Another perspective on Iraqi ‘freedom’ | AspenTimes.com

Another perspective on Iraqi ‘freedom’

Dear Editor:The Dec. 13 “Purple fingers for freedom” letter does not address the concerns of the Iraqi people. It trivializes their suffering, deaths, loss of homes and businesses due to the U.S.-led “shock and awe” invasion and continued occupation of their country. They only voted in the last two elections because the platforms promised security and the withdrawal of multinational forces. What Iraqi people want was reported by the Oct. 22, 2005, Washington Post article, “Week of Milestones Fails to Reassure Frustrated Iraqis.” They most want improvement in the conditions of daily life which includes security, electricity and clean water – not elections or Saddam’s trial. Kidnappings, assassinations, bombings and robberies are so common, many people are afraid to leave their homes. Many have fled the country. Violent incidents have increased from 150 per week to 700 in the last year. Electricity and water are less than pre-invasion levels, and both systems are in shambles after 32 months of U.S. occupation. Only about $9 billion of the $226.4 billion spent so far on Iraq has gone to Iraq reconstruction, with most of that being spent on security, insurance and projects not completed or not put on line.Unemployment is about 60 percent. Gasoline production is below pre-invasion levels, and lines for gasoline stretch for miles. Approximately 8 percent of Iraq’s children are suffering from acute malnutrition, while others die from lack of clean water, suicide bombings, U.S. gunfire or U.S. airstrikes.Although glad Saddam is gone, some long for life under him when there was security, no car bombing and no insurgency. U.S. presence has created and swollen the resistance (insurgency). The Iraqis view Iraq senior government officers as corrupt and as “carpetbaggers” who came to enrich themselves and live in secure compounds or outside Iraq. Last month, former U.S.-appointed Iraq Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said, “People are doing the same as Saddam’s time and worse.” He was referring to Shiite death squads and secret torture centers. Between 60-80 percent of Iraqis strongly oppose the presence of U.S. troops. Yanar Mohammad, director of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, said that the former Iraq laws were the most progressive for women in the region. The recently approved Iraq constitution places women’s rights in marriage, divorce, custody and access to education and work in the hands of males per Islamic law. It is a negative for women. Democracy stands for by the people, for the people with a system of accountability. I do not see that happening in Iraq nor here.Cathleen KraheMissouri Heights

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