Americans Can’t Even Imagine What Baghdad Is Like
by James Glaser
April 22, 2008

Yes, it was a war crime when we bombed the sewage treatment plants, the electrical generating plants, and the water treatment plants in Baghdad at the beginning of George Bush's War. Yes, we knew that bombing civilian infrastructure was a crime and that it would lead to disease, suffering, and death. But we did it any way.

It is now over five years later, and Baghdad still suffers from those bombings. Every week now we hear from Washington how much better things are for the Iraqis in Baghdad because of our troop surge. Read this from Michael Gordon of the New York Times:

But almost a month after American and Iraqi forces pushed into the area, there are no signs of reconstruction. Instead, the streets are filled with mounds of trash and bubbling pools of sewage. Many neighborhoods are still without electricity, and many residents are too afraid to brave the cross-fire to seek medical care. Iraqi public works officials, apparently fearful of the fighting, rarely seem to show up at work.

As part of the troop surge, our forces are trying to take sections of Baghdad away from the insurgents and militias. The people in these districts are still living without the basic infrastructure that any city with millions of people needs. Our crime at the beginning of the war has continued to be a crime all these years later.

You have to remember that people are trying to raise children in Baghdad. You know some people have elderly parents to take care of, and for sure there are families with disabled members that require medical care. On top of all of that, think of how many Iraqis are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress. Just these problems tell you what a mess it is to live in Baghdad.

We have spent hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq, and still we can't meet the peoples' basic needs, but our leaders in Washington keep telling us that things are looking good there.

Here is another crime. Our government lied to us to get us into this war. They have continued to lie to us to keep us in this war, and now they are lying when they talk about their "road to victory." As long as the Iraqi people have to live like animals in their own capital city, they are going to hate us for what we have done to them.

Living in a war zone for years will warp your mind. Washington believes that they can reason with the Iraqis just like any normal person, but after all these years of living in the horror of the war zone, the Iraqi people no longer can think like you or I do.

Right now, they want to be able to flush their toilet, and not have it bubble up in front of their house. They want electricity to be on long enough to have a refrigerator. In the summer months they want at least a fan to run, though air conditioning would be better. They want safe tap water, and they want the killing to end.

They know, the world knows, and yes, most Americans know that is not going to happen until our troops leave. Yes, there might be a blood bath after our troops leave, but even the Iraqis know that will happen now or twenty years from now. Either way, Iraq will never get back to 'normal' as long as it has an American military occupying their country.

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