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'Iraq: Legacy of Hate' : The Lost Generation

"When the US-led invasion of Iraq promised to replace Saddam Hussein's brutal regime with freedom and democracy, nearly half of the country's population was under 21.

'Iraq: The Lost Generation' opens a window onto the hidden world of Iraqi youth, revealing the brutalisation and psychological trauma of living under military occupation. It reveals how the people with whom the future of Iraq rests, are reacting with anger, aggression and, in some cases, violence.

Dispatches: Broadcast 11/06/06 - Channel 4 - Runtime 47 minutes

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When the US-led invasion of Iraq promised to replace Saddam Hussein's brutal regime with freedom and democracy, nearly half of the country's population was under 21.

'Iraq: The Lost Generation' opens a window onto the hidden world of Iraqi youth, revealing the brutalisation and psychological trauma of living under military occupation. It reveals how the people with whom the future of Iraq rests, are reacting with anger, aggression and, in some cases, violence.

Operating at great personal risk, a local Iraqi journalist and crew travelled widely throughout the country, outside the safety of the green zone, to document the lives of a range of young people whose hopes and dreams have been shattered by the occupation. This film highlights how the radicalisation of a generation has taken place -- it's not just the Americans who are the only enemy now there is civil war in Iraq.

We meet, amongst others, 19 year-old Haydar, who lost his right leg after being shot by an American patrol, which had been ambushed. His sister, whose husband is bodyguard to a powerful Shia militia leader, proclaims she would be willing to die for her country. Muhammad, a newly qualified doctor and soon-to-be first-time dad, is struggling to work amidst the danger and deprivation of modern, lawless Iraq -- from the lack of medical supplies to personal threats from the police and army.

We hear from an Iraqi army recruit serving with an elite unit in Baghdad. Then there are the teenagers fighting to shape the future outcome of Iraq: Sunni insurgents and the notorious Shia militias. Young men so politicised they are prepared to kill and be killed for a greater cause. Many see no future at all and those that can have chosen to flee abroad to escape the daily violence, kidnappings and killings.

Some 120 journalists and media workers have been killed since March 2003, that's more fatalities than in World War Two or the Vietnam War. The danger in Iraq comes from all sides: the Americans, the sectarian militias and criminal gangs whose kidnappings and killings have flourished in the lawlessness that is modern day Iraq.

This experiential film captures the real and raw reality of the occupation on Iraqi youngsters, the impact of which is largely unknown in the West.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Information Clearing House has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Information Clearing House endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

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