The U.S Occupation in Iraq by Dr. Dahlia Wasfi

Dr. Dahlia Wasfi is an American-Iraqi physician and peace activist, who actively speaks out against the impact of war – both on the environment and the civilian population’s quality of life.


The largest and most expensive embassy in the world today is the United States embassy in Baghdad. At 104 acres – nearly as large as Vatican City – it had cost a staggering amount of US$750 million to construct.

Six of the 1000 employees who work inside of the embassy’s Green Zone can speak Arabic – the language of the country where the American government is now at war with and occupying; a symbol of the utter contempt America has for the Iraqi people they are occupying.


When we think of the world’s worst atrocities of when global mourning demands #NeverAgain, the Ashkenazi Jews who had fled their homeland of Austria during Hitler’s onslaught are among the stories we remind ourselves of. It is for them that we say never again.

As for the deaths under the occupation of the American administration’s deadly foray in Iraq – from the lack of security to the lack of basic supplies, to the lack of electricity to the lack of portable water, to the lack of jobs, to the lack of reconstruction, to the lack of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; the Iraqis are much worse off now than before they were invaded – never again should apply to them too.


Picture this in your mind: a humanitarian worker in Baghdad is quoted as recalling the scene after a bomb blast, “I saw a four-year-old boy sitting beside his mother’s body which had been decapitated by the explosion. He was talking to her, asking her what had happened.”

The Iraqis are much worse off now than before they were invaded – never again should apply to them too.

There is no period of rest or relief for the Iraqis from the suffering inflicted by American weaponry and American racism.

During the first Gulf War, destruction of Iraq’s electrical grids incapacitated the medical system, attacking what had been a first-class range of facilities known as the jewel of the Arab world.

After January 1991, primary health care and preventative services had ceased to exist, and with economic sanctions, there were critical shortages of food and life-saving drugs and equipment. Cholera became endemic in Iraq. Easily treatable diseases such as respiratory infections and diarrhea accounted for 70% of the deaths of children under five-years-old.


This calamity was the tragic state of the Iraqi society when the illegal Shock-and-Awe invasion came. Technically known as rapid dominance, the doctrine was based on the use of overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force onto an enemy. In its effect came a vastly increased number of patients.
With the dissolution of law and order after the American invasion, came the looting of Iraq’s hospitals. Today, the lack of security delays the delivery of supplies while no money is being distributed from the US-operated Ministry of Health.

In April 2004, US Marines closed the bridge to the city in the hospital road – this is a war crime. The US military and its vehicles stood at the hospital entrance – this is a war crime – while snipers were positioned on rooftops targeting ambulances and the clinic doors.

Between 600-800 civilians were killed in that seige, but apparently, that wasn’t enough.


In November 2004, the second major siege of Fallujah began. Code-named Operation Al-Fajr or Phantom Fury, the joint American-Iraqi-British offensive were considered the highest points of conflict during the Iraq War.

Emergency hospitals protected by the Geneva Conventions were levelled to the ground, and the Fallujah General Hospital was seized by the US military. Doctors had described being “tied up and beaten despite being unarmed and having only our medical instruments”.

They proceeded to assign American snipers on top of the hospital with orders to shoot anyone on sight. They even blocked the Iraqi Red Crescent from entering the city for seven days, resulting in a 6000-8000 civilian death toll.

The Iraqi death toll in November 2004 alone had surpassed the invaders death toll for all of Operation Enduring Freedom – 13-year initiative from the War on Terror campaign – thus far.


“It does not matter if you call it a civil war, sectarian strife or democracy; it is by design, an American killing field, a smoke screen for stealing oil.”

The Americans have an obligation to every last victim of this illegal aggression because all of this carnage has been done in their name.


Since World War II, 90% of the casualties of war were unarmed civilians – a third of them, children.

From Palestine to Afghanistan, to Iraq to Somalia, to god forbid, Iran or wherever their next target may be; their murders are not collateral damage – they are the nature of modern warfare.

“They don’t hate us because of our freedoms; they hate us because everyday, we are funding and committing crimes against humanity.”

The so-called War on Terror is a cover for American military aggression to gain control of the resources of Western Asia. Essentially, it is sending the poor of the American country to kill the poor of the targeted Muslim countries. This is trading blood for oil – a genocide.

To most of the world, the Americans are the terrorists.

In these times, choosing to remain silent on our responsibility to the world and its future is criminal, and in light of our complicity in the supreme crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan and ongoing violations of the UN Charter and international law, it’s simply baffling to me how any American (or European) would dare critisise the actions of legitimate resistance to illegal occupation.


The so-called enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Palestine paraded by Western media outlets are, in reality, struggling against the oppressive hand of illegal colonisations, demanding respect for their humanity.

They are labelled insurgents or terrorists for resisting rape and pillage by the white establishment, when in truth, they are our brothers and sisters in the struggle for justice.

“It does not matter if you call it a civil war, sectarian strife or democracy; it is by design, an American killing field, a smoke screen for stealing oil.”

American soldiers don’t sacrifice for duty, honour, or country – they’re not fighting for American freedoms – they’re laying the foundation for fourteen permanent military bases to defend the freedoms of ExxonMobil and British Petroleum.

They’re not establishing democracy; they’re establishing the basis for an economic occupation to continue after the military occupation has ended.
Iraqi society today, thanks to American “help” is defined by house raids, death squads, checkpoints, detentions, curfews, blood in the streets, and constant violence.

Western societies must dare out to speak in support of the Iraqi people who resist and endure the horrific existence the Americans had brought upon them, through their bloodthirsty imperial crusade. They must burden more responsibility than the rest of the world because of the conflicts waged by their governments and the economic benefits sown from international wars.


“Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” Frederick Douglass

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