Hussein Al-alak: Iraq: Hearts and Minds

By Hussein Al-alak, The Iraq Solidarity Campaign
Special to PalestineChronicle.com

Once more the destructive nature of Iraq’s democracy, has exposed the damaged minds of those, whose hatred of the Iraqi people has allowed their own ambitions to be the building blocks of Iraq’s national suffering.

The opportunism of those who ran to the British and Americans in 1991, were those who saw the systematic murder of 1.5 million children due to sanctions, as being the "price worth paying", to insure that Saddam Hussain was unable to build their imaginary Weapons of Mass Destruction.

For everyone who knows Iraq and remembers the suffering of the Iraqi people, they will remember the Harvard Study, which was conducted after the first Gulf War and they will remember that it exposed the "fourfold increase in child mortality and a high incidence of health problems among women, including psychosomatic conditions such as sleeplessness and mental disorders."

In the essay "Women: Honour and Shame", Dr. Suha Omar described how after the Gulf War, there was an increase in domestic violence, with "war traumatised conscripts" returning to Iraq, who "would take out their distress and anger on wives, daughters, mothers and sisters."

In other words, "Women had to pick up the pieces" because the men were either mentally or physically damaged by the war, with the situation being exasperated by the "drastically worsened economic situation, as victims of the pauperisation of Iraqi society."

Since the first Gulf War, the human rights of the Iraqi people have been treated by the West, as an "underhand and subversive" measure by Saddam Hussein, to obtain the equipment to make the alleged "weapons", which has been claimed are still being looked for by the discredited occupying governments, even though in 1997, one UN weapons inspector declared "Iraq had been disarmed."

It will come as no surprise, that with the horrors brought into Iraq, the Association of Psychologists of Iraq did warn about the damage which has been caused to Iraq’s children, with a growth in "learning" and other "impediments", having been brought on by the fear of guns, bullets, death and a general "fear of the US occupation."

A justified fear, which one child described to IRIN on the 9/1/2007, that "I am 10 years old but I have not been to school for the past three years because I’m scared of the killings taking place in Iraq. Many of my friends have either been kidnapped or killed."

In the same "Id rather be illiterate" article, IRIN also exposed how "Attacks and kidnapping in schools have made parents afraid that the next victims would be their children. So they prefer to let them not have a proper education until the situation improves. Others require their children to start working early because poverty has risen and their [financial] help has become more important."

The cycle of violence which has been imposed upon Iraq and could possibly be passed down to a new generation, was exposed by the Wall Street Journal, who reported earlier in the year, how a child as young as five, was allowed to go on patrol with Al-Sadr’s Mehdi Army.

With a five year old whose "clothes were all black, the favourite attire of the militia. He introduced himself as a commander, shouted the incantation "God is greater" and warned Sunni Muslims not to fight back. With that, he raised his plastic pistol."

And so lo and behold, Iraqis fleeing this violence are in need of help, to deal with the real life effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which has been thrust upon them, as a result of the unaccounted for lies, of the "Parliament" in the US protected Green zone.

For those seeking refuge in Jordan, one news outlet recently reported how an aid agency, claimed that the kingdom "lacked the capacity to treat the increasing number of Iraqi refugees with mental health symptoms."

According to the UNHCR, "there are an estimated 750,000 Iraqi refugees in Jordan alone, accounting for more than 10 percent of the population. In addition to the Palestinians, this means Jordan now hosts the largest number of refugees, per capita, of any country in the world."

"At present, there are only two psychiatric hospitals in Jordan: a public one in Fuheis town, 18km west of the capital, Amman, and the al-Rashid hospital in Amman, which charges fees that Iraqi refugees cannot afford, according to local NGOs."

According to counsellors at the CARE centre, "many disorders in Jordan relate to gender based violence (GBV) among Iraqi refugees."There are many Iraqi refugees living in Jordan under extremely poor conditions, a situation that can lead a frustrated husband who cannot find a job to beat his wife."

"Also prevalent is Post Traumatic Symptom Disorder (PTSD), affecting men, women and children, who were exposed to torture or witnessed the killing of a family member."

One example given was of a child who witnessed his "father’s murder while driving with him and has since developed PTSD. According to counsellors, the child keeps drawing graves with his father’s face on it, as well as red and black cars", which represent the colours of both his fathers and the killers vehicles.

Yet, the Iranian backed murderers, who the United States and Britain’s Governments continue to support were according to Radio Sawa, supposed to have "allocated $125 M to displaced Iraqis inside and outside of the country," but "no one has received a [cent]" from the money that was supposed to have been paid out six months ago, according to Sallama al-Khafaji, an advisor to Nouri Al-Maliki, the alleged Prime Minister of Iraq.

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