Wednesday, March 19, 2003

For unlucky Iraqis

Tehran is cloudy. Streets are crowed and many Tehranis are preparing for New Year. In another continent, Americans are anxious. They have sent their soldiers to Iraq!!. But I am depressed. War is under way. War is a nightmare for me, even when other people talk about it.
It was about 23 years ago, 22 September 1980. We lived in Khoramshahr, a city in the south west of Iran (Khoramshar and Basra in Iraq are placed in either sides of Shatt Al Arab). I was child and did not have any idea about War. I was only thinking about the first day of going to school on 23 September. I clearly remember. It was noon. My father came home and told us that War had started. Many people thought that War would finish within few days. But …

Iraqi MiG-23s and MiG21s attacked Iran's air bases at Tehran and many other important cities. Simultaneously, six Iraqi army divisions entered Iran on three fronts in an initially successful surprise attack, where they drove as far as eight kilometres inland and occupied 1,000 square kilometres of Iranian territory. The main thrust of the attack was in the south, where five armored and mechanized divisions invaded Khuzestan on two axes, one crossing over the Shatt al Arab, which led to the siege and eventual occupation of Khorramshahr. Iraqi armored units easily crossed the Shatt al Arab waterway and entered the Iranian province of Khuzestan. We lost all we had within 2 days, our house, car and.. . We only could take our ID cards and leave our beloved city. But the most painful memory was when I was told that Iraq captured Khorramshahr after a bloody house-to-house fight, on November 10. I wrote this to show you that I've felt all these suffering and I can understand what Iraqis feel these days.

Regarding Iran Iraq war casualties, estimates suggest more than one and a half million war and war-related casualties -- perhaps as many as a million people died, many more were wounded, and millions were made refugees. The Iraqis suffered an estimated 375,000 casualties, the equivalent of 5.6 million for a population the size of the United States. Another 60,000 were taken prisoner by the Iranians. Iran's losses may have included more than 1 million people killed or maimed.

In the second war, Gulf War in 1991 about 100,000 Iraqi troops had been killed in action and 300,000 wounded, while another 150,000 had deserted.
This is the third time that unlucky Iraqis should pay the price of their dictator’s madness. Washington-Baghdad duel has entered a crucial phase. Sad to say, but true, the innocent Iraqis, the real victims of the crisis are unaware what fate awaits them this time. 23 years ago. Iraq was one of the richest and developed countries in the region. After three wars, Iraqis have lost whatever they had, their beautiful cities, nature and also many people. Many children have died because of malnutrition, infectious diseases under sanctions, …most of intellectuals immigrated to other countries. Many were killed in Saddam’s prisons and many other humanitarian problems.

Is there any hope for freedom or only an opportunist butcher is replaced with another dictator and the silent majority of Iraqis continue to suffer. Won’t they walk away after accomplishing their Mission?! Whether this victory can be achieved with minimum loss of life - civilians and soldiers. Saddam does not care about Iraqis, rather he wants to show dead and injured Iraqi civilians in the hope this will inflame feeling in the Arab and Muslim worlds. If he fails in war, he wants to enter the history books as an Arab leader who went down in a blaze of defiance and destruction!!!
(posted by Iman)

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