in Iraq was officially declared today. Yet, the destruction continues. As the troops return, we must ask what the US is leaving behind.
One million Iraqis have been killed in the past eight years. Over five million have been displaced. Tens of thousands of US soldiers have been killed or wounded. Iraq has been named the fourth most corrupt country in the world, and Baghdad the city with the worst quality of living worldwide. In a country where women once enjoyed more freedoms than in many neighboring countries, Iraqi women now face epidemic levels of violence.
Recently, our Iraqi partners at the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) wrote to us about the Haweeja district in northeastern Iraq. Communities there have been used as munitions dumps by the US military, and families are now suffering alarming rates of birth defects and cancer. Haweeja exemplifies the US legacy in Iraq, one that will impact women, their families and their communities for generations to come.
The withdrawal of troops from Iraq marks the end of a war that should never have begun. But this withdrawal does not mean an end to US accountability. The US government must still be held responsible for its actions and compensate the millions of Iraqis who have been killed, wounded, disabled, displaced and impoverished.