Shatha Khalil *
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies has got a number of figures and statistics about Iraqi important files and aspects, namely “speculative numbers” that can be increased and decreased but not at large proportions, as described by one of the deputies of the Iraqi ministries.
These figures are released by the Ministry of the Interior and the Directorate of Statistics in the Ministry of Health and the Office of the Inspector General of the Iraqi Ministry of Justice and the Security and Defense Committee in the Iraqi parliament, and one of the sub – committees of the organization of civil society affiliated to the network of organizations registered in the government.
The figures and statistics show the failure of the occupation and the weakness of the post – occupation governments in the establishment of security, stability and the elimination of corruption, sectarianism and fragmentation in Iraqi society.
As it shows the falsehood of the promises of former US President George W. Bush known as the four American promises to Iraq, namely: the security ,freedom, welfare, democracy which spread fear , injustice , poverty and destruction in Iraq which were the main goals of the occupation , as the reports and information revealed by the US media that Bush administration did not have any plan to manage Iraq after its occupation , contributing to the spread of chaos and violence throughout the country and more importantly the American’s bad choice of some Iraqi political figures they brought from exile to rule Iraq
The Iraqi scene in this year after fourteen years of occupation, does not require a lot of effort to clarify the case in which the country reached , killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, as the US invasion has brought nothing but death and destruction and the dismantling of the country, noting that the tragedy caused by it was so great that pushed those who took power in the country to cancel a decision taken in 2005 during the Iraqi Transitional Governing Council(IGC) which considered the ninth of April as the national day, and replaced it with the day of third of October as a national day, a day of Iraq ‘s accession to the League of Nations in 1932.
Iraq suffer from the poor data and its scarcity that reveal the number of Victims of violence in the country, both those who were killed by the terrorist or military operations, and the United Nations conducted a survey through its mission in Baghdad on the sectors of: health, education, industry and agriculture , forcing the government to provide a database on those sectors to obtain loans from the International Monetary Fund(IMF) worth $12 billion dollars and the reason of its preservation on the publication is likely that the existing figures will not be in favor some of the current parties and it will show the failure of the occupation and the bad situation in Iraq.
Statistics show that some 430 thousand Iraqis were killed between 2003 and early 2017. Baghdad occupied the first place with the number of dead, followed with a difference by the province of of Diyala , followed by the province of Anbar and Salah al – Din and Nineveh and Babylon came in the fifth and sixth rank respectively.
Terrorist operations of extremist groups and militias loyal to Iran topped the forefront of the bill of Iraqi death, followed by US forces. As the number of victims rose to the frightening figures between 2006 and 2014, then increased after the entry of ISIS.
And also 620 thousand Iraqi wounded , 30% of them were permanently disabled that made them unable to move and work since 2003 until the beginning of 2017 and it was also scored 58 thousand missing people that their fate was unknown so far since the beginning of 2003 until December 2016, in addition to 271 thousand detainees , including about 187 thousand detainees who have not been brought to the Judiciary yet.
Years after the occupation recorded the presence of about 3.4 million of the displaced outside Iraq , distributed in 64 Arab and foreign countries, in addition to about 4.1 million displaced inside Iraq , including about 1.7 million living in camps and camps in different Iraqi provinces, as there are 5.6 million orphans recorded between the ages one month to 17 years, Baghdad, Anbar and Diyala occupy the lead in their presence, in addition to two million widows in Iraq , aged between 14 and 52 years, including widows who have been registered pre the occupation of Iraq that means in Iran – Iraq war.
In addition, there are 6 million illiterate citizens who do not know how to write or read noting that Basra, Baghdad, Najaf, Wasit, Anbar come at the forefront , and unemployment in the country records more than 30%, Anbar and Muthanna, Diyala and Babil come at the top of the areas of the most unemployment rate , followed by Baghdad and Karbala and Nineveh.
The figures show that the rate of Iraqis registered under the poverty line with less than $ 5 per day up to 35%, that the governorates of Al Muthanna and Salah al – Din are on the forefront of this percentage, followed by Baghdad and Basra, in addition to 6%, the rate of the use of cannabis and drug substance in Iraq, which is topped by Baghdad then Basra and Najaf followed by Diyala, Babil and Wasit, in addition to 9% the proportion of child labor under the age of fifteen.
As for the health sector, the rate of health care of the Iraqi citizen was declined, and now one bed for every thousand Iraqi citizen and the cost of free treatment was increased in government institutions, and spread 39 epidemic disease notably cholera, polio and viral liver, as well as the breadth of the infection of cancer and birth defects.
