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.