jeudi 3 avril 2008

The Iraqi Brain Suction, by Imad Khadduri

This is a presentation that I delivered to the conference on "The Muslim World and the West: Emerging Avenues for Convergence" hosted by the International Center for Contemporary Middle East Studies, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada during March 28-30 2008:

· A documented list of at least 345 teachers and professors from universities across Iraq, representing all academic disciplines, have been killed in a systematic campaign of assassinations. The Iraqi Interior Ministry has recently announced that it has detained more than 6000 suspects charged with the assassination of academics and scientists (in Arabic), 600 of whom have been sentenced to death, with one suspect alone who has admitted to killing 60 of the above. Yet, the Iraqi Interior Ministry provides no explanation on the affiliations of these prisoners nor of their instigators and who is behind them.

· It is estimated that 2,000 Iraqi doctors have been killed and half of the 34,000 doctors registered in 2003 have left the country. Of Iraq’s 180 large hospitals, 90 per cent lack essential resources. Under the control of Moqtada Al-Sadr, the Ministry of Health has plummeted into corruption, while hospitals have been transformed into secret detention centres where torture and murder are endemic at the hands of death squads.

· The Iraqi Interior Ministry has admitted that more than 9000 civil servants (in Arabic), including high ranking staff in the prime minister’s office (in Arabic), have provided purchased fake university degrees.

· More than 800,000 schoolchildren (22 per cent) have stopped attending primary school and only half of those who complete primary school continue their education. More than 220,000 refugee Iraqi children in neighbouring countries are denied their right to education.

· All public services have collapsed. Already in 2006, 40 per cent of skilled Iraqi personnel had left the country.

What should legitimately and persistently be considered is what does the U.S. owe Iraq for over a million dead and ten times that number wounded or otherwise devastated in five years of Bush's unrelenting bloodletting? And for the 5,000,000 people who have been uprooted and displaced from their homes, half of them forced to flee their homeland, 65% of them women and children, 80% of the children less than 12 years of age?"

The Iraqi Brain Suction, March 30, 2008

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