I don’t know where to start this post or what to say. I have been wanting to write something for this blog for weeks. Months. Ever since the Birth Defects in FGH (Fallujah General Hospital) stopped posting Facebook updates on the birth defects, because of the fighting there. Instead, a doctor in Fallujah has been posting a running total of the casualties, which I follow on the Facebook page of Muhamad Al-Darraji (a native of Fallujah who was in the documentary featured earlier in this blog, here).
Like this one from June 13th: The total civilian casualties of Fallujah people since the beginning of war against Anbar people so far, were 1657 wounded civilians and 443 killed.
The hospital was damaged in the fighting. A hospital…
I wondered about the families, and all those babies whose pictures are in these pages. What was happening to them? I tried to keep up the best I could, but I felt overwhelmed and helpless. And ignorant. What could I possibly do to help, what could I say about a situation that I know so little about, despite caring about deeply?
And now, I feel all of those things, plus anger, and great sadness. I am saddened that my President, the Nobel peace prize winner, announced today that he is sending troops to Iraq, ostensibly to protect US citizens, even as he says that the troops will be combat ready. I am distressed at the statement by my Secretary of State that we are considering sending drones. More of our bombs to kill innocent men woman and children. Bombs kill indiscriminately, as much as they would like us to believe that they will only kill the “terrorists”. And as this blog attests, weapons cause damage way after the fighting stops.
I am angry that the same cabal of war mongering neocons who started this mess with their lies is being brought out of the closet by our brain dead media and being asked “what should we do now”. Really appalling. (See here) What we should have done is prosecute them for war crimes. They wanted to occupy Iraq, for political power, money, empire, and greed, all of the above. And look at it now…this is on their hands.
But I agree with the few sane talking heads who are saying that US intervention will only cause more harm, more bloodshed, and more upheaval. I wonder what would have happened had the events after 9/11 had played out in a different way, had we prosecuted the perpetrators of the bombings through the judicial system, rather than militarily? (and of course Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11). We can’t change history but we can decide the future.
And once again mainstream media plays a role in deciding that future, just as they did in the march to the initial invasion. Painting pictures of black and white, good vs. evil, us against the “terrorists”, the same memes that paved the way for the occupation. I have seen it over and over in my work and now in this, we are woefully mislead by our media elites. Uninformed.
What can we do? Become educated for one thing. I have read everything I could find from the non-mainstream press and have tried to become informed on what is really happening. Listen to this interview on Democracy Now with Raed Jarrar. Read this article by my friend Ross Caputi. And this one by Falah Alwan , President of the Federation of Workers’ Councils and Unions in Iraq. Both good analyses of the causes of the current sectarian violence as well as possible solutions that don’t involve drones and US troops. Seek out these alternative voices. Don’t believe what your government and your mainstream anchors tell you. Call our representatives, protest.
And remember the babies. I can only hope that they are safe. Remember that our bombs caused this (the only posting from the Birth Defects in FGH since the beginning of the year. I can’t believe that they are the only ones)
No. More. War. No more bloodshed on our hands. Fight for a peaceful solution to the violence. It’s the only way…