It was a cruel and vicious war. Now that the conflict has subsided into a frayed and imperfect peace it can often seem that the eyes of the world have shifted its gaze from Iraq’s predicament. Yet Iraq’s predicament is not forgotten and two developments this week illustrate this.
The first signal comes from Amnesty International who condemned ISIS’s depredations to Iraq’s rural infrastructure as a war crime. Senior Crisis Adviser at Amnesty International Richard Pearshouse stated that ‘The damage to Iraq’s countryside is as far-reaching as the urban destruction, but the consequences of the conflict on Iraq’s rural residents are being largely forgotten.’
In an article for Newsweek Pearshouse elaborated further on this subject, ‘when ISIS was forced to retreat, its fighters took to eviscerating the landscape in ways that gave no immediate military advantage.’ He added that ‘Destruction of an adversary’s property not required by military necessity constitutes a war crime.’
Such is the strategic and historical significance of Iraq that the country has long been prey to invasion. The latest ruin areas of Iraq’s agricultural landscape echoes the destruction wrought by the Mongol invasion in 1258. Then, as now, irrigation was a key target.
Amnesty International says that ‘Water engineers told Amnesty International they had no doubt the destruction was deliberate. This happened on a broad scale – no comprehensive assessment has been undertaken, but local officials estimate that in the area near
The second international development this week came from the US. On Tuesday President Trump signed into law the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2018. In the Iraqi
Both of these international developments signal specific articulations of the national tragedy that has been inflicted on Iraq. As such they are important. However, the fact remains that Iraq’s governments, such as it
It is also certain that progress towards reconstruction and reconciliation will never be achieved until a strong Iraqi government can get up off its knees and manage the affairs of state for itself. International aid is welcome and necessary, but Iraq was riven by more than the rampage of ISIS. Iran still has, what many see,
In terms of natural
There is a twofold irony here; reconstruction will only be effectively completed for all Iraqis, and religious minorities will only ever be secure and safe in