The 2003 Iraq Invasion and the Russo-Ukrainian War: Comparing the First Days

The ongoing war in Ukraine has shocked the Western world: could you imagine Europeans, and often blond-haired and blue-eyed, going through physical violence on a large-scale, let alone war?

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights estimates that, as of the 19th of March, nearly a month after the Russian invasion, some 902 civilians have been killed.

But March is a month to remember another invasion as well: the American invasion of Iraq on the 20th of March 2003, 19 years ago.

Sadly, Iraqis are not Europeans, so they didn’t benefit from the American concerns for human rights.

For instance, while Putin refused to consider the invasion of Ukraine as a declaration of war, preferring the euphemistic expression of “special military operation“, the Americans said quite casually that the Iraqis would be submitted to Operation Shock and Awe.

RELATED: War in Ukraine: Shaking Off the Numbness

“Shock and awe” is the quite explicit intention of literally terrorizing a civilian population through repetitive aerial assaults and sheer firepower.

Ali, an aircraft engineer from Baghdad, the historic city targeted during the operation, described it as such:

Ali heard a rumor a week beforehand that the invasion might be happening soon. He hadn’t believed it. But he bought a generator and stored some food, just in case.

I call it really a dirty war because they want to get it over fast. So they targeting either the water stations, electric station, and all the essential things for the people, which is—that’s not good“ he said. “Everywhere you live, at least there is something important for the allies to hit.”

“Some of my friends, some of my relatives, some of them there have been missing. They don’t know what happened to them.”

Imagine Russia imposing “shock and awe” on Ukrainians?

The Americans previously targeted civilian infrastructures during the first Gulf War (1990-1991) and the later harsh economic sanctions, which directly led to the death of some 567,000 Iraqi children under the age of 5 as per the UN, a “price worth it” for Madeleine Albright.

RELATED: The Inhumanity of the US Army Laid Bare

Ukrainians are lucky to be Europeans, so no world power can act like that with them.

But, obviously, such military operations expressly attempting to terrorize the civilian population are bound to have civilian casualties. Contrast the Iraqi civilian deaths in the first days of Operation Shock and Awe with the numbers we gave at the beginning for Ukrainians, nearly a month after the Russian invasion.

The Guardian reported in October 2003:

As many as 15,000 Iraqis were killed in the first days of America’s invasion and occupation of Iraq, a study produced by an independent US thinktank said yesterday. Up to 4,300 of the dead were civilian noncombatants.

The report, by Project on Defence Alternatives, a research institute from Cambridge, Massachussets, offers the most comprehensive account so far of how many Iraqis died.

Many Iraqis compare the 2003 invasion of their country with the current conflict in Ukraine, but is the comparison legitimate?

Has Putin talked of an equivalent to Operation Shock and Awe?

Has Kiev been submitted to the apocalyptic destruction Baghdad went through?

Are even the numbers of casualties, civilians or not, comparable?

Doesn’t the comparison show that they’re in fact not comparable at all? And doesn’t this also unveil the liberal West’s hypocrisy: its selective application of “equality,” “human rights,” and so on?

RELATED: The Secret to Putin’s Geopolitics Is Found with This Russian Philosopher

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Amr Madden

Great article Mashallah


My tears have dried, my heart feels numb.
I await the Day of Justice so my brothers will rejoice.
May Allah guide me, and remind me that I too will have to answer,
and admit me among those rejoicing.

From the land to the sea, Palestine will be free

From the land to the sea, Palestine will be free.

From the land to the sea, Palestine will be free

Zionist do genocide in Iraq

Zionist Jews- Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, I’m crying in pain, Why does everyone hate me?


Indeed it shows their hypocrisy, but it is to be expected life is full of double standards, and frankly the west hates Islam to the core they are basically at war with it since it came down.

Ercan Er

Ukranians are Christian Europeans, that is why they aren’t being ignored unlike Bosnians who were Muslims.