This is not really new, but it was in the news at the beginning of the week:
“Iraq’s violent conflict has left as many as one million widows over the past few years, the country’s Minister of Women’s Affairs Bayan Nouri said yesterday.” (Middle East Monitor, Feb. 23, 2015)
That’s a lot of recent widows. I say it isn’t new, because in this 2011 story about possibly bringing back polygamy, the BBC was already talking about one million widows:
“Years of conflict in Iraq have left the country with more than one million war widows and a shortage of young unmarried men – pressures that may be bringing about the return of polygamy.” (BBC, Jan. 26, 2011)
Note that the BBC refers to these women as “war widows.” Multiply the number of “children per woman”—in Iraq it’s 3.5—and you have at least 3.5 million people affected by this unsuccessful attempt to “win hearts and minds.” That’s slightly fewer people than the entire city of Los Angeles, just to put it in perspective (almost 3.8 million as of 2010).
Do you feel the freedom that the “American Sniper” has provided? I don’t think these 3.5 millions Iraqis do. As the cartoon points out, neither do Barrett Brown, Eric Garner, Edward Snowden, all of us being spied on by the NSA, or the largest prison population in the world which is right here in the U.S. Not largest per capita. Largest, period. But the damn operation was called “Operation Iraqi Freedom”—turns out that really meant “freeing souls from bodies,” not “freeing people from tyranny.”