Feeding the Dogs of War

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The latest US military offensive, codenamed 'Operation Spear' and supported by British warplanes, on the so called 'village' of Karabila near the Syrian border left dozens dead and many more injured.

Using brutal tactics reminiscent of the attack on Fallujah, the US army sealed off the town (population over 60,000), trapping hundreds inside. Over 7,000 refugees were forced to flee to the desert in a desperate attempt to survive.

Experience suggests that this latest offensive will only increase the resistance's determination to step up its attacks on occupying forces and those in the Iraqi government who support them. Since prime minister Ibrahim Al Jaafari announced his cabinet on 28 April nearly 1,200 Iraqis have been killed.

It is little wonder considering the brutality of the occupying forces. Conditions for ordinary Iraqis continue to deteriorate. A recent survey shows that barely half of households have a stable supply of safe drinking water, and the unemployment rate is now officially 27 percent, although many experts say it is closer to 50 percent. Of the $36 billion the UN and World Bank estimate is needed for the reconstruction of basic facilities, only $5.5 billion has been disbursed.

There has been no such reluctance from the US administration to pay for the war effort though. The US Congress voted in June to spend another $45 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and this comes on top of $82 billion approved for Iraq in May. So it is still the case that the demands of war, death and destruction continue to prevail over the needs of ordinary people - unless and until we force world leaders to do otherwise.