The War in Iraq
By Chris Joseph Year 9
What were the negative effects of the US-led invasion of Iraq on the Iraqi people?
The war in Iraq was costly, highly opposed and in the end, quite disastrous. It caused a humanitarian crisis in Iraq; there were serious political consequences, economic consequences, and the destruction of Iraq’s cultural heritage and so it is difficult for anyone to justify whether or not the war was worth it. Humanitarian Crisis
Iraqi Refugees in a UNHCR camp
Source: ccun.org Accessed: 17/09/13
The US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 caused many civilian casualties, but it did not immediately create a major humanitarian crisis or set off mass amounts of refugees leaving Iraq. Soon after, however, the coalition's ‘counter-insurgency’ operations, including massive attacks on cities like Falluja, led to an increased mortality rate and massive civilian displacement, affecting hundreds of thousands of people. Starting in 2006, sectarian clashes worsened and inter-communal violence led to rising death and injury, as well as a massive rise in displacement. Iraq's death rate has also risen tremendously. With the Coalition increasing how often it conducts bombing and ground attacks as well as the rise in sectarian violence, a growing number of Iraqi citizens are being forced to leave their towns and homes and other minority group such as the Kurds are also being forced to leave. According to the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), there are 1.9 million people that have been displaced in the country and over 2 million refugees that have escaped to neighbouring countries to avoid the war, especially to Syria and Jordan. Unemployment and poverty rose sharply too. According to the United Nations Development Program, one-third of the population now lives in poverty and the Iraqi Education system has broken down. Additionally, Iraqi’s basic needs like drinking water, food, sanitation and electricity are also being disregarded by the Coalition. Even hospitals lack the basic medical supplies required for a hospital and are also short on staff. The international relief system has not been able to respond adequately to the growing humanitarian challenges. International agencies are facing serious problems reaching Iraqis at risk. Iraq's humanitarian emergency has reached a crisis level that compares with or even exceeds some of the world's most urgent calamities.
Map of a proposed separatist Iraq
Source: World Security Network Accessed: 17/09/13
Since the US led invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, whistle-blowers have called on the US to acknowledge that key issues in the Middle East like Iraq, Iran and the conflict between the Israeli’s and Palestinians are all connected. However, the US follows a policy which alienates other countries in the region from helping to build a sovereign and Secure Iraq. Speculation is also growing as to whether Iraq will be divided. The US claims that violence in the country is due to a civil war between warring religious groups (Shia, Sunni and Shiite Muslims) and that it should be separated into three regions- Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish (Figure B). This proposal was looked at in as a ‘non-binding resolution’ to the war in the US Congress in October 2007. Iraqis argue that a divided Iraq would complicate the security problem. With little United Nations influence over the US-led occupation of Iraq, people suggest Iraq could become a ‘political protectorate’ of the US without input from regional areas and/or international approval. This will cause a multitude of problems for the United States as this show of power will not be taken lightly by the UN and the Iraqi’s themselves will not like the idea of being ‘owned’ at all. Economic Consequences
The rubble of a building destroyed in the war
Source: The Situationist Accessed: 18/09/13
The US led occupation of Iraq...
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