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Monday, January 16, 2006

Blood and Sand

A very good post from blogger Cervantes updates us on the public health situation in Iraq:
It is now more than a year later, and the only up-to-date information available is anecdotal. The intrepid Dahr Jamail reports that in the region of most active combat, particularly al-Anbar province, U.S. forces continue to raid, disrupt and damage hospitals in pursuit of insurgents. Even without the attacks, hospitals are barely functioning due to lack of electricity, non-functioning equipment, shortages of drugs and supplies, and curfews which force personnel to go home and services to stop after 5:00 pm.

Jamail also reports that unemployment is approximately 70%, most Iraqis cannot afford to feed themselves adequately, and hospitals in general are barely functional.

Nearly three years after the invasion, the U.S. can no longer legitimately blame Saddam Hussein for conditions in the country. Yet the administration has announced that it does not intend to spend any additional funds on the reconstruction of the country. Trends since September 2004 have undoubtedly been negative, so it is reasonable to suppose that excess deaths since the invasion are now at least somewhere close to 200,000 and probably mroe. But the future burden of a malnourished, chronically infected, psychologically traumatized population without access to medical care will continue to devastate the country for decades, regardless of how soon stability can be established and economic and social conditions improve.
Read the whole thing here.

You can also read about the devastation we have wrought here. And of course, there is the brilliant Rivebend, who writes of daily life in Iraq.

Not all war criminals are on trial.


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