(Illustration found here).
One of the most-haunting and ultra-sad images of Iraq is the photo above of a child fleeing with others from Barsa, southern Iraq, in March 2003 — now 11 years later, is that little girl now a teen-ager, or is she dead? And speak of a life full of torment and horror, if she’s alive right now, she’s most-likely experiencing even more terrible shit.
Yet if she had remained in the southern part of the country, she might be okay — for the time being.
This morning from the New York Times:
Kurdish officials said on Thursday that their forces were in firm control of the strategic oil city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq after government troops had abandoned their posts, introducing a new dimension into the swirling conflict propelled by Sunni militants pressing south toward Baghdad.
“The army disappeared,” said Najmaldin Karim, the governor of Kirkuk, two days after militants aligned with the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria swept across the porous border from Syria to overrun Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, and then began a thrust toward Baghdad, capturing the town of Tikrit, the birthplace of Saddam Hussein, on Wednesday.
Parliamentary leaders in Baghdad called a special session of the legislature on Thursday to debate the imposition of a state of emergency that would give Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki wide powers to restrict citizens’ movements, impose curfews and censor the media.
But by early afternoon it appeared the body would not have the quorum needed to pass the emergency decree.
A senior government official told AFP that only 128 of 325 members of parliament attended the session, far short of the number needed for a formal vote.
Iraq is violently melting away.
And from all indications, there’s not much to stop the flow, the US-trained Army ain’t worth a shit in the face of the advancing horde of Islamist insurgents, who have spawned from al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) to an even-more hostile/ugly, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis). And freakin’ Syria?
Jason Ditz at antiwar.com: Syria and Iraq are largely divided by a berm, an earthen mound border that prevents vehicles from driving through in places other than the official crossings. The problem is neither Syria nor Iraq controls these areas anymore: on both sides it’s all AQI land.
And from that, there’s chaos and shit a-flying:
The extent of the Iraqi army’s defeat at the hands of militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) became clear on Wednesday when officials in Baghdad conceded that insurgents had stripped the main army base in the northern city of Mosul of weapons, released hundreds of prisoners from the city’s jails and may have seized up to $480m in banknotes from the city’s banks.
Iraqi officials told the Guardian that two divisions of Iraqi soldiers – roughly 30,000 men – simply turned and ran in the face of the assault by an insurgent force of just 800 fighters.
Isis extremists roamed freely on Wednesday through the streets of Mosul, openly surprised at the ease with which they took Iraq’s second largest city after three days of sporadic fighting.
Senior government officials in Baghdad were equally shocked, accusing the army of betrayal and claiming the sacking of the city was a strategic disaster that would imperil Iraq’s borders.
The developments seriously undermine US claims to have established a unified and competent military after more than a decade of training.
The US invasion and occupation cost Washington close to a trillion dollars and the lives of more than 4,500 of its soldiers.
It is also thought to have killed at least 100,000 Iraqis.
All those numbers are in the conservative category — most-likely maybe more than a million Iraqis had been killed since 2003. The entire Iraqi adventure is a horrible failure — from George Jr. and The Dick’s lying about “mushroom clouds” and all kinds of other bullshit imagery to the “greet us as liberators” to piles and piles of Saddam Hussein’s ties to insurgent groups.
All lies. Even with those intelligence sources — via Wired:
On Sunday, March 16, 2003, I watched Cheney on “Meet The Press” contradict our assessment publicly.
“We know that he [Saddam] has a long-standing relationship with various terrorist groups,” Cheney said, “including the al-Qaeda organization.”
I was basically watching Cheney field-test arguments that we would have to anticipate — and rebut — at CIA.
Except instead of asking us questions behind closed doors, Cheney was asserting to the public as fact something that we found to be anything but.
I found myself yelling at the TV like I was contesting a ref’s blown call in a football game.
We’ve all been there…
Based upon the photo above, Pamela Talene Hale penned a poem, “Poem for an Iraqi Child in a Forgotten News Clip,” and from that, the last verse:
I am sorry for your loss.
Sorry too, for my part in it,
My apathy, my inattention.
Sorry for your loneliness and deprivation.
Your lost childhood. Your pain.
Sorry for the bombs that fell and fell,
For the planes that circle still.
In my name.
And anguish will never subside.
(Illustration out front found here).