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It Sucks to Be a Farmer in Iraq

Posted by libhom Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Of course, it sucks to be in Iraq period.

However, one underreported aspect of how bad things are under the occupation is the plight of Iraqi farmers, as reported by Ahmed Ali and Dahr Jamail on 3/29/08.

New plant diseases, attacks by occupation forces and escalating fuel prices are strangling farmers in Diyala province.

Prior to the U.S.-led invasion of March 2003, farmers in Baquba, the capital city of Diyala province 40 km northeast of Baghdad, struggled with plant diseases they believed were caused by bombs dropped during the U.S.-led war against Iraq in 1991.

Trees were infested with white fruit fly, aphids and plant louse, and there was a shortage of water for irrigation. The directorate-general of agriculture used helicopters to spread insecticide.

After the invasion, the situation has worsened. Helicopter spraying seems unthinkable.

"With helicopters large distances can be sprayed in one stroke," Aboud Ibrahim, a 55-year-old local farmer told IPS. "In the case of white fruit fly, when a farmer sprays the insecticide, the disease can move back to his farm again from the neighbouring farm within six hours. This is why simultaneous treatment of all farms is so efficient."

Helicopters now mean something else. "Helicopters and fighters of the coalition forces attack farmers who work at night on their farms," said a local farmer who did not want to be named. "Due to the water quotas, farmers are forced to water their farms even at night. Some farmers have been shot in firing by coalition forces. Farmers would rather neglect their farms than risk death."

You may not know this, but Iraq had a thriving agriculture sector before Bush invaded that country. A supervisor at the directorate-general of agriculture in Diyala said on condition of anonymity:
"Iraq now imports almost all its crops from neighbouring counties like Syria, Iran, Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon, after decades of exporting to these same countries."

Bush/Clinton/Cheney/McCain/Faux News/the NY Times et. al. have liberated Iraq, from food self-sufficiency.

As one would expect, the corporate media did not pick up on this story. They would rather bombard us with how the escalation in Iraq is cutting back on "the violence." Of course, "the violence" doesn't included US violence against the Iraq people, which has gone up during the escalation.

We are all supposed to be so bored with the war that we won't pay attention to it. Now that the Obama/Clinton feud is winding down, I wonder what shiny new thing the corporate media hacks will point us at instead of what is going on in the war on Iraq.

Britney Spears, Martha Stewart, Linday Lohan, etc. need to get cracking. We need something to distract us from the elephant in our national living room.



  1. RickB Says:
  2. I would say that is largely intentional, all 'free trade' neoliberal scams have destroyed domestic production to create a market for imports from the wealthy countries. The invasion just made that process quicker. Compare it with India where the pain is ongoing and protracted but nonetheless is the same process of destroying independent farmers in favour of corporate dominance and imports.
    (Ok so Britney, Martha, Lindsay, Paris make a cannibal porno-snuff where they eat the Olsen Twins (not too big to spoil the diet) and use the money from selling it to Fox to buy heroin and push it on the casts of the Disney channel sitcoms. With this new addicted revenue stream they become so rich the inevitable fall out comes and Martha has Lilo & Britney gunned down in a drive by. Paris then has Martha killed by a jonesing Miley Cyrus. And did I mention this is all presented as a reality show that replaces news programs now deemed pointless by almost everyone. Next season President "Superdelegate" Clinton chooses a new VP after McCain (her 'bipartisan' election winning VP) dies of the cancer he so obviously has, Dick Cheney emerging from extensive surgery that has made him look like Justin Timberlake's hotter brother -curiously Timberlake is never seen again after this and all mentions of brain transplants are removed from medical libraries & online- seems the audience's favourite, vote by text or phone!).

  3. Kvatch Says:
  4. I wonder what shiny new thing the corporate media hacks will point us at instead of what is going on in the war on Iraq.

    A Bush Twin running for Congress? Karl Rove in a new Broadway revival of Gypsy? A new tick that causes Chief Justice Roberts to mutter obscenities from the bench? The possibilities are endless.

  5. libhom Says:
  6. rickb: If you had to choose a victim for Dick Cheney's brain transplant, at least you picked someone, Justin Timberlake, that I'm not the least bit attracted to.

    kvatch: Maybe Ann Coulter gettign caught having a three way in Central Park with Lou Dobbs and Chuck Norris while screaming pejorative terms at random people walking by?

  7. Riverwolf Says:
  8. Any time we get "involved" with another country, these things seem to occur. We destroy whatever good things there were in order to root out one or two bad influences. Nice.

    Just finishing a book about Cuba that illustrates how the U.S. helped create the very situation that brought Castro to power.

  9. The media will point us to anything that doesn't involve the war. You never hear about all the civilian casualities do you. They have always downplayed that

  10. Chandira Says:
  11. I think pretty soon it will suck to be a farmer anywhere, then we'll all be in trouble!

    My garden isn't doing so well this year since Seattle weather patterns are shifting. Just a thought.

    Yes, there is a lot in Iraq that people don't know about and don't seem to care about, we did do a great job of liberating them from a lot of things, sustainable agriculture included. Great post.



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