Friday, March 18, 2011

Children of War

In this year’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama declared, “the Iraq war is coming to end”—at least for Americans, leaving “with their heads held high” because “our commitment has been kept.”

For millions of Iraqis, however, the war is far from over—in fact, for a growing number of families in cities that were nearly destroyed during the years of insurgency and counter-insurgency, the crisis is only beginning.

"Whether the Americans take responsibility for our role in it will determine whether we can hold our heads high in foreign policy ever again," Obama said. As one Iraqi-American journo-friend of mine said: “Just because we don’t pay attention, doesn’t mean the rest of the world isn’t paying attention.”

According to studies and eyewitness accounts over the last few years, Fallujah, an Iraqi city that was practically obliterated by US heavy artillery in two major offensives in 2004, is experiencing a staggering rate of birth defects among its local population. The situation echoes similar reports from Basra that began to circulate after the first Gulf War in 1991.

The litany of horrors is gut-wrenching: babies born with two heads, one eye in the middle of the face, missing limbs, too many limbs, brain damage, cardiac defects, abnormally large heads, eyeless, missing genitalia, riddled with tumors.

Upon touring a clinic in Fallujah in March of last year, the BBC’s John Simpson reported, “we were given details of dozens upon dozens of cases of children with serious birth defects … one photograph I saw showed a newborn baby with three heads.”

Later, at the main US-funded hospital in the city, “a stream of parents arrived” with children who had limb defects, spinal conditions, and “other problems.” Authorities in Fallujah reportedly warned women to hold off on having babies at all.

Dr. Ayman Qais, the director of Fallujah’s general hospital, told The Guardian that he was seeing two affected babies a day, compared to two a fortnight in 2008. “Most [deformities] are in the head and spinal cord, but there are also many deficiencies in lower limbs,” he said. “There is also a very marked increase in the number of cases of [children] less than two years with brain tumours. This is now a focus area of multiple tumours.”

The pictures and video available with a quick Google search are simply shocking. Continue reading Children of War...


helen said...

d picture makes me cry, sir.

i am deeply moved by the plight of the children

iraq youth, kirkuk said...

the americans will never admit mistakes in iraq. they are proud of killing millions on innocent, women, old men and children.

as an iraqi myself, i will never forget the day when my parents and 4 siblings killed in their bombings.

they killed civilians and burnt our houses as they wished.

whether obama or who, we will take revenge.

dalili said...

amerika patut memikul semua tanggungjawab ini bersama sekutunya, terutamanya britain kerana kesalahan melanggar iraq dan membunuh pemimpin serta rakyatnya.

amerikalah negara pengganas nombor satu dunia bersama israel kerana bebas berbuat apa saja untuk kepentingan mereka.

marsela said...

what a sad picture.

who is the girl? is she still alive? how old is she now?

i wish i can adopt her...

faleigh said...

jai, kan ke bagus kau bagi perhatian pada hal-ehwal antarabangsa, daripada bermain degan politik tempatan.

kau memang pakar bidang antarabangsa, so tumpukan perhatian pada bidang ini.

mana tau, ada gunanya nanti untuk kau dan negara!

Anonymous said...

sedih tengok gambar tu. apalah nasib budak ni....adakah dia masih hidup?

from baghdad said...

dear bro,

thank u for reproducing this story. i am still in iraq, spending most of the time with the medical team. i only blog after midnite.

i do hope we can meet again. remember our last meeting in khartoum few years ago?

i am a freelance now, contributing to some news agencies. still keeping the tiny camera u gave me... it means a lot to me.

hope to see you soon. pls check your mails.

regards, hussin jnoubiyeh

Anonymous said...

Wherever the Americans wage war, they left trails of destruction Jai. This is not the first time. Remember the Hmong people in Laos during the Indochina war? They are still suffering today from the defoliation agents the US Air Force dropped to clear the forest along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. In fact, all American Presidents from Harry Truman onwards should be charged under the Vienna Convention.


mubaligh said...

semoga allah melindungi kanak2 iraq dan mangsa kekejaman amerika di negara mereka.

dan semoga allah melaknati mereka yang terbabit melakukan pembunuhan dan kezaliman ke atas mereka... amin!

Anonymous said...

US, britain and their allies must pay back to the peoples of iraq!

down with washington!