Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Iraq: the facts

As the illegal occupation of Iraq enters its fifth year, following an invasion based on lies, here are some facts and figures. They cover the non-stop destruction of Iraq, the uprooting of about 16% of the population and the horrors of the civil war that has engulfed the country.

  • 2 million Iraqis – almost 10% of the population - have fled their country, scattered in Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Iran
  • Another 1.9 million Iraqis are estimated to be internally displaced persons
  • The British medical journal The Lancet's study found that about 655,000 Iraqis had died in war, occupation, and civil strife between March 2003 and June 2006
  • Unemployment is estimated as high as 60%, and inflation last year was 50%
  • Fuel and electricity prices are up more than 270% from 2005 levels
  • Acute malnutrition among young children in Iraq has nearly doubled since the 2003 invasion, according to the UN
  • Tea in some markets has quadrupled, egg prices have doubled
  • Sectarian murders rose to 1,200 in December 2006 from 200 in January
  • More than 140,000 American troops are in Iraq
  • Over 3,200 have died and another 24,000 have been wounded
  • There are 7,100 British troops in Iraq; 134 have died
  • 60% of the British public now believe the invasion was a mistake
  • 75% of Americans approved of the war when it began in 2003. Last month, pollsters found that 60% now oppose it
  • Iraqi oil production has sunk from pre-invasion level of 2.4 million barrels a day to 1.9 million barrels a day
  • The $630 billion provided for the US military this year exceeds in real terms the highest annual amounts during the Reagan-era defence build-up, the Vietnam War and the Korean War
  • When Congress approves a $100 billion emergency spending bill in the next few weeks, it will have appropriated $607 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • A gallon of petrol cost as little as US4 cents in 2005. The official price is now about 67 cents after the International Monetary Fund demanded a cut in oil subsidies
  • the number of Iraqis who approve of attacks on foreign troops has risen from 17% in a similar survey three years ago to 51% now
  • 60% of Iraqis questioned in a BBC poll believe that things are going badly in their lives; only a third expect things to improve
  • On 24 September 2002 Tony Blair told the House of Commons: "The intelligence picture… is extensive, detailed and authoritative. It concludes that Iraq has chemical, biological weapons and continues to produce them."
  • March 21, 2007: Still no sign of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq

Paul Feldman, communications editor

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