Iraqi Refugees Ignored

Iraqi Refugees

“There has been an abject denial of the impact, the humanitarian impact, of the war, the huge displacement within Iraq of up to 1.9 million people who are homeless because of the war, and those people who are homeless and never got back to the homes after Saddam Hussein was overthrown,” UNHCR spokesman Peter Kessler said.

He said the international community had to step in to help address their food, health and education needs.

Syria says it is home to 1.2m Iraqi refugees, with up to 800,000 in Jordan.
(Source: BBC News)

The international failure that Peter Kessler highlights is a product of ideology. Here’s how:

Bush & Blair portray the invasion of Iraq as a selfless quest to remove Saddam Hussein, huge reserves of WMDs and bring democracy to the oppressed Iraqis. According to Bush, this high moral crusade was completed, brilliantly, way back in 2003:

Bush - Mission Accomplished

Yes. Despite the fact that there were no WMDs and the invaders cared more about oil than people, it was ‘mission accomplished,’ complete with staged media spectacles:

Staged Statue Toppling

So… Bush, Blair and the oil-hungry neocons behind the invasion have taken great pains in constructing their propaganda war. According to them, the Iraqis would be jubilant at the removal of Hussein and welcome the US military much as the French had welcomed them when they ousted the Nazis.

But the opposite has happened. Now the US forces are viewed as occupying invaders and are the targets of an “insurgent” movement every bit as determined as the French Resistance. Four years after Bush declared ‘mission accomplished,’ Iraq is a bloodbath and, naturally, innocent civilians are fleeing the carnage.

To acknowledge this desperate humanitarian situation would be to acknowledge that the invasion of Iraq was a selfish, imperial act that has resulted in nothing but despair for the Iraqi people. It would be to acknowledge that the plight of the ordinary Iraqi was never a concern for the invaders.

Therefore, as Kessler says, the Iraqi refugees get brushed under the carpet. We don’t talk about them, despite the fact our actions created them. Just as we don’t mention the 655,000 Iraqis we’ve murdered in order to liberate them from tyranny.