by the stormy present
Tue Jul 3rd, 2007 at 10:28:35 AM EST
It's just so depressing that I don't really know what to say about it.
A new report (.pdf) by the National Association of British Arabs (a group I know absolutely nothing about) titled Iraq's Lost Generation: Impact and Implications has quantified the systematic targeting of Iraqi intellectuals, academics and professionals.
(All emphasis is mine.)
Problems facing the intelligentsia of Iraq have been neglected in the scale of that country's ongoing tragedy. Since 2003, the new phenomenon of targeted and systematic assassinations, kidnappings and threats to professionals and academics has surfaced. These are escalating.
Over 830 assassinations have been documented, victims killed along with their families. Numbers includes: 380 university academics and doctors, 210 lawyers and judges, and 243 journalists/media workers but not other experts, school teachers or students; neither professionals displaced internally and externally. All
aspects of life are affected.
The victims are often highly qualified, PhD or equivalent. Assassinations are not specific to sect or gender but victims are predominantly Arab.
Hundreds of legal workers have left Iraq in addition to those already killed and injured, thereby denying thousands of Iraqis their legal rights. Working lawyers numbers have decreased by at least 40% in the past year alone and hundreds of cases shelved.
The reported incidents are only the tip of an iceberg; many cases go unreported.
This is in addition to the huge exodus to neighbouring countries and, for the lucky few, to Europe.
Unless urgent action is taken to redress this situation, it will be too late to save Iraq's intelligentsia for the immediate and foreseeable future; a disastrous situation for Iraq.
We knew this was happening. Now we know more about how fast and how thoroughly.
Elsewhere on the NABA website is a long list of names. These are the names of the dead.
Here are just a few:
- Dr. Aalim Abdul-Hamid, Dean of the department of Preventative Medicine at Mustansiryia University in Baghdad.
- Abdel-Aziz al-Atrachi, PhD, professor of agriculture at Mosul University.
- Ahmed Saadi Zaidan, PhD, professor of education, Anbar University.
- Taleb Ibrahim al-Daher, PhD, professor of physics, Diyala University.
- Salah Abdelaziz Hashem, PhD, professor of literature, Basra University.
The list is very long.
We like graphs here at ET. Here are a few graphs from the report:
There are many more.
I'm trying to imagine how one might go about building a New Iraq, even if the violence were to stop tomorrow, if all of the people with any expertise in anything are dead.
A conclusion from the report:
Targeted assassination of professionals in Iraq is a new phenomenon in Iraq's history. Academia, doctors, indeed knowledge itself, have always been accorded the highest respect. The current problem commenced with the 2003 invasion and continues to escalate.
The pattern of atrocities which followed the invasion, and targeting of Iraq's intelligentsia followed a methodical period of looting and destruction of Iraq's
heritage, infrastructure, universities and libraries. Many Iraqis, together with sections of international academia, believe this to be highly indicative of a plan to drain Iraq of its intellectuals and experts and dismantle its infrastructure along a pattern known as `El-Salvador Option' used in that country by the Pentagon.
The exodus from Iraq is grave and is already having dire consequences for the people of Iraq that can only worsen if the situation is not reversed.
Pay attention to that link I've inserted regarding the so-called Salvador Option. This is important.
There are recommendations, both for Iraq and for Britain. Here's what they say regarding the UK:
Short-term requirements are:-
The majority of Iraqis have an inherent desire to help in the restructuring of their country and would return back when the opportunity arose. For professional and
- Urgent action to persuade the Home Office to stop refusing applications by Iraq academics, doctors and scientists on the erroneous basis that Iraqi is now a democratic, safe haven.
- Facilities for those wishing to come to the UK to allow them to use that time updating their knowledge and expertise. This could be achieved through attachments to local universities and hospitals. Postgraduate training for many was suspended with sanctions in 1990 and severely disrupted since 2003.
middle class Iraqis, life outside will be infinitely worse both financially and professionally. Outside of their own country and milieu they suffer both psychologically and financially and, even more importantly, they are needed desperately to put a stable Iraq back on the map academically and professionally as well as raising the social and intellectual conscious of any new Iraqi state.
The rest, I'll let you read for yourself.