Iraq victims must not be forgotten

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Iraq victims must not be forgotten

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By: John Tuzcu
Posted: 4/24/07
In the week leading up to the Virginia Tech massacre where 32 people were senselessly killed, there also happened to be Iraqi people being massacred in the bloodbath of Iraq. Five hundred Iraqi men women and children that had nothing to do with the war were found dead in what is a "usual" seven days in the Iraq. These two narratives that both deeply implicate Americans leads us to ponder whose lives we choose to remember and of whose we are completely ignorant.

Monday, April 9, 45 innocent Iraqis were killed, many of them found tortured and decapitated. Tuesday, 85 were found dead, half from U.S. attacks. Wednesday a teacher was found shot in the head, a mother and a son were killed on the way to school and a pile of unidentifiable bodies were discovered to make 42 in all.

Thursday killed 50, including an explosion inside the "heavily-fortified" Green Zone. Friday, April 13, civilians were killed walking to mosque and a kid was blown up ... 70 more people, people just like you and me. Saturday brought 110 civilian deaths, 16 being blown up by a car bomb. Finally, Sunday, April 15, 100 civilians were murdered in and around Baghdad.

This one week of tragedy in Iraq is sadly not an exception. There have been 600,000 civilian deaths since 2003, and 3,323 U.S. deaths (and counting). Despite this, when was the last time we saw a picture of an Iraqi kid on television or read their story in the newspaper? When was the last time we were forced to remember that Iraqis too have rich and important lives or were forced to come face to face with the carnage taking place at the hands of the U.S. occupation?

Can you imagine invaders coming into the United States and precipitating massacres that kill 500 Americans a week? This bloody occupation has passed into its fifth year and it's getting increasingly bloodier.

Almost half of all the civilian deaths have occurred in the last year of the war, as mortar attacks have quadrupled and bombs killing more than 50 people at once have doubled in occurrence. Suicide bombs, car bombs and roadside bombs have doubled as well in the fourth year.

There are also many reports exposing the drastic conditions that living Iraqis are facing. Eleven percent of Iraqi babies are now born underweight, compared to 4 percent before the U.S. invasion, malnutrition has risen to 28 percent and Iraqi civilians are citing stress and anxiety levels that are untenable. The United States has permanently destroyed and ended the lives of millions of Iraqis, though they remain numbers to most of us.

Of course we must mourn and remember the loss of life in Blacksburg, Va., but we should also compare the endless coverage that tragedy has received in place of others - killings going on everyday in our name. The memorials accorded to the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings were moving, if only we reserved a fraction of that space in our hearts for innocent Iraqis as well. If we put human faces on those tragedies we might find the continued U.S. occupation to be unbearable. We might feel something again. Or maybe those days are over.

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Original Source:<a href=http://media.www.miamistudent.net/media/storage/paper776/news/2007/04/24/OpedPage/Iraq-Victims.Must.Not.Be.Forgotten-2876305.shtml>The Miami Student - April 24, 2007</a>

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John Tuzcu

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The Miami Student

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2007-08-14

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Sara Hood

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"Skotzko, Stacey Nicole" <skotzksn@muohio.edu>

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eng

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John Tuzcu, "Iraq victims must not be forgotten," in The April 16 Archive, Item #1064, http://april16archive.org/items/show/1064 (accessed October 31, 2014).