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Remembering the Tenth Anniversary of the War Against Iraq

Last week marked a decade since then George W. Bush administration declared the Iraq War, as part of his fight against terrorism. Ten years later, a handful of journalists, social media users, and experts analyzed the consequences of this conflict, which ended officially on December 18, 2011.

Controversial speech by George W. Bush, declaring the retreat of troops from Iraq. The famous sign "Mission accomplished" was hanging from the aircraft carrier. By then, the war was ongoing. Image taken from a video on YouTube.

Controversial speech by George W. Bush, declaring the retreat of troops from Iraq. The famous sign “Mission accomplished” was hanging from the aircraft carrier. By then, the war was ongoing. Image taken from a video on YouTube.

A debt over billions of dollars, hundred of thousands of fatalities, lack of evidence of weapons of mass destruction and a still troubling insurgence that causes severe security problems in Iraq are the result many researchers consider as the remains of the war. There are some people that support the cause the White House had on 2003, claiming that if Saddam Hussein hadn't been executed, United States would be facing Iraq and Iran. A survey shows [es], however, that over 50 percent of Americans consider the Iraq War as a mistake, even though 70 percent supported it months after the attacks on Iraqi territory were launched on 2003.

Some blogs took the time to evaluate the results of the war, offering for instance a clinical profile of Puerto Rican soldiers, as was the case with Madres Contra la Guerra [es] (Mothers Against War):

El costo para la salud física y emocional es terrible: once de cada 100 militares están mutilados, 40% de ellos con el terrible diagnóstico de trauma cerebral severo (traumatic brain injury), condición que no se puede atender en el Hospital de Veteranos por Puerto Rico, pues no tiene una sala de trauma. Familias enteras han tenido que trasladarse a Estados Unidos para alguno de los Hospitales de Veteranos que  pueda atender esa condición.  Alrededor de 40 % de los militares ya han sido diagnosticado con una condición de salud mental, particularmente el trastorno de estrés post traumático.  En Puerto Rico hay 2,000 veteranos sin techo (Censo, 2010).  Muchos de los militares están desempleados, al tratar de volver a la vida de civil.

The cost for physical and emotional health is terrible: 11 out of every 100 soldiers have suffered mutilation, 40% of them with the terrible diagnosis of traumatic brain injury, a condition that can't be taken care of at the Veteran Hospital in Puerto Rico, as there is no trauma ward. Lots of families have had to move to the United States to any of the hospitals for veterans that might be able to take care of that condition. About 40% percent of the soldiers have already been diagnosed with a mental health condition, particularly post traumatic stress. In Puerto Rico, there are 2,000 homeless veterans (according to 2010 census). Many of the soldiers are unemployed, as they try to live again as civiliians.

The disagreement with the war is evident on some tweets, from Latino figures as well as from other people. The TV anchorman of Noticias Univisión Jorge Ramos (@jorgeramosnews) had this to say:

@jorgeramosnews: En Irak ya es 20 de marzo, el 10 aniversario de la guerra que se inventó George W.Bush,con miles de muertos y sin armas de destruccion [sic] masiva

@jorgeramosnews: In Iraq, it's March 20 already, 10 anniversary of the war George W.Bush invented, with thousands of deaths and without weapons of mass destruction.

Man Castro (@esmudiense) shares a picture with former Presidents George W. Bush, Tony Blair from United Kingdom and José María Aznar from Spain, when they joined forces to send troops to Iraqi soil.

@esmudiense: En el aniversario d la guerra de Irak, una foto repugnante, el trío de las Azores y memoria para un millón de muertos pic.twitter.com/Lc0Sf8rM5I

@esmudiense: On the anniversary of Iraq War, a disgusting picture, the Azores threesome and a memorial for a million fatalities pic.twitter.com/Lc0Sf8rM5I

Some other have been outspoken in expressing their rejection to the People's Party of Spain, led by Aznar, that made Spain deploy its own troops in Iraq. This is how borbonesmamones (@borbonesmamones) expressed it:

@borbonesmamones: Acaba d terminar el aniversario dl 11M y no soporto ver a esos peperos homenajeando a las víctimas q ellos provocaron tras la guerra d Irak.

@borbonesmamones [es]: 11M anniversay just ended and I just can't help watch those pilltakers honoring the victims they themsleves caused after Iraq War.

Also, the war against Iraq has exposed many human rights violations by the allied armed forces. One of the most notorious cases was Abu Ghraib, in Baghdad, where prisioners were physically, psychologically and sexually tortured by U.S. soldiers. Meanwhile, the treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo base, in Cuba, has also been brought into question: a hunger strike by the inmates was declared last March 4, due to alleged retaliations by military officers.

*Cover picture taken from bloodforoil.org under CC BY-NC-2.5 licence.

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