by Sabah al-Baghdadi
Translated and adapted by Khalil Nakhleh
Kana’an eBulletin – Volume IX – Issue 1975
The following official governmental statistics, up to December 2008, show the disastrous conditions prevalent in Iraq since the American invasion and occupation of that country.
1. One million widowed Iraqi women (according to Iraqi Ministry of Women Affairs).
2. Four million orphaned Iraqi children (according to estimates by the Iraqi Ministry of Planning).
3. Two and a half million (2,500,000) Iraqis killed (according to the Iraqi Ministry of Health and Forensic Medicine).
4. 800,000 Iraqis have disappeared in secret holding places connected with the different ruling parties (according to registered complaints at the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior).
5. 340,000 Iraqi prisoners, detained without charge, in U.S. army prisons, the prisons of the Iraqi government, and the prisons in the Kurdistan District (according to Iraqi, Arab, international and UN human rights organizations and agencies). US occupying forces admit officially that the number of Iraqi detainees in their prisons is about 120,000.
6. Four and a half million (4,500,000) Iraqis are refugees outside Iraq (according to statistics of those seeking passports (category C) from the General Directorate of Passports.
7. Two and a half million (2,500,000) Iraqis are refugees inside Iraq (according to the Iraqi Ministry of Refugees).
8. 76,000 registered Iraqi cases of AIDS; this number did not exceed 114 cases before the invasion and occupation of Iraq (according to the Iraqi Ministry of Health).
9. Frightening spread of the use of addictive drugs imported from Iran, among youth (according to the Iraqi Ministry of Health and the Center for Combating Drugs and Addictions). I have written a series of well-researched articles about the various methods used to smuggle drugs, some of which are highly toxic, and how they are collected in different storage places in the southern districts, under the total control of some of the parties and the militias participating in the government, and how the profits from these drugs are used to buy (pay off) government officials, in order to gain their support and silence, and to finance their election campaigns.
10. Three out of every four marriages end up in divorce since the invasion and occupation of Iraq (according to Iraqi Ministry of Health).
11. More than 40% of the Iraqi people are under the poverty line (according to the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights). I believe, however, that the actual percentage is much higher, and surpasses 55%.
12. Decline in the level and quality of basic and tertiary education, according to statements made by officials in UNESCO, which led this organization to refuse to recognize university degrees issued by Iraqi tertiary institutions (universities and colleges).
13. Tens of thousands of forged university degrees are granted to high government officials, high ranking officers, directors generals, and senior officials of political parties (according to statements and statistics from the Iraqi Honesty and Transparency Commission).
14. There exist about 550 political bodies and party coalitions (according to the Iraqi Independent Public Elections Commission), and, as of today, there is no law regulating this large number of political bodies.
15. There exist about 11,400 civil society organizations (according to the Iraqi ministries of the Interior, Justice and Social Welfare). These organizations have public and secret objectives, and it is not clear what these are, and how they are financed.
16. There are 126 security companies controlled by foreign secret service agencies, and registered at the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior. The declared objective of these companies is to protect foreign embassies, foreign diplomats, and visiting VIPs. However, their hidden objectives are unknown. In this case, what is the value of having today one million persons under arms in Iraq, distributed among the Ministries of Defense, the Interior, the various governmental security agencies, in addition to the security agencies of the various ruling parties.
17. There are 43 officially registered armed militias connected to parties.
18. There are 220 newspapers and media publications financed by foreign secret service agencies (according to Iraqi Journalist Union). The specific objectives of these publications is to do brainwashing of Iraqis, to remove their thinking about the various projects aiming at fragmenting Iraq into sectarian, regional, and ethnic mini-states, and to destroy their national identity.
19. There are 45 TV channels financed by foreign secret service agencies (according to statements by the Management of Nilesat and Arabsat satellite service providers).
20. There are 67 radio stations financed by foreign secret service agencies (according to statements by the Iraqi Information Commission).
21. There are 4 networks of digital communications, the estimated value of each is 12 billion dollars, financed in favor of party leaders. Among which are the following companies:
□ Kork Company owned exclusively by Mas’aoud Barazani (the President of the Kurdistan District);
□ Assia Company owned exclusively by Jalal Talbani (the President of Iraq);
□ Zein Company (Kuwaiti), 50% is owned by Ahmad Jalabi and the Islamic Da’wah Party;
□ Atheer Company owned exclusively by Abdel Aziz al-Hakim.
22. There are more than 11,400 official and unofficial party headquarters. These could be the offices of fake contracting company, or an NGO, or a political group. However, these headquarters in reality are public premises for the Iraqi government that were taken over from their legitimate owners after they were eliminated, or forced to vacate and seek refuge somewhere else. All are paid for from the Iraqi national budget.
This is only the tip of the iceberg of what’s happening in “their new democratic Iraq”, since the American invasion and occupation of the country.
The article appeared originally in Arabic in www.kanaanonline.org, no. 1973, on 30 July 2009.
Sabah al-Baghdadi is an independent Iraqi journalist and researcher; he may be reached at email@example.com.
Translated and adapted by Dr. Khalil Nakhleh: Dr. Khalil Nakhleh is an independent Palestinian researcher and development consultant; he may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.