After the so-called end of the Gulf War in March 1991, the real war continued against the people of Iraq, 1.7 million of whom died as a direct result of the economic sanctions imposed from1990-99. Half of the dead were children under the age of 5. Starting in December 1998 and continuing into the early months of 1999, the war escalated to almost daily bombing attacks, in which hundreds of civilians were killed and, again, Iraq's civilian infrastructure was severely damaged. The NY Times (8/20/99) reported, "The total raids [against Iraq] this year have reached two-thirds the number that the U.S., France, Britain and other NATO allies flew this spring against Yugoslav military forces in and around Kosovo." One of the most disturbing facts about the continued bombings over Iraq's "No Fly Zones" is that they are rarely considered newsworthy enough to report. In the words of the International Action Center, "The bombing violates U.S. law. It is a real but undeclared war." And then, after twelve years of escalating deaths due to the economic sanctions and almost daily bombings over the so-called "No Fly Zones" and other parts of Iraq, the United States under the leadership of President George W. Bush, Vice-President Richard Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and with the support of Prime Minister Tony Blair of the UK and a handful of other "allies", mounted a pre-emptive attack of Iraq on March 20, 2003 that killed tens of thousands of innocent civilians and opened the door to the almost total destruction of the historical, artistic and cultural legacies of this, the cradle of civilization. As of May, 2003, Iraq is an occupied country that is in a state of uncontrolled looting and violence. The only resources under protection by the occupying forces are the oil fields, the Ministry of Oil and the Ministry of the Interior. A US-chosen puppet government is being put in place as American corporations prepare to "rebuild" the country to their immense profit...and our country's shame.

©1991-2003 Patricia Lay-Dorsey. Please use with attribution.
Photo by Kim Komenich. San Francisco Examiner, 2/18/98.

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