We saw the atrocities committed by a handful of soldiers in Abu Ghraib, but we did not look at the other 5, larger, torture camps. We didn’t even bother to see the routine torture in that very prison.
We read reports of success as we beat back the resistance, and then Al Qaeda, but we did not see the inflicted on innocent civilians as we ‘won the war on terror’. Yes, millions were displaced, over a million innocents were killed. Uncounted numbers maimed and subjected to prolonged trauma. The orphans, the widows…occupied very little of our media as the occupation rolled on for years.
And now it’s déjà vu. Yes, all over again as we read about the successes against IS, the retaking of Ramadi:
“Kurdish PUK and Peshmerga forces kill 35 ISIS militants, liberate two villages in Kirkuk”
“Iraqi forces kill 77 terrorists, dismantle 114 IEDs in Karma”
“Iraqi forces kill 50 ISIS fighters and regain control over most of Baiji refinery”
“Baiji siege on Iraqi troops lifted”
“Anbar’s Deputy Governor confirms full government control over Ramadi’s center and entrances”
“130 ISIS elements killed, sleeper cells found in Tikrit”
But we are not hearing much about the innocent civilians caught in the maelstrom of such ‘victories’ because the military truth is not the whole truth.
The view from the people who live, lived, and died as Iraq’s government tried to cleanse areas of IS fighters is quite different. Those who were able to flee the crush of conflict are now homeless, wandering, refugees in their own country. Most of those who stayed were demolished or demoted to that ‘zombic’ status of temporary survivor. Some few found reason in joining forces with one of the battling groups.
There are no numbers yet. No statistics to count and compare. What speaks for the victims of victory is the only the anecdotal record in phone calls, twitter and Viber and Face Book postings, and the occasional media piece.
The two truths are not contradictory, but one is hidden.
April 19, 2015 by Bruce Wallace, 121Contact