Socialist Worker

1,000 killed every week in Iraq

by Kevin Ovenden
Issue No. 1869

FOR FIVE months we've been told things will get better in Iraq. But with every day that's passed since the 'end' of the war life for millions of Iraqis has gone from bad to worse. There are 1,000 killings a week, according to reports from distinguished Middle East journalist Robert Fisk. He wrote in last week's Independent on Sunday, 'Occupation powers insist that journalists obtain clearance to visit hospitals.

'It can take a week or two to get the right papers, if at all, so goodbye to statistics.' But by talking to senior doctors and visiting mortuaries in the cities of Baghdad and Najaf he was able to calculate that across the country as a whole 'almost 1,000 Iraqi civilians are being killed every week. 'And that may well be a conservative figure.'

Some have been killed in the disorder that accompanies the US and British occupation. 'Others', Fisk adds, 'have been gunned down by US troops at checkpoints or in the increasingly vicious 'raids' carried out by American forces.' Ten men were added to the list last week when US troops fired thousands of rounds of bullets, and launched grenades, at a group of Iraqi policemen. At least 150 rounds hit the nearby Jordanian Hospital, leaving two rooms burnt out.

Fisk adds, 'Talk to the soldiers here in Baghdad and they use obscene language-in between heartfelt demands to 'go home'-about the people they were supposedly rescuing from Saddam Hussein.' The troops don't want to be there. The Iraqis don't want them there. The people who do are Bush, the neo-conservative warmongers and their loyal representative in Britain-Tony Blair. The unattended bodies of unclaimed Iraqi dead lie on the floor of a Baghdad hospital morgue in July this year

Stop the War Coalition - Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament - Muslim association of Britain

No more war no more lies - End the occupation of Iraq. Demonstrate next Saturday, 27 September, 12 noon, Hyde Park, London

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Sat 20 Sep 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1869
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