iraq

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Iraq ..officially known as the Republic of Iraq ..a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordanto the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, and largest city, is Baghdad. The main ethnic groups are Arabs and Kurds; others include Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Yazidis, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country’s 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan, Yezidism and Mandeanism also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.

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..In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created. Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party was removed from power, and multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005. The US presence in Iraq ended in 2011, but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country. Out of the insurgency came a highly destructive group calling itself ISIL, which took large parts of the north and west. It has since been largely defeated. Disputes over the sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan continue. A referendum about the full sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan was held on 25 September 2017.

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On 20 March 2003, a United States-organized coalition invaded Iraq, under the pretext that Iraq had failed to abandon its weapons of mass destruction program in violation of UN Resolution 687. This claim was based on documents provided by the CIA and the British government and were later found to be unreliable.

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The dispersion of native Iraqis to other countries is known as the Iraqi diaspora. The UN High Commission for Refugees has estimated that nearly two million Iraqis have fled the country after the multinational invasion of Iraq in 2003, mostly to Syria and Jordan. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre estimates an additional 1.9 million are currently displaced within the country.

In 2007, the UN said that about 40% of Iraq’s middle class is believed to have fled and that most are fleeing systematic persecution and have no desire to return. Refugees are mired in poverty as they are generally barred from working in their host countries. In recent years the diaspora seems to be returning with the increased security; the Iraqi government claimed that 46,000 refugees have returned to their homes in October 2007 alone.

As of 2011, nearly 3 million Iraqis have been displaced, with 1.3 million within Iraq and 1.6 million in neighbouring countries, mainly Jordan and Syria. More than half of Iraqi Christians have fled the country since the 2003 US-led invasion. According to official United States Citizenship and Immigration Services statistics, 58,811 Iraqis have been granted refugee-status citizenship as of May 25, 2011.

To escape the civil war, over 160,000 Syrian refugees of varying ethnicities have fled to Iraq since 2012. Increasing violence during the Syrian civil war led to an increasing number of Iraqis returning to their native country.

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P. E. Moskowitz (@ptrmsk) tweeted at 6:45 AM – 6 Jun 2018 :
“The US is responsible for the murder of approximately 1 million Iraqis all so oil companies could make more money”….🐶https://t.co/qu8T6KLlzz(http://twitter.com/ptrmsk/status/1004343417663520768?s=17)

Gareth Browne (@BrowneGareth) tweeted at 5:41 AM – 12 Jun 2018 :
Four years to the day of the Speicher massacre in which more than 1500 Iraqi cadets were brutally executed by ISIS. A seminal moment in demonstrating to the world the unimaginable evil of that group, I think. The thought of that video still makes me shudder. #Iraq (http://twitter.com/BrowneGareth/status/1006501643339423746?s=17)

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Amir (@AmirAminiMD) tweeted at 3:18 PM – 19 Jun 2018 :
Thank you for speaking out.
Having said that, it’s worth remembering the fact that you starved 500000 Iraqi children to death. You’ll never answer for your crimes, so please at least kindly fuck off forever. https://t.co/gB8cVeI8yC (http://twitter.com/AmirAminiMD/status/1009183685562830849?s=17)

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Zainab (@z_zxzx_z) tweeted at 2:35 PM – 2 Aug 2018 :
I’m a child refugee from Iraq. I grew up listening to bombs going off and seeing blood on the streets. An approximate 600,000 lives have been lost – some of those were my family members. If you wouldn’t ask me to forgive what Blair did, why should any of us? https://t.co/gAEUPDzZFU (http://twitter.com/z_zxzx_z/status/1025117871943376896?s=17)

adding for the 600 000 ness.. not the forgive ness.. forgiveness has to be part of it/us

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Molly Crabapple (@mollycrabapple) tweeted at 5:00 AM – 3 Sep 2018 :
Baghdad was once 40% Jewish, but starting in 1950, Iraqi Jews were stripped of their citizenship, had their property stolen, and were deported. Now, some of these Jews and their descendants are organizing to reclaim their Iraqi citizenship.
https://t.co/cznvqpKgSk (http://twitter.com/mollycrabapple/status/1036569580422881281?s=17

Molly Crabapple (@mollycrabapple) tweeted at 5:37 AM on Mon, Sep 03, 2018:
The decimation of Jewish Baghdad was one of many ethnic cleansings that torn apart the cosmopolitan Mediteranean and Middle East in the 20th century. Ethnonationslism is a poison
(https://twitter.com/mollycrabapple/status/1036578871556988928?s=03)

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refugees

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from Mona Hanna-Attisha‘s what eyes don’t see:

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almost nothing was written about saddam hussein in the us media in the 1980s. saddam was considered a friend of the reagan admin even though his brutalities and murders were well-known abroad.. during the iran iraq war 80-88, the us actively supported saddam w intelligence and food credits and also allowed iraq to buy high tech equipment for chemical weapons..

the truth is oil made iraq a prosperous ally in the middle east, and saddam’s anti communist zeal blinded europe and the us to his true nature.. this outraged my dad and fed the fire in him..

