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Iraqi children: one (hopefully) saved, more than half a million killed

Eli, Left I on the News

December 30, 2005

In heavy rotation on the cable channels and also featured prominently on local and national coverage is the story of "Baby Noor," a 3-month-old Iraqi child with spina bifida, who is being sent to the U.S. for what one hopes will be a life-saving operation. If only as much coverage had been given to the 567,000 Iraqi children under the age of five who died (or, more accurately, were killed) during a decade of U.S./U.N. sanctions which crippled what had been perhaps the most advanced medical system in the Middle East, not to mention the deliberate (and criminal) destruction of the Iraqi water supply by American bombing during the Gulf War, with full foreknowledge of the likely consequences.

Also left unmentioned in the course of this "good news" story is the distinct possibility that Baby Noor's birth defect was caused by American use of depleted uranium in both the Gulf War and the current invasion of Iraq. Not that spina bifida doesn't occur naturally, but both birth defects and cancer have increased dramatically in Iraq:

At the Saddam Teaching Hospital in Basra, Dr. Jawad Al-Ali, a British-trained oncologist, displays, in four gaily colored photo albums, what he says are actual snapshots of the nightmares.

The photos represent the surge in birth defects -- in 1989 there were 11 per 100,000 births; in 2001 there were 116 per 100,000 births.

There were photos of infants born without brains, with their internal organs outside their bodies, without sexual organs, without spines, and the list of deformities went on and on. There also were photos of cancer patients.

Cancer has increased dramatically in southern Iraq. In 1988, 34 people died of cancer; in 1998, 450 died of cancer; in 2001 there were 603 cancer deaths."
Best of luck to Baby Noor. Too bad the "generosity" of the United States comes way too late for so many others.


:: Article nr. 19110 sent on 31-dec-2005 04:21 ECT

www.uruknet.info?p=19110

Link: lefti.blogspot.com/2005_12_01_lefti_archive.html#113597725009689942



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