Saturday, May 03, 2003

Now that Bush has declared victory in Iraq, I guess everything is coming up roses:

  1. In Baghdad, the city is without law or government, and is overrun by armed gangs, based on ethnic or religious affiliation, who have carved out blocks of control in the city. Large sections of Baghdad still have no water or electricity, with American Pasha Jay Garner, whose extremely lame efforts appear to have gotten him demoted, proud as power has been restored to about half of the city. Due to the uncontrolled looting, the hospital system is in a shambles. There has been an oubreak of gastroenteritis in the poorest area of the city caused by the poor water quality due to the lack of electricity, and one hospital, Qadisiyah Hospital, reports that it is still admitting between six and 16 cases a day of children injured by unexploded bombs. The attack by looters and rapists on the Al Rashid Psychiatric Hospital, coupled with an extreme shortage of water caused by the looting of the motor for its water-treatment plant, has left the remaining patients in an almost unbelievable hell.

  2. Unexploded bombs and landmines, including cluster bombs, have killed or maimed more people in northern Iraq since the end of the war than during the fighting. In two weeks, as many as 80 civilians have died and more than 500 have been injured. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, says that only 26 cluster bombs were dropped on civilian areas, causing only one case of death or injury to a noncombatant, so I guess these dead and injured Iraqis must be faking it. What these people will do for sympathy! The trick is that Americans won't call ordinance a cluster bomb unless it is dropped by an airplane, and most of the damage is done by cluster bombs that were not dropped from airplanes. I'm sure the victims fell much better knowing that the bombs didn't come out of airplanes.

  3. The humanitarian situation is now 'critical' in some parts of Iraq. From a statement signed by Oxfam director, Barbara Stocking; Islamic Relief president, Dr Hany El Banna; Muslim Aid chairman, Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin; Secretary General of Caritas International, Duncan MacLaren; CAFOD director, Julian Filochowski; Christian Aid director, Daleep Mukarji; ActionAid chief executive, Salil Shetty; and Director General of Save the Children UK, Mike Aaronson:

    "Unless comprehensive action is taken now by the occupying forces to ensure security and the orderly delivery of humanitarian assistance based on need - which is a requirement under the Geneva conventions - this already acute situation will only worsen."

    and

    "Already, some newly armed militia are forcing some people to flee their homes or offering 'protection' for hospitals. In a country made up of a mosaic of ethnic, religious and tribal groups, this can only lead to more turbulence and more misery for those civilians caught in between."

    and

    "Hospitals are overwhelmed, diarrhoea is endemic and the death toll is mounting. Medical and water staff are working for free, but cannot continue for long. Rubbish, including medical waste, is piling up. Clean water is scarce and diseases like typhoid are being reported in southern Iraq."

    The British have finally sent a plane to Basra containing the urgently needed medical supplies they should have sent two weeks ago.

  4. A marine has actually admitted to executing an Iraqi soldier by shooting him in the back of the head, and killing another who was trying to run away. The marine had hunted down and captured the Iraqi after the Iraqi had been involved in a grenade attack on his unit. He calls this retaliation 'justice'. American military officials may investigate the marine for war crimes, as executing POW's is usually frowned upon (the Naval Criminal Investigative Service has initiated a 'preliminary inquiry'). He has announced his intention to become a policeman, which presumably will save the city a lot of money on jails and courtrooms!

  5. The explosion of a pile of ammunition in the Baghdad neighborhood of Hai al-Muallimin, which killed as many as 40 Iraqis, and which the Americans blame on a flare fired by some Iraqis, appears to be the result of the 'controlled' explosions of weapons by the Americans. The locals insist that such explosions were taking place each day, despite the denials of the Americans. As well, it is very unlikely that a flare could have caused the massive explosion that occurred. Finally, why were the Americans storing captured arms in a residential neighborhood in what they call a 'consolidation area' (which also means they cannot blame the arms cache on Saddam, as they have already tried to do)?

  6. There are more stories on the massacres at Fallujah (pictures here). The second massacre was quite clearly started with the lobbing of a sandal at the Americans. The Iraqis have responded to the two days of massacres by throwing grenades at American troops, slightly injuring seven, and are threatening more attacks unless the Americans leave. And so it continues. The school which the American soldiers were illegally occupying, the subject of the original protest, was left damaged with offensive grafitti on the walls.

  7. Colin Powell, who made a career for himself in the military by serving as the My Lai liar, has now stated that American troops appear to have acted in self-defense when they fired on the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad. He stated:

    "We had young American soldiers who were trying to liberate that section of Baghdad and they came under fire . . . their lives were at risk as they tried to engage the enemy, as best as we understand what happened."

    From the evidence of other, unbiased observers, we know that to be a lie.


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