And the industrial sector is also a victim of the years of the post- occupation, where about 40 thousand plants and factory and Iraqi productive institutions stopped working in cities across the country, and the country depends, according to sources of the Ministry of Planning on 75% of imported food and 91% of the imported building materials and various industries.
The agricultural sector in the country which arrived in 2002 to the self – sufficiency declined to a large extent, and the current agricultural land area reached of 12 million acres after it was 48 million acres across the country, but for the housing sector, lacking proper statistics, but statements by members of the Iraqi parliament confirm the country ‘s need to 2.6 million housing units to address the housing crisis and the figure is still rising with the increase of the population.
The basic education sector is not far from the crisis, as it is available in the country currently 14 thousand and 658 elementary, intermediate and secondary schools including about 9 thousand damaged schools and about 800 mud schools, while the Iraqi Ministry of Education confirms the need for 11 thousand additional new schools at least to accommodate the students and address their crowd in classes by a rate of 40 students per class.
One of the main crises that hit the Iraqi economy is the debt in 2017,
as Iraqi economists estimate the size of Iraq’s accumulated debts beyond the barrier of $ 100 billion, and in light of many of the problems experienced by the Iraqi economy, and the amount of impact of the public debt on the country as a result of the collapse of oil prices, growing the cost of the war waged by Iraq against al – Daesh, along with old debts before 2003.
At a seminar hosted by the institute for the progress of development policy, which is supervised by the former deputy and planning minister Mehdi al – Hafez, in the capital Baghdad , and experts and specialists in the financial and economic affairs called the government to disclose the details of internal and external debt owed by Iraq , both those dating back to the time of the former regime or that the government borrowed in recent years, and disclose the trends of those debts and its objectives.
Hafiz said , who chaired the seminar that ” the World Bank loans and the Islamic Development Bank , the European Union and Japan, in addition to the traditional debt to some of the Gulf states, stands fixed on the foreign financial dealings of Iraq , ” asserting that “Iraq ‘s debt is more than $ 100 billion.”
In the opposite optimistic context, Iraqi oil Minister Jabbar Laibi announced at the symposium, that « the size of the oil reserves of Iraq reached 153 billion barrels», after it was 143 billion barrels, adding that exploratory activities and the reservoir in seven oil fields in central and southern Iraq will contribute to add 10 billion barrels of oil reserves.
Hafiz pointed to the exposure of more than “$ 6 billion for suspicion since 2003,” saying that ” the reports of the US Inspector General for Reconstruction assured anonymity of $ 6.6 billion in DFI funds, and are susceptible to manipulation, waste , and abuse.
While Dr. Mudher Mohammed Saleh , Financial Advisor to the Prime Minister Haider al – Abadi disclosed about important details related to the file of Iraq ‘s debt, where he revealed that Iraq “succeeded in 2004 to write off about $ 100 billion of debt against the backdrop of the signing of the agreement of the Paris Club .”
Salih stressed; that Paris Club agreement , ” a standard agreement to resolve the sovereign debt owed by Iraq for 65 countries, including 19 countries in the Paris Club and 46 countries abroad.”
But he says: ” The domestic debt after 2014 has increased from 10 billion to $ 46 billion, the internal and external debt to be about $ 110 billion, including the outstanding debt of the Gulf until the end of 2016″.
Saleh indicates that ” the largest and most dangerous debt dating back to the Gulf states, which are outstanding debts of up to about $ 41 billion, and the figure represents the core of the Iraqi debt,” and pointed out that the internal debt represents 45% of the value of public debt, which the central bank contributed to supply it after deducting transfers due to the lack of possibility of other banks.
The economic expert , Dr. Majid al-Suari says : Iraq will borrow during the year 2017 about 17, $ 7 billion, according to the general budget, the meaning of this is that “the loans will rise by significantly”, wondering about “the loans of Kurdistan region amounting to about $ 40 billion, and whether they will be included in the public debt of Iraq?”.
Economists confirm that the agreement with the International Monetary Fund « is harmful to the poor without the rich,” because of increased fuel prices and the reduction of the items of the ration card and increase the spending , calling for caution in dealing with the debt file; so that the country does not reach the “uncontrollable debt” stage.
Iraq’s losses estimated in numbers as result of corruption according to Al Jazeera Net website, about $ 250 billion in the last ten years, and in the oil sector, smuggling between 300-500 thousand barrels, equivalent to $ 7.2 billion annually.
