Sunday, November 28, 2004

An Environmental Crime

The London Times reports on the truly stunning deterioration of civil society that the US occupation has produced. By almost any definition of environmental health this is an environmental catastrophe (imagine if it were caused by a toxic release). Via Juan Cole:
The London Times reports that nearly 700 persons die under suspicious circumstances (most of them from bullet wounds) every month in Baghdad. These are not, at least mainly, victims of the guerrilla war. They are mostly victims of crime or revenge. I figure that as 8400 murders a year in a city of 5 million, or 168 per 100,000 per annum. The highest murder rate in the US for 2003 was 45.8 per 100,000, in Washington, DC, with Detroit coming in second. That is, Baghdad is nearly four times as dangerous as the most dangerous American cities, more than a year and a half after the fall of Saddam. The US has by its stupid mistakes deprived Baghdad's residents of the basic right to personal security. It is true that Saddam's secret police used to dump bodies at the morgue, of course. But all the polls show that Baghdadis feel themselves substantially worse off in personal security now, and no wonder.
Original London Times article here.