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saddam had spies and agents in the us, people who could hurt us, but that never stopped my dad either

i was 11 or 12 when he showed me photos from the genocide of halabja in s kurdistan..  saddam ramped up his attack to chemical weapons..  7 or 8 iraqi warplanes dropped bombs of poison on residential area of halbja.. killed people immediately.. others were burned and died slowly and painfully. as many as 5 000 civilians were killed and another 7-10 000 were horribly injured.. the largest chemical weapons attack directed against a civilian population in history.. an entire city was poisoned.. that was the first time i saw a dead child..

mark and i grew up quickly that way.w eunderstood that leader could be dangerous..  that injustice must be challenged..  we were taught not to look away.. 

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overall the 1990s were a time of pointless misery, when tens or even hundreds of thousands of iraqi children may have died..  left me wondering.. if leaders of my adopted home cared about kids at all..

we knew how lucky we were. and we knew how bad things could be.. challenging injustice means standing up for the weak/vulnerable/abused/forgotten..  be it in health, employment ed, or the environment..

how about all of it.. ie: soul and world peace

17 – meeting the mayor

18 – aeb

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down deep, something else was eating away at me. aeb. it was difficult to describe w/o using the imprecise word shame.. it was not just an iraqi thinking; it was an arabic thing. it was the idea that you were never acting independently of your family or larger community.. .. there were always repercussions.. if you behaved badly or strayed even a little bit from the accepted norm, you would bring shame not only upon yourself but on your people. there was nothing worse..

aeb is used to keep people in line, particularly kids and particularly girls. anything could be aeb.. getting in trouble in school.. not going to church.. being gay.. wearing skimpy clothes.. whatever…

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i hate aeb. it’s a debilitating an ugly concept. i try not to conform..  the concept of aeb was deeply ingrained in us.. my mom still talked about aeb. my dad did too. aeb is the reason i started eating meat, so i wouldn’t insult elliott’s mom.. it’s serious in our culture.. and hard to ignore..

i thought about the press conference, the public release of my research.. i thought about getting it wrong, embarrassing and shaming my family/colleagues/clinic/profession.. in such a public way.. that would be the most colossal aeb of all

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but why does it have to be mona … bebe asked.. not somebody else..  because mona has the data. she has the proof. nobody else has done that.. she is a dr, a scientist, maybe they will listen..

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he saved the news about his homeland for the ending, a memorial space for those still in iraq, still suffering and in danger. w e never wanted to forget them. as for us the message was clear: the hanna family had once lived in iraq.. we loved that place in the deepest part of ourselves.. and we were living w its loss w homesickness,,, w disturbance w injustice..

the loss only go worse after sept 11..  it hit us all, and i twill go down as one of the modern world’s great evil acts. and then the lies of george w bush admin about iraq’a weapons of mass destruction, death, and suffering. some 5 000 american soldiers died in the iraq war, tens of thousands were injured, and an entire generation of soldiers will live w lifelong trauma

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a great may more iraqis have been harmed or killed. since the 2003 invasion, according to the iraq body count website, some 268 000 iraqis have been killed by violence – most of them civilians – and as many as half a mn have perished in total, if all the deaths resulting from the war are counted..

in america, it’s easy for some to pretend that the suffering world is a mn miles away, on another planet, while we are safe and  innocent. but for me, the suffering world was etched in the sadness on my parents’ faces..

now as the press conference loomed, i was beginning to see that my family’s saga of loss and dislocation had given me my fight – my passion and urgency..  it was what had led me to the after school meetings of sea at kimball. when i heard roberta magid’s dismay at what was happening to he planet, i had felt it too, because i grew up w dismay and knew how wrong leaders could be, how cruel and negligent..  they have to be held accountable, have to be challenged, becaue power corrupts, and our moral sensibility can be so dulled that we let atrocities happen right around us, unless we manage to stay constantly vigilant, sensitive, aroused, and ready to take a stand..

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from john pilger

the war you don’t see (found on John’s site):

[https://vimeo.com/67739294]

46 min – during ww1 – 10% of deaths were civilian, ww2 – 50%, nam – 70%, iraq – 90% – the killing of civilians and wilfully causing great suffering is a war crime – fourth geneva convention – 1949

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Haymarket Books (@haymarketbooks) tweeted at 8:44 PM on Mon, Sep 03, 2018:
Pat Tillman, sent on multiple Ranger missions in Iraq: “This war is so fucking illegal.” https://t.co/kCXS7EGl6j
(https://twitter.com/haymarketbooks/status/1036807125266325504?s=03)

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Oz Katerji (@OzKaterji) tweeted at 6:04 AM – 26 Sep 2018 :
You can watch the award-nominated video here:
https://t.co/a8NUXXbfGS (http://twitter.com/OzKaterji/status/1044920760018628609?s=17)

The history of Daesh (ISIS) – 6 min video

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