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The Lost Generation of Iraqi Youth, VICE on HBO, Full Episode

Iraq has one of the world’s youngest populations and most of them grew up knowing nothing but war and chaos.

The three-year-long campaign to defeat IS is only the latest chapter in a cycle of violence that began with the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. After 15 years, the conflicts have left virtually every aspect of the country crippled.

Iraq used to have one of the best education systems in the Arab world, and now over a third of the kids in the country are out of school and not receiving any education at all.

When IS swept through Iraq in 2014, ultimately claiming control of a third of the country, its ranks were filled with young, disenfranchised Sunnis who were driven more by grievances with the Iraqi government than by any kind of devotion to Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate.

For the young Iraqis on the other side of the conflict, whether Sunni or Shia, it is not so different. With few opportunities in education or employment, many young men—and as we found out, many children—see enlisting with sectarian militias as the best course of action, even if it means death.

While Islamic State’s days in Iraq may be over, the conditions that gave rise to it haven’t changed.

VICE’s Isobel Yeung travels to Iraq to see how its youth see the future.

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50 thoughts on “The Lost Generation of Iraqi Youth, VICE on HBO, Full Episode

  1. Iraq can not prosper untill the sectarian hatred on both sides dissipates. The paranoia on both sides is unreal. I seen it with my own eyes while in Iraq in 06. We paid the Sunnis and the Shiites got angry. Untill those sectarian lines are broken down Iraq is doomed to fail

  2. Honestly….I would love to go to Iraq. The history there, alone, would be worth the trip. However, until they stop being ruled by religion, and these rich people who use religion to get others to do evil, I will never go. These clerics and these militia leaders are all wealthy people. They know that the people are broke, and use their money to get them to do things they otherwise wouldn't do. The Iraqi people need to throw these people out of their country.

  3. Owww well… You killed you're own leader who tried to fix the problem, just because other countries disagree his method… You all go a strike him down. Now you all need to face shits.

  4. Gee America did a good job of fucking up things looks like and sounds like Saddam was a good leader just like the Libyan leader was atleast they didn’t have taxes that American capitalists are smashing us with

  5. it's also disgusting it that these religious leaders are telling people in their children to go out and kill acting like they don't care if anyone dies but you don't see them with guns killing each other religion is disgusting. I hope for a day when everyone is an atheist.

  6. Vice, I really love this segment (and all of the others as well) but I must especially congratulate you on your wonderful choice of people who cover these segments. The woman in this particular segment was very brave and I was so elated when she said the bitter truth to the cleric "It's convenient though that you're asking the children of other people to fight but not your own"

  7. Haider Abbadi is a religious sectarian Shia sick person who follow Ayatullah Sistani pretending to be democratic.
    Iraq under Haider Abbadi is much worse than Saddam Hussein time.
    God save Iraq and Iraqi people from the sectarian government of Abbadi.

  8. This is what we should have done in 2002, stand around and watch them kill each other. Keep the fire contained, so it doesn't spill out. We should never have gone after Saddam. Some Iraqis would have come after him. Instead, we get all the blame and none of the benefits.

  9. The guys who blame it on the US are absolutely right, but not quite fine tuned enough. It was/ is the neocons, Bush, the right wing of the Republican Party. I have advocated for years that the US should cuff 'em up and send them to the Hague for war crimes trials. Those who say it is "too late" don't understand that any and everything we can do to make amends for our war crimes is better than nothing.

  10. One gigantic American war crime. And Bush is now treated with respect and love by Americans. How soon they forget what criminals he and Rumsfeld and Condoleeze Rice and Cheney were.

  11. This is what a failed state looks like. Even if Saddam hadn't been ousted eventually the 'arab spring' would have hit Iraq and its core problems would have been exposed:

    State revenue almost entirely from oil.
    Non-secular mentality.
    High birth rates.
    Clan-mentality.
    Environmental issues.
    Ineffective state bureaus (socialist structures).
    Nepotism.
    Corruption.
    Troublemaking neighbours.

    Iraq is heading for a financial default. As is Saudi Arabia.

  12. It's sad for the people of Iraq (Normal citizens ). Having to live the way they do in a country that should be so rich and prosperous with all the oil in the world. All they know is fighting and killing . They are praised for it because even if they dont fight someone or some group will still ptobably kill them. So sad and confusing.

  13. Thank whoever, but this is what religion does, it divides people, so that mullah who's sons are doing "secular" jobs can conquer, those are the people who know real occult knowledge, much like our elites here. Don't worry though eventually Iraq will get there too, but people will always be controlled through isms'.

    No society wants you to become wise, it is against a society for it's people to become wise. (Gandhi)

  14. My dad was in Iraq in the 80s and he said it was the best place, especially the people so hospitable and peaceful. He worked at Saddam's Palace as an Engineer and he was full of praise for the country, but now looking at Iraq it seems it wont be the same again in 50 years. Saddam had his downs but he kept Iraq stable and most of all the region.

  15. I can guaranteed that most Americans will blame everyone else except for their own country that destroyed Iraq. Vice News is now part of the MSM. I used to watch Vice when it was independent, and when Shane didn't sell his soul to the corporations and the devil

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