Sick Babies, Statistics and Iraq
Earlier today the Pentagon put this in my inbox. It’s an uplifting account of a 1-year-old Iraqi girl who suffers from an awful condition called bladder exstrophy, “a rare congenital disease in which the bladder protrudes outside the abdominal wall.” Children’s Hospital in Boston is donating its services to treating little Noor on June 30. Good. That baby girl is a blessing.
So why am I still so upset? Because of this, from Ken Bacon at Refugees International:
Today nearly five million Iraqis–20% of the population–are displaced. About half of them have fled the country and live as refugees throughout the Middle East, while the rest are displaced within Iraq. Most fled their homes because they felt unsafe; those who worked for the U.S. as translators or drivers fled after they were attacked as collaborators. Most refugees and internally displaced lack access to employment, education and medical care; they are facing shortages of food and money. …
Yet the U.S. seems strangely casual about the impact of massive displacement in and from Iraq. President Bush has never mentioned the plight of displaced Iraqis, and other White House officials act as though the problem doesn’t exist. The State Department’s June 11 Iraq Weekly Status Report barely mentions Iraqi displacement.
One little girl treated at a Boston hospital is a miracle. Five million people displaced — and further millions and millions forced in other ways to suffer and die or carry on through the horror — is a statistic that we can’t wrap our heads around. And all for lies, imperial fantasies, war profiteers and war criminals.