Here’s what America has done in Iraq… thank you, neocons, Tea Party, and GOP! Billions for bombing Iraq back into the Stone Age… NOTHING to rebuild a shattered nation and people. You know what to do… vote in November! Your vote is more powerful than any bomb!
In Iraq, a quarter of the population can’t read or write…
In Iraq, in 1991, illiteracy was unknown, according to the Iraqi Ministry of Education; yet, today, the number of people who can neither read or write is approaching some 7 million people, which is about a quarter of the population. Iraqi experts said that years of wars and continued economic sanctions caused this situation.
Pavel Gusterin, a specialist at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences concurred with this view. He said in an interview with VOR, “Of course, this situation concerning education in Iraq developed because of the war. Now, Iraqis don’t have the opportunity to study. This applies not only to primary but also to higher education. Because of the war, the general cultural level of Iraqi society as a whole has deteriorated markedly. It’s simply not possible to educate people. This requires a lot of money. Previously, Iraq had relations with the Soviet Union, and many Iraqis came to us for education. Today, the war has disrupted all of these connections, and it’s very difficult to establish contacts for cooperation in education. Russia is doing what it can, it sends books and educational materials, as Iraq retains a great interest in Russian culture, but this is clearly insufficient. The saddest thing is that I have to say the situation over the coming years is probably not going to improve. In the near future, I believe that the level of education in Iraq will continue to fall. They need, above all, to re-establish normal life, because when terrorist acts occur every week, children, for obvious reasons, can’t learn. If they can’t learn, what literacy can there be?”
One should add that, according to official figures, 24 percent of Iraqi children are malnourished, 59 percent suffer from disease, thousands of people were disabled by the war, and many thousands more are classified as “displaced persons”. Experts expect a similar profound deterioration in the electric grid and the water supply system as one finds in the health field. The problem is that it takes, at least, a couple of years to build a new power station or polyclinic. To lay new water pipes is easier, and the repair of the Iraqi oil facilities is not difficult. However, to rebuild the educational system is a more difficult task. Again, everything depends on security. No foreign educator shall go to Iraq as long as everybody knows that a car bomb could explode next to them [and kill them] at any moment. In addition, the situation in the school system is also not up to standard. Iraq is experiencing an acute shortage of teachers, and there’s no time to train new ones. Iraqis believe that their country is losing its younger generation.
29 September 2010
Voice of Russia World Service
Of all the billions squandered on the war in Iraq, of all the billions handed over to Blackwater, Halliburton, and other multinationals, very little has been spent on the needs of the Iraqi people, the fat cats ignore them, and their media shills are silent. I’m no knee-jerk pacifist; I believe that war is sometimes a nasty and horrid necessity, but this war was a classic “war of aggression”. Saddam was being corralled via economic sanctions and military oversight of his territory. There was no need to invade and rip up the infrastructure of the country in the process.
You see, the neocons and their Tea Party amen corner believe that the USA is the “sole world power”. This is not so. There’s a reason why the USA doesn’t mess with Russia or China… Russia and China are strong enough to fight back and defeat American forces (they’d be fighting on their own ground, whilst the Americans would be thousands of klicks away from home). The USA doesn’t mess with Iran… that’s because not only is Iran a strong regional power, it also has implicit guarantees from Russia and China (all noises in the media concerning Iran are bootless boasting and sabre-rattling… ignore it, it’s unreality writ large). The USA doesn’t mess with Cuba… it’s now re-establishing its old links with Russia; the bear is going to protect his little Latin bro. The USA treats Kim Jong-Il with kid gloves… Russia and China prop him up to tie down the Americans. In short, the USA is what the Germans call a “Gummi Löwe” (Rubber Lion). Reflect well that Bush fought his wars on tick so that he wouldn’t inconvenience the rich. That is, we DIDN’T have the money to go to war, so the government borrowed it, rather than raise taxes on the wealthy (indeed, it cut taxes in the midst of a war, a most unwise action… that’s another reason why you shouldn’t pull the Republican lever in November).
We wrecked Iraq in a deliberate invasion and aggression. We owe it to the Iraqis to help in the reconstruction of their shattered country. However, will it happen? Note the Tea Party’s (and Orthodox Americanists, too) SILENCE on this subject. Our country has become a nasty, spoilt, and petulant child… it’s not the country that liberated many of the concentration camps in World War Two and then went on to spread prosperity throughout all levels of American society. Disregard all arguments for “globalisation”, “outsourcing”, “free trade”, and “freedom” in general. They’re all buzzwords for the empowerment of the super-rich at our expense. When you go into the voting booth this November, remember the picture of the Iraqi kid in the ruined house… if you vote for any Tea Party endorsed candidate, that’s what you’re voting for.
When you vote for the Tea Party, you vote for THAT!