All wars and occupations bring injuries, and this post is going to focus on the horrific physical injuries suffered by the civilians caught up in
And even when we do find out, nothing much is done to help the victims, except in rare occasions (and then it is aid groups that help out, not the
Since I cannot present any definitive statistics on the nature and the number of injuries, I will present some individual stories. This is just a very small sampling of the total number of civilians in
Many people did not live to tell of their injuries, but among those that survived, even with limited medical treatment, the injuries are beyond belief.
Here is one story of an Iraqi. Hayder Abdulwahab woke up after a car bombing in
Moustafa is another Iraqi who was injured by a
We visited Moustafa at a friend’s home. And the first thing that Moustafa did after greeting everyone, was to show us how he can lift himself out of his wheelchair, using a walker for balance. And how he can stand, balancing himself with almost no support from the walker. He radiated pride and satisfaction and joy. And we were delighted to share in it. It was extraordinary to be with Moustafa, knowing what he has come through.
And here are a couple more.
Photo: A man suffering from burns is wheeled into the emergency room of the local hospital following a suicide attack in the northern city of
Photo: A wounded boy receives treatment at a hospital after a bomb attack in
“Enduring hardship for what else shall we do?” (This photo essay is part of an ongoing project I started in July 2008 photographing and documenting the lives of Iraqi refugees in
I personally know about two Iraqi girls who suffered horrific injuries due to a
Like the other Iraqis mentioned above, Salee and Rusul got no compensation from the
Iraqis who have disfiguration from vicious injuries do state that they are shunned because of their appearance. Some of that is being addressed by plastic surgery.
Anbar, a conservative, largely Sunni Arab tribal province in western
Scarred victims of Anbar’s recent violent history say they are shunned because of their appearance, but the province’s plastic surgeons provide a new lease on life. According to a report released in July by Anbar’s health directorate, an estimated 100 people with war-related injuries undergo reconstructive surgery in the province each month. Between 130,000 and 250,000 US dollars is being spent on the procedures in Anbar monthly, the report said. Most of the patients are women.
Walid al-Ani, who has been a plastic surgeon for 12 years, nearly gave up his practice due to lack of demand some years ago. Today, he advertises on the radio and his clinic – in a bullet-pocked building in Fallujah - is teeming with patients. Saad Nasir, a 44-year-old bank employee, recently took his wife to see Ani for skin grafts. In March 2006, she suffered severe burns on her back when the
Disfigurements and deformities are also present in high numbers in
An Iraqi doctor has told Sky News the number of babies born with deformities in the heavily-bombed area of Fallujah is still on the increase. …. Concerns were that the rise in deformities may have been linked to the use of chemical weapons by US forces. We recently returned to find out the current situation and what has happened to some of the children we featured.
In May last year we told the story of a three-year-old girl called Fatima Ahmed who was born with two heads. When we filmed her she seemed like a listless bundle - she lay there barely able to breathe and unable to move. Even now and having seen the pictures many times since I still feel shocked and saddened when I look at her. But the prognosis for
And then there is
RAWA (Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan) have complied some photos of injured civilians that clearly shows the horrific injuries.
Guljumma talked about what happened one morning last year when she was sleeping at home in southern
…… The destructiveness of this war is reality for Guljumma and her father. And for hundreds of families at Helmand Refugee Camp District 5. And, in fact, for millions of Afghan people. The violence of this war - military, economic and social - keeps destroying the future. Every day and night.
Not a damn thing has been done to help her. Her photo is above.
Photo: Guljumma, seven years old, with her father Wakil Tawos Khan, at the Helmand Refugee Camp District 5 in
I will be writing to Obama, my two Senators, and my Representative about this child, just like I have written about countless others. I send 100 photos a year to those four clowns, and have been for years. Prior to Obama, I sent them to Bush. Same address, same results. By the way, I know I send 100 a year because in early January, I buy a roll of 100 postcard stamps. The photos go on the postcards, and then are covered with clear tape. Sometimes, I send more than 100 a year.
At least I know I am speaking out on these atrocities done in my name with my tax dollars.
And, of course, these horrific, vicious injuries are still occurring on a regular basis. McChrystal went to talk to a ten year old boy in the hospital last week. The child had been badly burned by a NATO air strike. Supposedly, the
And of course this is happening in
If you support the continued occupation of
Iraqi war suffering