WHAT WAR BRINGS: the destruction of a culture
Having a war and occupation in your town, city, province means that the area – and the people who live within – will be forever changed. Journalist Dahr Jamail makes the claim that the
In this invasion and occupation, resistance is deemed as “insurgency” ---- now, imagine if a foreign military came to the
Destruction of culture means more than the destruction of buildings and of a country’s military. It means the subjugation of a people, the destruction of their history, art, architecture, customs and standards of behavior. It means changing the very self-perception of the people who are being occupied. One small example of this is the giving of backpacks to Iraqi school children. The backpacks have US flags on them, and some of them have Barbie on them.
A larger example is the systemic destruction of literature, art and architecture. With the destruction of infrastructure, there is destruction of education, and thereby another destruction of culture and one of the transmitters of culture.
With the destruction of families, in that family members are killed, or become refugees, or go missing, there is further destruction of culture. And when the entire family becomes refugees, the culture of the family is changed significantly. Community processes and cultural events are left behind in the wake of destruction.
My artist friends in
"The occupation forces encouraged the rebels to loot museum and libraries. Five thousand years of history and art were irretrievably lost in hours. It is a loss for the world, not
I have heard from ordinary men and women in
It is not difficult to see that the extent of devastation caused by the invasion and occupation of
Journalist Anthony Shadid talks about what
"It's all become trash, broken windows and crumbling buildings," complained Hussein Karim, a porter looking out from his perch atop a flap of cardboard on the statue's granite pedestal. "
….. In time, though, those walls may matter less than the deeper forces that six years of an American presence hastened.
Shadid also claims that the impact of the war on
The Americans created none of it, but facilitated all of it, giving space to the region's worst impulses.
Each home was reduced to charred walls and rubble. Waleed had spent everything to furnish the room he'd shared with his wife, which was connected to his brothers' room by an open courtyard. He showed me where his bed had been and proudly described the beautiful wooden dresser he'd bought and the large marriage bed his family had helped him buy.
For a month, he'd come here and weep.
Yas pointed to one destroyed building where five people were killed. Two more people were killed next door, and then another three, and the stories go on. All around me were the broken pieces of what had been. At one home, broken dishes rimmed with pink flowers littered the debris where a family once gathered to eat. The blue shelves of the kitchen were charred by fire. Outside, ornate bricks lined the abandoned path in the garden. Nearby, a dusty remnant of a rug peeked out from a pile of broken bricks.
Of course, destruction of culture and lives is not limited to
A first bomb hit the centre of the village and a second landed in a compound one kilometre to the south. In their panic, women and children headed to a compound in the north of the village, away from the site of the first two strikes. This group numbered some 100 people from around 15 families. At 9.12pm they were struck by a 2,000 pound guided bomb dropped by a B-1B strategic bomber.
In less than half an hour 147 innocents were dead – the biggest single loss of civilian life since the 2001
The destruction in
It is so much easier to destroy than to build, and what took centuries to build was sometimes destroyed in a day.
Channel 4 News broadcast the thoughts of a US Marine on broad issues of strategy: “We’ll unleash the dogs of hell, we’ll unleash ‘em... They don’t even know what’s coming - hell is coming! If there are civilians in there, they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.” (Sergeant Sam Mortimer, US Marines, Channel 4 News, November 8, 2004)
If you support the continued occupation of
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