Tuesday, November 30, 2004

British Group Reports Health Crisis in Iraq

Medact, a British organization that monitors medical conditions, has reported that a "public health disaster" is ongoing and worsening in Iraq as a direct result of the U.S. invasion and of "mismanagement of the relief and reconstruction effort" after the invasion.

This report comes in the wake of earlier findings by the United Nations, international relief organizations, and the interim Iraqi government that malnutrition in children younger than 5 has increased significantly since the invasion; and only a couple of weeks after publication in Lancet of the results of a Johns Hopkins study showing that civilian casualties in Iraq since March 2003 were at least 100,000.

The current health crisis in Iraq did not originate with the U.S. invasion, but the invasion made existing problems, like wrecked infrastructure (i.e., the electricity system), malnutrition, rampant disease, and polluted water supplies, much worse and, even more significant, lowered Iraq's ability to solve these problems.

This last point is particularly apropos in the light of the standard defense made by the Bush administration and other supporters of the invasion: that even if conditions are not ideal in Iraq, there is at least hope for a brighter future now that Saddam Hussein is gone. Undoubtedly, many Iraqis do feel more hopeful, but the hard reality is that the invasion has made Iraq's uphill road even steeper than it was before.

1 comment:

Crepuscule with Nellie said...

Hi Kathy,

Thank you for the very nice note you left me. I really like your blog, so I was very flattered that you noticed mine. I do like Isabel Allende as well. Though I haven't read Paula yet. If you ever get a chance to see her at a book signing or anything like that, definitely go, she's a great speaker as well.

Anyway, thanks again for the kind words and keep up the good blog!