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Iraqis are People, too
By Cindy Sheehan
After spending two heart wrenching hours listening to two Iraqi gentlemen, one an educator, one a scientist, giving agonizing testimony about what is really going on in Iraq (outside the Green Zone), in Istanbul, I returned to my nearby hotel room and read something from the AP that tore my heart apart even further.
In the article entitled: Americans underestimate Iraq death toll, Christopher Gelpi, a Duke University political scientist who tracks public opinion on civilian casualties in war said:
A better understanding of the Iraqi death toll probably wouldn't change already negative public attitudes toward the war much. People in democracies generally don't shy away from inflicting civilian casualties and they may be even more tolerant of them in situations such as Iraq, where many of the civilian deaths are caused by other Iraqis.
This above statement is unspeakably appalling Why do people in democracies not shy away from inflicting human casualties? If this statement is true then why are we spreading American brand of democracy (fake elections and puppet leaders, i.e.: Bush and Malicki) all over the world. Why do we want more democracies around the world? To inflict more civilian casualties? This is not acceptable to me and I renounce governments and shy away from other humans who do accept these casualties.
This statement ignored a very basic fact, also. The invasion/occupation of Iraq is a horror that was based on lies, deceptions and greed. The people of Iraq are suffering terribly in THEIR country while George Bush, Dick Cheney, and 99% of the American public do not have to sacrifice one iota of comfort or concern because of the terror that is being inflicted on a civilian population that have done nothing to be punished so harshly.
Another one of our fellow Americans had this to say about civilian casualties:
"You have to look at who's doing the killing," said Neal Crawford, a restaurant manager in Suttons Bay, Mich., who guessed that about 10,000 Iraqis had been killed. "If these people are dying because a roadside bomb goes off or if there's an insurgent attack in a marketplace, it's an unfortunate circumstance of war — people die."
This comment also ignores the fact that the occupation of Iraq is a war of choice that never should have been waged. No insurgency existed before American troops were forced to roll their tanks into a country that was filled with innocent people. Would Americans take such a cavalier attitude towards “unfortunate circumstances of war” if it were an equivalent amount of Americans being killed? I don’t think so, 3000 of us were tragically slaughtered on 9-11 and we have used this as a justification to destroy two countries that didn’t attack us and commit genocide on people who just want to be left alone. Now Bloody George has killed more Americans than Osama bin Ladin and many, many times more Iraqis.
During the seminar in Turkey, attendees got up to congratulate the Iraqi men on the resistance in Iraq. Human beings across the world, but especially in the Middle and Near East are proud of the insurgents in Iraq for holding off the “mightiest” military in history. This makes me sick to my stomach. As the people of Iraq are victims, so are our soldiers who are oftentimes there for their 3rd or 4th deployments. What George Bush has done by bending over backwards, frontwards, and sideways to the oil companies and war profiteers is to make the USA the detested laughing stock of the world and make our soldiers targets of people who don’t hate them, but hate what they represent.
In the article from the AP the median number of Iraqis killed that those polled guessed was: 9890. A recent very scientific (yes, science does work, George) study put the median Iraqi death toll at 655,000, and my contacts in Iraq, including the Sheik who spoke yesterday claim that it is well over one million. An equivalent amount of Americans would exceed ten million! I don’t think that anyone would call that an “unfortunate circumstance of war.” Would the deaths be more acceptable if it was a “democracy” that attacked us?
Now Doomsday Dick is traveling the world reinforcing the nuclear option for Iran. Saying that every option is still on the table (for pity’s sake, Democrats, can you put impeachment for these murderers on the table?), is frightening to say the very least. To prevent one country from developing nuclear energy technology, the US is threatening to drop a nuclear bomb on Iran where millions of moderate Arabs will be endangered. A supposed “democracy” that “spreads peace” is willing to use some of its thousands of nuclear bombs, again, on innocent people. Who will stop these maniacs?
The crimes against humanity keep piling up on the Bush Regime. If one stipulates that the invasion of Iraq was justified then Geneva Conventions require that the occupying power protect the occupied, make sure they have medicine and medical attention and clean water and food. BushCo has failed its responsibilities to the Iraqi people miserably and the Iraqi people want our troops out of their country. Dropping nuclear, or our devastating conventional weapons, on Iran would be another crime against humanity for the Bush Regime to paste in its scrap book.
A majority of Americans do find the casualties on both sides unacceptable, but now it's time to go from thinking "unacceptable" to action. We need to get out of our comfy homes and hit the streets in the millions on March 17th, especially in Washington, DC, if for anything else, to demonstrate to the people of the world that citizens in democracies do not sanction killing innocent people. We need to do it for our soldiers, but more importantly for the innocent citizens of Iraq. We need to demand an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and we need to demand impeachment for BushCo to restore the peace and to restore our reputation in the world.
After the program, the Sheik approached me with a translator and apologized to me for Casey’s death saying that: “We don’t want to kill your soldiers, but we are protecting our country, it is our country.”
Time to give the Iraqis their country back.
We never should have allowed Bloody BushCo to go there in the first place.