Iraq 2013: A Year of Carnage (& Genocide)

Iraq 2013: A Year of Carnage (& Genocide)

Apart from the invasion of 2003, and the withdrawal of international troops between 2009-11, Iraq has been largely ignored by people, by media outlets, and by governments. “Operation Iraqi Freedom” evidently and catastrophically failed in its mission to bring liberation, democracy, and peace as its proponents had claimed it would. Today, over 10 years since the occupation, Iraq has observed a particularly deadly cycle of violence. In fact, in the rare occasion when Iraq is spoken of, it is only to detail the very sad reality that it has a population of orphans and widows now in the millions, horrific birth defect rates, and daily bomb attacks that engulf entire families. The humanitarian and existential crisis that has been unacknowledged by the mainstream is growing exponentially worse. Yet, death tolls are mentioned only in passing. No one (be they inside Iraq or internationally) seems to have taken extra care in addressing what is exactly is brewing in the country and why, apart from casually brushing off the crisis away from our shores by attributing it to “sectarianism”, which is itself a crime of conscience and complicity. 

It is in light of my despair at the fate of Iraq that I stumbled on this: a fascinating and much-needed interactive resource (link above) launched by Russia Today which presents a harrowing account of what one can only describe as the genocide that has been unfolding in Iraq in 2013. It has been organised in the form of a diary, complete with dates, photographs, and a commentary. The figures are astonishing. The consistency of the violence is disturbing. But it is the reality on the ground, and one that we must acknowledge. 

It is along this backdrop that one must seriously ask the very pivotal question: to what extent can we observe this calculated destruction and mindless murder and not care enough to act? And if we take that question seriously, a further one ought to be asked of all of us: what exactly does “doing something about it” mean in practice? What tangible steps can we take as citizens in the UK and elsewhere to raise awareness and lend our support? Is the battle too remote? I raise these questions as somebody who does not have the answers, but who is seeking them and I implore anyone who values the life of a human being to join me in this quest. Raising money, publishing articles detailing the crimes taking place, and writing letters to MPs is all good and well, and much-needed, but maybe we have to also be thinking about scaling up our efforts if we seriously seek a more substantial, longer-term solution to a deeply-entrenched crime that has been ravaging Iraq, and in fact the world at large, since the beginning of time. Senseless murder.



2 thoughts on “Iraq 2013: A Year of Carnage (& Genocide)

  1. These are some of the toughest questions there are. Does murder beget murder? Do acts of war beget acts of war? I don’t know the answers either, but I suspect that ‘an eye for an eye’ is archaic and uncivilized, although it seems to offer the only fair sense justice….whatever that word means anymore. I think an important question might be: did Iraq ask for help from the US and the world? And likewise, did Syria ask for interventions from the UN in their conflict? When Georgia was invaded by Russia in 2008, I don’t seem to remember the world coming to their aid. Helping the oppressed seems to be relative to who the oppressors are, and what the oppressed have to offer the helpers.

    • An eye for an eye is definitely unfeasible; I don’t really see how it could/would mitigate the brutal violence we are observing throughout the world. But I think we also have to be extremely cautious about approaching such situations from an “humanitarian intervention” angle. Empirically speaking, such interventions undoubtedly come with strings attached, only adding fuel to the fire, so to speak. And yes you’re right, “helping” does often appear relative; I guess its an inescapable fact of our human nature. Humans, myself included, seem to express grievances for particular causes and regions whilst neglecting others, which is something that must be addressed if we are *serious* about welfare and “justice” writ large.

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