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Even Advocates of Gulf War Admit Iraq Is in a Shambles

By James P. Tucker Jr.

Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the people are worse off, experts say. But these opinions came from advocate of the war—not opponents—during a high-level panel discussion in Washington March 13. While strongly calling for the United States to continue the war, they were forced to acknowledge that the country is worse off since the U.S. attack.

“When Saddam was removed, the country was totally on its knees,” said Samir Sumaidaie, the Iraqi ambassador to the United States.

“The infrastructure was destroyed. State institutions were destroyed. . . . I found my country totally in ruins—literally and metaphorically.”

This change was “instigated and made possible by American military intervention [which] was controversial and invited all the enemies of the United States to come from the four corners of the world to fight the United States on our territory.”

The plight of women has deteriorated, beginning with the first Persian Gulf War in 1991, said Patricia Friedman, director of Women’s Advocacy for Iraq, America’s Development Foundation.

Under the old Iraqi constitution, “Women had the right to higher education, to hold the same jobs as men, being

paid the same, being protected from exploitation in the workplace, and other things that we could maybe do a better job of in America,” she said.

“During the first gulf war and the sanctions that followed, women’s status in society started slipping. . . .Unfortunately, since the beginning of the [current] war, things have changed a lot,” she said.

“Mortality rates and maternal and child health care problems are rising,” she said. “There isn’t access to health care that there once was in the health etworks that existed on the local level or larger hospitals. Getting prenatal care, or going to a hospital to deliver, have become increasingly difficult, and many doctors and trained professionals have been killed and are continuing to be killed.”

In fact, prior to the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, Iraq was well on its way to becoming a wealthy, stable industrialized nation. It had one of the highest literacy rates in the entire Middle East and had a per capita income significantly above many of its neighbors.

Iraq was also on its way to becoming a nuclear power, with its Osirak nuclear power plant near Baghdad. However, in 1981, Israel bombed the plant right before it was completed using F-15s and F-16s supplied by the United States.

Iraq may have won the war against Iran, but it cost the country dearly. Since that time, the country has been reduced to third world status, with raw sewage flowing in the streets and corpses littering sidewalks.

AFP correspondent James P. Tucker Jr. is a veteran journalist who has won worldwide acclaim for his reportage on the Bilderberg group. His 272-page Bilderberg Diary—loaded with photos—is available for th reduced price of just $18 from American Free Press. This price good until after the Bilderberg meeting this year. Call 1-888-699-NEWS to charge to Visa or MC.

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Updated April 20, 2007