OK. Forget about Michael for a minute. A beautiful young woman named Neda was photographed as she died in Tehran and the world cried for her. There are thousands of Nedas in Iraq [ArabWomanBlues]. Every day Iraqis die and no one seems to care. Hundreds of innocents died just this past week alone! Violence in Iraq is again on the rise and the children, women, and men continue to pay the price for the destabilization the U.S. has produced.
Death squads have returned to Basra [Iraq Solidarity]. Innocent (until found guilty) prisoners in Iraqi prisons are still tortured and denied basic rights [McClatachy]. Militant religious leaders are given broad freedoms to spread divisive hate messages on state-run TV. Gangs have returned to the streets of Baghdad and with them have come an increase in street crime and kidnappings for ransom.
While some Baghdad neighborhoods have begun a more peaceful period, most are in the throws of a chaotic return to lawlessness. Electricity is still delivered in 2 or 3 hour blocks [NYTimes] and the water situation is bad for some 70% of the country. Baghdad and Fallujah are seeing a significant rise in insurgent resistance [DahrJamail] activity with at least 30 U.S. soldiers killed in the last 2 months. This is the highest count since last September.
And where is the outrage? We are front-page sympathetic to Iran's troubles, though we had little to do with them. We are front-page attuned to every nuance of a rock singer's death (I do admit he was one of The Major Stars of his time). But where are we with respect to Iraq? Why aren't there mass demonstrations against our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (another quagmire Obama refuses to look at objectively)? We've already wasted 4,316 of our bravest and loyal troops in Iraq. Where are the street protests against this outrageous cost? Cost? Where is the cry about wasting trillions in Iraq while we suffer a lack of funds for health care, education, and the general welfare of the nation?
We are burying our heads in the sands of media. We are ignoring our tremendous responsibility to the people of Iraq.
Yeah, I spend a lot of ink on the widows, but I never forget that the lives of all Iraqis have been horribly changed for generations to come by the U.S. occupation. And the lives of all Americans, too.