Since the invasion and the fall of Hussein, 200 university professors, 110 physicians, and dozens of journalists have been assassinated by militias and death squads. Thousands more have fled the chaos, leading to an Iraqi diaspora of 2 million refugees who have fled the country with an additional 1.8 million internally displaced.
Now, four years later, it has practically been extincted.
Professors and professionals are hunted down and slaughtered. Businessmen and engineers are kidnapped for hefty ransoms. Those who have not fled, live in fear and wonder aloud “Who will be left to pick up the pieces once the fighting is done?”
There was a time, not so long ago, that
There are too few students training to replace those professionals who have fled, as university attendance has plummeted in the wake of sectarian violence that has made campuses battlegrounds. Lecturers fear their students, as too many are students by day and militants by night.
"They want a people who can't think," said Abu Mohammed (not his real name), head of
As we contemplate the realities of this war we have unleashed, we owe a somber moment of reflection to the consequences that have befallen real people as a result of the policies of George Bush. The decimation of the educated classes - the people who make things work - is one of the truly horrific consequences of this war, and one that will affect the country of Iraq for decades hence.
It's time to