Friday, December 30, 2011

INT VIDEO: Shia Marshland Arab Refugees, 1991


Anonymous said...


9 years past with all billions of dollars we hearing that spent inside Iraq what the Arab Marsh have today? Please give us the list how their life changed from 2003 till end of 2011?
So we can put close to this subject.

Joel Wing said...


From what I've read, several NGOs and the U.N. have done a lot of work to renew the environment in the marsh area. While obviously not as large as it once was, I think it's grown since Saddam drained most of the area. The problem is that many of the people who use to live there don't want to go back now.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that many of the people who use to live there don't want to go back now.

I wish you have for us real lists rather quoting from those NGO and other agencies who trying to show you they are working there. Which cannot confirm here?

So why all this fuss then? If there is no people there why should give too much attention than 30 million Iraq suffering nightmare for last 9 years?

If you are a politician you care about 30 million nations or about 0.1% of land that no much people there?

Just to give you some update from yesterday update on electricity inside Baghdad this from al-Manssur area (very prestige area, if you been in Baghdad) they gave 2 hour power/day?

Hope those NGO goes back to the basic rather than spending and waiting their money on unworthy while projects and dead goals.

Joel Wing said...

NGOs obviously have different goals, and I don't see any problem with some of them trying to rebuild the southern marshes. And there are still Marsh Arabs there.

No NGO is going to fix the electricity. That's a national problem that will cost billions and billions, something far and above what an NGO can do.

Anonymous said...

"No NGO is going to fix the electricity."

Did I hold NGO's to fix the power in Iraq? Did I said that or mentioned that?

I really I don’t know why you jumped to this?

In your post did NGO’s fix Marsh Arab problem? Do you think they are able to do so?

As far as what you trying to show readers and other news outlets this was exaggerated this matter more than the reality if we taking in account that Iraq was in war time and the nation all defending its borders from far north to far south.

Joel Wing said...

I brought up NGOs and electricity because you mentioned the power supply in a district of Baghdad.

And the slaughter of the Marsh Arabs happened after the 1991 Gulf War. This was part of the Shiite uprising where 1000s of people were killed, the eco-system was destroyed, and 1000s more became refugees. That area was heavily affected by the Iran-Iraq War in the previous decade, but it was never drained out, and the people forced out and killed by Saddam like in 1991. And that's overblown and exaggerated?

As for bringing back the area, around 30-40% of it has been resurrected. Studies have said that's all that can be rebuilt because of Saddam's destructive policies, pollution, the drought that has hit Iraq for the last several years, salination, etc.

Anonymous said...

Looks you did not get my point when I bring the power issue here.

If you reread back my comment, I was comparing of prioritising the issues that facing Iraq and Iraqis should be of concerns.
- Is it Power issueless that marsh Arab?
-Is it public service less important than Marsh?
- Is it schools for Iraqi kids less important than Marsh?
- Are the widows of Iraq less important that marsh?
-Is it poverty (as recent statistic 20%) less important than Marsh?
- Jobless between Iraqis less important than marsh?

on and on with this list , so I am not suggesting NGO’s will sort the power, man.

Secondly, with all due respect of your statement about old regime I think you miss stated here.

The Marsh was dried out for two reasons:
1- Iranian start use this conduits to fight Iraqi troops using gorilla warfare as the marsh was on the borders between to countries, as US did with forest on her borders with Latin American countries fighting drug smugglers which US did deforested that strip to make it more difficult for smugglers.
2- The dry out start during Iran war not in 1991 and the Marsh Arab was moved from the area at that time due to first war very close nearby them also the government asked them to move due to the dry out project.
3- As for killing I don’t know what the numbers who is reported and why, but let say that happen, Iraqi killed in hundreds of thousands during the invasion 2003 that not old regime this due US invasion, is not?

Joel Wing said...

Yes, the southern marshes was a high conflict area during the Iran-Iraq War. Iraqis all along the southern border were displaced during that period.

What I'm talking about, and what the video is talking about however occurred during the next decade. After the 1991 Gulf War Shiites rose up across southern Iraqi cities and so did the Marsh Arabs. When Saddam sent in the Republican Guard and put down these uprisings, many people fled into the marshes. Saddam then sent his Guard into there and from 1991-1995 built a series of canals, dykes, and dams to destroy the entire marsh area. You can see satellite photos of this period and see that almost the entire marshland was drained out during the 1990s, not the 1980s. This was nothing like what happened during the Iran-Iraq War. Several 1000 were killed and an estimated 100,000 were forced into Iran as refugees. This was a planned act to put down opponents to the regime, not a benign act as you seem to be implying.

Anonymous said...

It is very disturbing that many Sunni Iraqis' show signs of not understanding what kind of creature Saddam was and the unimaginable sufferings he has enforced to millions of Iraqis, Kurd and Shiaa Iraqis in particular. It feels like a neo-Nazi defending Hitler's extermination of Jews.