A boy stands near the site of a car bomb attack in the Shaab District of Baghdad.
To the Catholic Sentinel:
John Tirman of the MIT Center for International Studies offers some grim statistics of the cost of the war to Iraqi citizens. The number of Iraqi people who have died is a topic of controversy but virtually all independent observers agree it is in the hundreds of thousands, and some estimate as many as a million. More than half the doctors in prewar Iraq were displaced, either within Iraq or in Syria, Jordan and elsewhere. By the summer of 2010 only 622,000 displaced people had returned.
Shortages of clean water, sanitation, and electricity remain a problem, severe in some places. In 2010 UNICEF estimated it needed $50 million to improve health care access, sanitation, etc. for Iraqi children but was able to raise only $7 million.
Thousands of women and girls have been driven into prostitution or kidnapped into sexual slavery. In 2009, 750,00 widows were living in poverty. More than half of all Iraqis live in slum conditions compared with 17 percent in 2000.
However noble this country’s intentions may have been it is difficult to make an argument that our involvement in Iraq was benign. William Stafford had many things to say against war including the aphorism, “Every war has two losers.” Father Neil Moore, Beaverton