Iraq - seven years later

A note from the editor

Hadani Ditmars

The legacy of invasion

As I write this letter, Iraq’s fortunes hang in a delicate, dangerous balance.

Politicians horse-trade, bombs continue to kill innocents and Iraqis get on with the art of survival.

‘Iraq is finished,’ a middle-aged man told me on my trip to the beleaguered nation in March. And indeed at times it felt like that: a broken, divided and ultimately colonized place.

But, as always, it was the young people who inspired hope. A young actor, who had survived sanctions, Saddam and post-invasion violence, and who was rehearsing for a play about a beloved and fiercely nationalist poet, told me: ‘I love my country.’ And his statement was heartfelt.

I often wonder about the children in this photo, taken in 1998 when I was reporting on the US bombing campaign called Desert Fox. Even the day after bombing, in the midst of a crippling embargo, they displayed so much joy and resilience. What has become of them now? And what will the future hold for their children?

This issue offers only a handful of stories from a people who have suffered through decades of war, sanctions and occupation. But I hope it will give you a sense of the Iraqi spirit – al roh al iraqiya – that sustains them and has so touched me.

And our special feature by Rwandan genocide survivor Jean Baptiste Kayigamba brings home both the damage done to victims of war and sectarian violence, and the urgent need to bring those accountable to justice.

Hadani Ditmars for the New Internationalist co-operative.
www.newint.org

Keynote article.

A man in Karradah rebuilds his home, damaged by Desert Fox bombing in December 1998.

A man in Karradah rebuilds his home, damaged by Desert Fox bombing in December 1998.

Hadani Ditmars

Iraq in pieces

Hadani Ditmars returns to a country where ongoing conflict underscores a humanitarian disaster.

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I am back in Baghdad after seven years away.

Since 2003, a million people have died in Iraq in the wake of post-invasion violence.1 Sectarian wars have torn the country apart, foreign troops have established huge military bases, and politicians who have sworn to crack down on militias have their own private armies. This once secular nation has been scarred by extremism, with terrible consequences for women, gay people and religious minorities. As Government ministries remain feedin...




Features.

Callixte Mbarushimana, acting head of the terrorist FDLR, enjoying the good life in France.

Murderers, you are welcome!

Jean Baptiste Kayigamba, who lost most of his family in the Rwandan genocide, wonders why Britain and France are harbouring the major perpetrators and whether recent legal changes will make a difference.

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Your money or your life: the Ministry of Finance was bombed in 2007 and again in 2009. Photo: New Internationalist/Hadani Ditmars.

The art of survival

Despite fatwas and foreign troops, the show in Iraq must go on.

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The health of a nation: women and children at a Baghdad clinic.

The waiting room

War and underfunding have decimated Iraq’s public health system, once the best in the Arab world.

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Maria, a Christian woman in Baghdad, has faced post-invasion harassment and is desperate to leave the country.

Hail Mary, full of grace

Iraqi Christians, once a million strong, face persecution in a post-secular society.

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Dolls and dogmas: a widow stands in front of her work. Photo: New Internationalist/Hadani Ditmars

‘Look sad like an Iraqi woman’

In a country of widows, women have borne the brunt of years of war, sanctions and occupation.

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The power and the glory

Anarchy, violence and nostalgia for a golden age mark Iraqi politics in the run-up to the elections.

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Baghdad’s new sectarian divisions13

Post-invasion Iraq - the facts

Twelve years of sanctions and seven years of occupation have taken their toll as Iraqis struggle with wrecked infrastructure and continuing insecurity.

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Currents.

Where next? Displaced children outside their temporary shelter.

The great urban juggernaut

India’s first ‘private city’ will do nothing to help the poor

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Too close for comfort: the Ady Gil approaches the Japanese whaling vessel Shonan Maru 2.

War of the whales

Sea captain taken prisoner while attempting to stop Japanese whalers

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Gone to bidder 70

Gone to bidder 70

Activist who scuppered oil and gas carve-up faces jail

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Logging off?

Logging off?

The fight is on to end illegal logging in the uniquely biodiverse ancient forests of Madagascar

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Regulars.

Empire of the senses

Empire of the senses

In an Egypt where sexual feelings are kept buttoned up by religiosity, Yahia Lababidi observes an all-pervading sensuality that will not be denied.

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Durga Sob: Nepal’s trailblazing Dalit feminist

Durga Sob, founder of the Feminist Dalit Organization, is fighting discrimination in Nepal.

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Iemanja's day festival photographed

Diego Martinez’s camera captures the beauty and intensity of a Brazilian festival.

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Sebastián Piñera

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera under the spotlight.

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São Tomé e Príncipe

A profile of the West African island republic

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The soaring call

Maria Golia recalls a transcendent moment amid the clamour of Cairo.

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US superpowers in Polyp's cartoon

Today's Clark Kent: US superpowers in Polyp's cartoon

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Film, Book & Music Reviews.

The Vegetarian Myth

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City of Life and Death

It’s only a feature film, and it’s shot in black and white, but City of Life and Death is an intense, indelible experience.

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Life During Wartime

Three Florida sisters with very different lives, all seeking love.

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Japanese Dub

Japanese Dub

The latest album from Jah Wobble and the Nippon Dub Ensemble.

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BKO

BKO

Dirtmusic's debut album.

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