Apparently, while I was away, a group of self-styled leftists put forward a manifesto defending Western military interventions and urging fellow 'progressives' to rally round in support. The only response to such idiocy is to point out what the consequences of such interventions are. Kosovo, is, in the words of John Pilger, Europe's first Mafia-run state- a haven for drug-traffickers and criminal gangs and where hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Roma, Jews, Egyptians and other minorities have been ethnically cleansed since the province was 'liberated' in 1999.
And for most Iraqis, life is without doubt, worse now than it was under Saddam Hussein.
Here's an extract from Stephen Zunes' report 'Iraq, Three Years After Liberation', a link to the full article can be found on the Stop the War website.
LEVEL OF VIOLENT DEATHS
The level of violent deaths is far higher than in the last years of SaddamHussein's rule. At least 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died, most of them atthe hands of U.S. forces but increasingly from terrorist groups and Iraqigovernment death squads. Thousands of Iraqi soldiers and police have also been killed.
CRIME AT RECORD LEVELS: Violent crime, including kidnapping, rape, and armedrobbery, is at record levels. There is a proliferation of small arms, andprivate militias are growing rapidly. A Lebanon-type multifaceted civil war,only on a much wider and deadlier scale, grows more likely with time.
MORE IRAQIS IMPRISONED: Over 50,000 Iraqis have been imprisoned by U.S.forces since the invasion, but only 1.5% of them have been convicted of anycrime. Currently, U.S. forces hold 15,000 to 18,000 Iraqi prisoners, morethan were imprisoned under Saddam Hussein.
WIDESPREAD USE OF TORTURE AND OTHER ABUSES: Amnesty International and otherhuman rights groups have cited U.S. forces with widespread violations ofinternational humanitarian law, including torture and other abuses ofprisoners.Fear of arrest and torture that have worsened since the U.S.conquest of Iraq.
INCREASED DEATHS FROM MALNUTRITION AND PREVENTABLE DISEASES: Deaths frommalnutrition and preventable diseases, particularly among children, areagain on the increase. The supply of drinking water, reliability ofelectricity, and effectiveness of sewage disposal are all worse than beforethe invasion.
FIFTY PERCENT UNEMPLOYMENT AND INCOMES CUT BY HALF: As much as half of thelabour force is unemployed, and the cost of living has skyrocketed. Themedian income of Iraqis has declined by more than half. The UN's World FoodProgram (WFP) reports that the Iraqi people suffer from “significantcountrywide shortages of rice, sugar, milk, and infant formula,” and the WFPdocuments approximately 400,000 Iraqi children suffering from “dangerousdeficiencies of protein.
”OIL PRODUCTION HALVED, RECONSTRUCTION HALTED: Oil production, the country'schief source of revenue, is less than half of what it was before theinvasion. And despite Bush administration promises to infuse billions ofdollars worth of foreign aid to rebuild the country's civilianinfrastructure, only a small fraction of these ventures have been completed,and most projects have been cancelled.
ONE MILLION IRAQIS HAVE LEFT THE COUNTRY: Close to one million Iraqis, mostof them from the vital, educated middle class, have left the country toavoid the violence and hardship brought on as a result of the U.S. invasion.
The above statistics are taken from IRAQ THREE YEARS AFTER "LIBERATION" byStephen Zunes. A link to the full article can be found on the new STATISTICS page on the Stop the War website:http://www.stopwar.org.uk/Statistics.htm