Monday, February 06, 2012
America's legacy of destruction in Iraq
An Education in Occupation, by Hugh Gusterson:
Until the 1990s, Iraq had perhaps the best university system in the Middle East. Saddam Hussein's regime used oil revenues to underwrite free tuition for Iraqi university students -- churning out doctors, scientists, and engineers who joined the country's burgeoning middle class and anchored development. Although political dissent was strictly off-limits, Iraqi universities were professional, secular institutions that were open to the West, and spaces where male and female, Sunni and Shia mingled. Also the schools pushed hard to educate women PDF, who constituted 30 percent of Iraqi university faculties by 1991.
According to The Washington Times, 280 Iraqi professors were killed and another 3,250 fled the country by the end of 2006.
Those faculty fortunate enough to move abroad became part of the great middle-class exodus from Iraq under US occupation. It is estimated that 10 percent of Iraq's population, and 30 percent of its professors, doctors, and engineers, left for neighboring countries between 2003 and 2007 -- the largest Arab refugee displacement since the Palestinian flight from the holy lands decades earlier.
Add this to America's legacy of destruction in the Middle East.