Feb. 20, 2008
by HIBA DAWOOD
The Association of Muslim Scholars' Al Basaer newspaper carried an editorial Wednesday with the headline "Sorrows of a nation with 1 million dead."The editorial said that when the announcement of a million Iraqis dead since the beginning of the occupation in 2003 was released, there was no outrage in the Arab world and the news passed as normal.
It added that the Arab world considered the news of 1 million dead as the "normality of life in Iraq."
"The Arabic media was less interested by the news on Iraq as the uprising of the blockaded Palestinians in Gaza is seemingly more important," it said.
It added that the interest in daily armed clashes and attacks garnered more attention than major changes in societies and the influence of these changes on people's lives -- "events increasingly causing agony and struggle for the people of Iraq," it said.
It said that the Algerian revolution ended with 1 million martyrs, Algiers entered history and was able to achieve its goal of ending the occupation and announcing independence."One million Iraqis died in five years. … Still there is no glimmer of light giving us hope the occupier will leave our country even in the long term," the paper said.
It added that the death of 1 million Iraqis was announced last month by Human Rights Watch, which documented the deaths of 1,033,000 Iraqis between 2003 and 2007. "This report means that the situation in the agonized Iraq is in continuous deterioration as 200,000 people have died each year since the invasion in 2003," it said.
Mehdi al-Fahdawi, the editorial writer, said, "Before the announcement of the casualty report, I had the chance to meet with Iraqi resistance leaderships and they noted that the Arab world gave up the Iraqi matter and handed it over to the Americans."
"The Arabs merely watching what is taking place in Iraq as if watching a crime or violent movie on a screen, forgetting this shredded country named Iraq is part of the Arab nation and what happens to it today, happens to other Arab countries tomorrow," the paper said.
The editorial added that the Arab world is involved with what is happening in Palestine, which is a natural and justified reaction, but that it is unacceptable the entire world turn their backs on the situation in Iraq. "If people face death in Gaza, people in Iraq die everyday. If they have not enough electricity, Iraqis have no electricity or fuel or water for more than one hour every day. The barriers in the Occupied Territories in Palestine are similar to those in Baghdad," the editorial said.
It added that the U.S. influence on the Arab countries made the latter support the American- Israeli blockade on Gaza and align with the government in Ramallah in its struggle against the elected government in the Gaza Strip.
The Saudi-based newspaper concluded that the increase of the U.S. role in the Arab world encourages their governments to reduce their participation in helping the people of Iraq. "Lines have interfered with the map of the Iraqi resistance, resulting in its defacement and giving it a bad reputation to the point we no more know who is lined with the Iraqi people and who is against them, or who is with the Americans and who disagrees with them," it said.
Al Basaer said there are groups on the ground in Iraq that coordinate among themselves to fight U.S. forces and consider them their main enemy.
United Press International.