This week, it will be the fifth year anniversary of the war in Iraq that started ever since the 2003 invasion of the country that had been led by United States forces. The report by Amnesty International is called “Carnage and Despair: Iraq Five Years On.” The report by The International Committee of the Red Cross is called “Iraq: No Let-up in the Humanitarian Crisis.”
In its report, Amnesty International explains that the crisis of Iraqi refugees grows larger and the economy is still in ruins. The report by the Red Cross explains that armed violence continues to impact the country with civilians getting killed as a result of it.
The Red Cross’ report says: “The injured often do not receive adequate medical care. Millions of people have been forced to rely on insufficient supplies of poor-quality water as water and sewage systems suffer from a lack of maintenance and a shortage of engineers.”
The Amnesty International report says: “Key political benchmarks have yet to be realized.”
In regards to inadequate health care, hospitals are severely disadvantaged. They lack medicine and qualified staff. Many do not have enough money to go to the private clinics. Several thousand doctors and nurses were kidnapped and/or killed. Many others had left Iraq to escape from the violence.
Both US President George W. Bush and Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain of Arizona gave praise to improvements in security. So far, Iraq has been the major platform of John McCain’s candidacy. McCain said that the issue of Iraq will either make or break his candidacy.
Both reports harshly criticize Iraq’s government for failing to deal with the humanitarian crisis. Amnesty International both attacked both Iraq’s current government and the US-led forces for this hellish scenario. It also says that conditions for Iraqi women had grown worse with the rise of religious groups.
In a recent report released by the Pentagon, corruption is the main factor that has been hurting the reconstruction efforts in Iraq. The money that has been used towards Iraq’s reconstruction has come from US taxpayer dollars.
Recently, there was the talk about Iraq’s oil revenues. Congressional senators Carl Levin (D-Michigan) and John Warner (R-Virginia) have recently asked for a congressional investigation into Iraq’s oil revenues. This inquiry is to see if Iraq could use its own revenues generated from oil to pay for its own country’s reconstruction.
Both senators explain that while Iraq has money in banks across the world, it has not done much to improve both security and reconstruction. In a sense, it could be linked with government corruption as cited by the Pentagon report. Levin and Warner are top members of the Armed Services Committee.
Iraq has been very expensive for the country. US Democratic frontrunner Senator Barack Obama of Illinois has started to link Iraq with the US’ declining economy.
According to Joseph E. Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist in a recent book explains that Iraq could cost US taxpayers at least $12 billion a month.
Both reports, the reports from the Pentagon, the recent book from Stiglitz, and the US congressional inquiry looked to be linked together in what is deemed to be a major economic, political, and humanitarian disaster in Iraq.
On the part of US forces, they are suffering from illnesses possibly from unsafe water. Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) a former Halliburton subsidiary was listed in a recent Pentagon report for failing to maintain standards of safe water given to US troops.