“We’ve begun to change tactics in Iraq, and in some areas, particularly in Al Anbar province, it’s working.” –Hillary Clinton’s Remarks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City, Missouri
RELATED: The humanitarian disaster in Iraq is being compounded by a mass exodus of their medical staff fleeing chronic violence and lawlessness. A report by Oxfam International shows the lack of doctors and nurses is fracturing a health system on the brink of collapse. The research revealed that many hospitals, and medical teaching facilities in Baghdad have lost up to 80 per cent of their teaching staff. The lack of security and the ever-present threat of kidnappings and bomb attacks have persuaded an increasing number to seek safety abroad.
The Oxfam dossier shows that four years after “liberation” by the US and Britain, more than 43 per cent of Iraqis suffer from “absolute poverty” and about half the population is unemployed. Of the four million dependent on food aid, only 60 per cent have access to the government-run distribution system, a dramatic decline from 96 per cent three years ago. A further sign of a society in disintegration, is the sheer numbers of refugees who have fled the country, and internally displaced people.
Four million Iraqis have fled homes, with half managing to escape abroad. The rest are in camps for the internally displaced which are often short of the most basic amenities. The latest figures show 32 per cent of them have no access to food rations and 51 per cent are fed intermittently. [via THE INDEPENDENT]
LA TIMES: YOUSIFIYA, IRAQ — In the dining hall of a U.S. Army post south of Baghdad, President Bush was on the wide-screen TV, giving a speech about the war in Iraq. The soldiers didn’t look up from their chicken and mashed potatoes. As military and political leaders prepare to deliver a progress report on the conflict to Congress next month, many soldiers are increasingly disdainful of the happy talk that they say commanders on the ground and White House officials are using in their discussions about the war.
And they’re becoming vocal about their frustration over longer deployments and a taxing mission that keeps many living in dangerous and uncomfortably austere conditions. Some say two wars are being fought here: the one the enlisted men see, and the one that senior officers and politicians want the world to see. “I don’t see any progress. Just us getting killed,” said Spc. Yvenson Tertulien, one of those in the dining hall in Yousifiya, 10 miles south of Baghdad, as Bush’s speech aired last month. “I don’t want to be here anymore.” [via LA TIMES]