Americans aren’t the only ones taking the White House’s Iraq pronouncements at face value: European governments seem to be operating under received wisdom that the Iraq War is over, and they can now deport the Iraqis taking refuge in their countries. But the United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday warned that many central and eastern Iraqi governorates — that is, the country’s capital and other nearby cities — are still far too dangerous to force people to return.
"We strongly urge European governments to provide Iraqis with protection until the situation in their areas of origin in Iraq allows for safe and voluntary returns," said UNHRC spokesman Adrian Edwards. In fact after the much-touted new "sovereignty," even the police can’t keep the neighbors from pilfering the station’s own electricity.
Violence in Iraq, down from the extreme levels of 2006-7, are now on an uptick. July was the deadliest month for Iraqi civilians in over two years, with 532 violent deaths, and current levels are nearly as horrific.
Europe’s uncritical embrace of President Obama long after his own American supporters have given up on him could condemn thousands of Iraq refugees to a hard life — or death — in a land they only recently fled, and which is not at peace by any standard.