A statement released today by the Baghdad city council has publicly demanded $1 billion and an official apology from the US military for damages done to the city over the course of the past eight years of occupation.
“Anyone can recognise what American forces have done to Baghdad by turning this beautiful city into a military camp,” the statement noted, adding that US military vehicles left the streets littered with potholes and military operations built annoying concrete barriers that the city will eventually have to pay to remove.
The statement also makes references to failed US improvement programs, and damages that the concrete barriers caused to the sewer system and water system beneath the streets. Baghdad’s infrastructure was clearly already crumbling in the lead up to the occupation (owing primarily to the decade of US-backed sanctions), but the situation continued to worsen when the US troops arrived.
There had been hope that when the US finally formally exited Iraq’s cities in June of 2009 serious improvements could begin to be made, but the post-invasion violence and economic struggles have continued and much of Iraq still lacks even basic access to services like electricity.