And the issues of the military corruption is the suspicious deal of Eastern Europe in 2007 , at a cost of $ 833 million, to buy inoperable aircrafts and the purchase of old and painted rifles , and the import of poor military vehicles from eastern Europe, in addition to the loss of the Ministry of Defense 19 000 pieces of weapons.
The electricity sector, there is a waste of $ 30 billion allocated for this sector, and the output is equal to 11,000 MW, while Iraq needs 30 thousand megawatts between family and the government.
Fictitious jobs, there are 50 thousand jobs equivalent to the losses of five billion dollars.
One of the most important variables that followed the US occupation is to rule out Iraq from the regional and international arena , as observers agree that all neighboring countries of Iraq attach a great importance to it politically and military pre invasion but the situation changed after it and the US expert and diplomat John Brittan says that the diplomatic problem derives from the Iraqi model in terms that rulers of Baghdad after 2003 do not see the support only from Iran militarily and in material issues which led to the dependency of Iraq to Iran in all political and diplomatic joints .
And no more than one year after the invasion, the sectarian strife began to hit strongly in Iraq between Sunnis and Shiites culminating in the bombing of the two mosques of Imam Ali al-Hadi and Hasan al-Askari in February 2006, two of the12 holy Imams (Twelves). The bombing of these two shrines remains a mystery and has led to a civil war in 2006-2007, in which thousands of Iraqis were killed to reach during 14 years to nearly 200, ooo dead
And the occupation led to the weakening of agriculture and industry in Iraq , where the phrase “Made in Iraq was lost” since 2003, although the Iraqi industry accounted for 14% of the size of national income, and it was considered at the time the best compared with neighboring countries, but it has seen seen a major setback after the occupation as a result of looting of factories and plants , as well as the systematic destruction of the industrial infrastructure , and the lack of legislation of laws taking into account the local product; which led to flooding of the domestic market with poor goods and from various parts of the world with the almost complete absence of the role of the Central organization for Standardization and Quality Control (COSQC) . As the local industry supports national output by up to 16% before the invasion, according to director of the Iraqi Federation of Industries Muad Jamal al- Din, while reached in 2014 to 1.3% with the closure of the doors of tens of thousands of government and private laboratories.
And the occupation turned Iraq or Mesopotamia or the black land ( Sawad because of the intensity of green land in the past ) to an imported a country that imports even fruits and vegetables and the situation reached to import more than 58 thousands tons of fruits and vegetables in one month in April of 2015 from neighboring country .
Several factors have led to the deterioration of the agricultural sector, which includes agriculture and livestock, and the first was the government default towards agriculture, farmers, and not to rely on modern mechanization, as well as the great migration from the countryside to the city that followed the invasion and not to legalize importation, which has damaged local farms.
Press sector has suffered many difficulties and risks due to the occupation; the report of the International Federation of Journalists issued in 2016 that Iraq is the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, with the killing of more than 300 journalists between 1990 and 2015 there.
Obama’s role in the destruction of Iraq: the US President, Barack Obama has caused negative effects on Iraq, equivalent to the size of its implications for the consequences of the US occupation of Iraq during the administration of his predecessor George W. Bush in 2003.
Observers considered that the big mistakes of Obama were the withdrawal of US forces and make way for Iran to penetrate in Iraq, in all the joints of the Iraqi state, causing the creation of sectarian strife, and a number of policies of exclusion, marginalization and abuses, which helped the emergence and recovery of the organization Daesh.
US president tried since he took office to direct diplomatic words to the Iraqis, in which he expressed his rejection of the US occupation of Iraq in April 2003. He stressed, in a speech at Cairo University in June 2009, that he is “against extremism and the war on Islam,” and Obama added that ” the war on Iraq was not necessary,” and promised to withdraw from Iraq, according to a schedule agreed by Baghdad and Washington, but the followers of Iraqi affairs did not trust , from the beginning, a speech of Obama, which they described him as “evasive and false, who seeks to” evad from the responsibility for mistakes committed by his country in Iraq, and the crises that may occur in the country after the withdrawal of American forces. ”
We conclude from what is mentioned that Iraq today is going through very difficult circumstances which are different from what they were before the occupation, as there was security and law, but today there is no security, no law and Iraqi citizen can not secure his life, as he is still living a great tragedy that its chapters have not been completed yet.
Rawbet Center for Research and Strategic Studies