20TH March 2013 was like any other Wednesday to me. Getting up, having my breakfast and taking my daily dose of aspirin, by which I am referring to reading the newspaper.
I usually look into the sports page first, but that day nothing interesting took place in the world of sports. I then turned the page to update myself about the happenings around the globe, and one particular article grabbed my attention. The article was about Iraq. It gave an insight into the bruised and bloodied Iraq. The country that once boasted of early civilisations and modernisations, had now become crippled with violence and innumerable civil wars.
I have always been interested in the Middle East, especially the countries where wars are as common as hot dogs in the United States. I wanted to go into Iraq or Syria and peek into the lives of these poor innocents who are caught in the middle of this violence. I too wanted to feel like them to understand them better, to understand the fear that they have. But as I read through the article, chills ran down my spines as it read that since 2003 over 4,804 soldiers and 122,000 civilians (figures according to 2013) had died in the collision that had taken place between the US and the Iraqi army (US had invaded Iraq as it believed that Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction. No such weapons were found). The war had taken over many lives and made Iraq a battle ground for conflicts. Since then civil wars are regular occurrences due to a weak government and the heavy presence of American soldiers is not really appreciated by the citizens.
Iraq has been bombed, fired and destroyed. This had actually started with Saddam Hussain, as most of us know about the Operation Desert storm (once again led by the US), which successfully overthrew the autocratic dictator. Saddam Hussain was no saint as he himself had a notorious reputation of killing and torturing many women, men and children (mostly Kurdish, whom he believed did not belong in Iraq). The USA took advantage of this terror embedded in the citizens’ minds and ‘helped’ them to get rid of Saddam Hussain (while pursuing their main agenda of acquiring oil from the oil rich Iraq). US then placed its own government in Iraq.
Since then there has been minor conflicts leading to several deaths. Due to such disturbances, a lack of a strong government and dissatisfaction among the citizens of Iraq, the country has now become a hub for extremist/ terrorist organizations.The frustration with their own government, the inactivity of the United Nations and the precarious state of their living conditions has also compelled many young men to join such organizations, maybe in the hope for revenge(many still hold America responsible for their present condition), or maybe in hope for a better life. The fast growing jihadi organization- ISIS has also captured significant parts of the city and carry out frequent bombings and tortures. The Iraqi women are also sold as sex slaves to this organization(this particular topic deserves a whole another article). The violence spares no one- it has orphaned many kids, snatched children from their parents, separated husbands and wives, sisters and brothers. Every Iraqi lives in fear about their unpredictable future. Think about it- someone tells you that you MAY die, there is no surety, no time given, just that you most probably will die any time. How will you feel?
Every Iraqi lives in this fear EVERY SINGLE DAY. Many can even distinguish between the sound of a commercial plane and that of a terrorist airplane.
As I read the article, I found myself asking- where was the United Nations now? Why aren’t they acting upon it?
At that time I couldn’t help but wonder about the future of Iraq, and now after 3 years the condition has deteriorated. The terrorists have made it their safe haven, the US doesn’t seem willing to leave, there is no strong government needed to rule a country and violence has only increased. I believe that even the Iraqis have stopped dreaming of a better world. They have reached acceptance, and who can blame them? All they have ever known is a life of torture and sorrow and the uncertainty of life and death, quite literary.
Through this article I don’t want to invoke a sense of sympathy for them, I want to make people aware of the country and the people who lack a voice. I want the children of that country to have a chance at life and have dreams of their own, I want happy families and peace as is deserved by every human who walks on this earth.